Saving America's Cities

November 18, 1977

Report Outline
New Plans for Urban Problems
Changing American Metropolis
Options for Shaping Urban Policy
Special Focus

New Plans for Urban Problems

In contrast to the urban strife of the Sixties, quiet summers have prevailed in most American cities in this decade. Though scars of past destruction are still in evidence, some localities have shown hopeful signs of progress. Once dilapidated neighborhoods in densely populated urban centers of the Northeast and Midwest are being refurbished, while new financial incentives and lowering crime rates have begun to attract businesses and needed tax dollars back to the cities.

But the disturbing fact, according to black spokesmen, is that most big cities are no better off now than they were 10 years ago. Many urban experts agree, contending that the same social and economic problems that contributed to civil unrest in the 1960s remain largely unsolved. Improved community services, better income and housing opportunities continue to be unrealized goals for most of the urban poor.

The Carter administration, after being accused of neglecting the cities, now seems committed to adopting a national urban strategy that concentrates on employment and incentives for new economic activities. While agreeing with social critic Nathan Glazer that there is less consensus now than in the past “on the ultimate causes of many serious urban problems,” most municipal officials nevertheless concur that America's cities cannot survive without massive financial assistance. Every major difficulty cities face today, said a spokesman for the United States Conference of Mayors, “boils down tomoney—too much is leaving and not enough is coming back.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Urban Planning
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Jun. 04, 2021  Rebuilding America's Infrastructure
Aug. 21, 2020  Economic Clustering
Nov. 01, 2019  Caregiving Crunch
Jul. 27, 2012  Smart Cities
Apr. 09, 2010  Earthquake Threat
Apr. 2009  Rapid Urbanization
Jun. 23, 2006  Downtown Renaissance Updated
May 28, 2004  Smart Growth
Oct. 03, 1997  Urban Sprawl in the West
Mar. 21, 1997  Civic Renewal
Oct. 13, 1995  Revitalizing the Cities
Jun. 09, 1989  Not in My Back Yard!
Apr. 28, 1989  Do Enterprise Zones Work?
Nov. 22, 1985  Supercities: Problems of Urban Growth
Jul. 23, 1982  Reagan and the Cities
Nov. 18, 1977  Saving America's Cities
Oct. 31, 1975  Neighborhood Control
Nov. 21, 1973  Future of the City
Feb. 07, 1973  Restrictions on Urban Growth
May 20, 1970  Urbanization of the Earth
Nov. 06, 1968  New Towns
Oct. 04, 1967  Private Enterprise in City Rebuilding
Feb. 10, 1965  Megalopolis: Promise and Problems
Mar. 04, 1964  City Beautiful
Aug. 21, 1963  Urban Renewal Under Fire
Jan. 21, 1959  Metropolitan Areas and the Federal Government
Jul. 30, 1958  Persistence of Slums
Dec. 09, 1953  Outspreading Cities
Nov. 22, 1952  Slum Clearance: 1932–1952
Jan. 14, 1937  Zoning of Urban and Rural Areas
Regional Planning and Urbanization