National Academies Press: OpenBook
« Previous: Front Matter
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page9
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page10
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page11
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page12
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page13
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page14
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page15
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page16
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page17
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page18
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page19
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page20
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page21
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page22
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page23
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page24
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page25
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page26
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page27
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page28
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page29
Suggested Citation:"OVERVIEWS." National Academy of Engineering. 1969. Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18468.
×
Page30

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

TOWARD A NATIONAL URBAN POLICY Daniel P. Moynihan In the Spring of 1969, President Nixon met in the Cabinet room with ten mayors of American cities. They were a variegated lot, mixing party, religion, race, region in the fine confusion of American politics. They had been chosen to be representative in this respect, and were unrepresentative only in qualities of energy and intelligence that would have set them apart in any company. What was more notable about them, however, was that in the interval between the invitation from the White House and the meeting with the President, four had, in effect, resigned. AH but assured of reelection, they had announced they would nonetheless not run again. The mayor of Detroit, who, at the last minute, could not attend, announced his resigna- tion in June. Their decisions were not that uncommon. More and more, for the men charged with governance of our cities-great and small-politics has become the art of the impossible. It is not to be wondered that they flee. But we, in a sense, are left behind. And are in trouble. And know it. At a time of great anxiety-a time that one of the nation's leading news magazines now routinely describes as "the most serious domestic crisis since the Civil War," a time when Richard Rovere, writing of the 1972 elections, adds parenthetically "assuming that democracy in America survives that long"-these personal decisions may seem of small consequence, yet one suspects they are not. All agree that the tumult of the time arises, in essence, from a crisis of authority. The institutions that shaped conduct and behavior in the past are being challenged, or worse, ignored. It is in the nature of authority, as Robert A. Nisbet continues to remind us, that it is consensual, that it is not coercive. When authority systems collapse, they are replaced by power systems, which are coercive. Our vocabulary rather fails us here: the term authority is an unloved one, with its connotations of authoritarianism, but there appears to be no substitute. Happily, public opinion is not so dependent on political vocabulary, certainly not on the vocabulary of political science, as some assume. For all the ambiquity of the public rhetoric of the moment, the desire of the great mass of our people is clear. They sense the advent of a power-based society and they fear it. They seek peace. They look to the restoration of legitimacy, if not in existing institutions, then in new or modified ones. They look for a lessening of violent confrontations at home and, in great numbers, for an end to war abroad. Concern for personal safety on the part of city dwellers has become a live political fact, while the reappearance of a Stalinoid rhetoric of apocalyptic abuse on the left, and its echoes on the right, have created a public atmosphere of anxiety and portent that would seem to have touched us all. It is with every good reason that the nation gropes for some means to weather the storm of unreason that has broken upon us and seems if anything to grow wilder. It would also seem that Americans at this moment are much preoccupied with the issue of freedom, or rather with new, meaningful ways in which freedom is seen to be expanded or constrained. We are, for example, beginning to evolve some sense of the meaning of group freedom. This comes after a century of preoccupation with individual rights of a kind that were seen as somehow opposed to and even threatened by group identities and anything so dubious in conception as group rights. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the culmination of the political energies generated by that earlier period. The provisions that forbade employers, universities, govern- ments, or whatever to have any knowledge of the race, religion, or national origin of individuals with which they dealt marked in ways the highwater mark of social Darwinism in America, and did not long stand unopposed. Indeed, by 1965 the federal government had already, as best one can tell, begun to require ethnic and racial census of its own employees, of federal contractors and research grant recipients. To do so violated the spirit if not the letter of the Civil Rights Act, with its implicit model of the lone individual locked in equal-and remorseless- competition in the Mancunian marketplace, but very much in harmony with the emerging sense of the 1960's that groups have identities and entitlements as well as do individuals. This view is diffusing rapidly. (In Massachusetts, for example, legislation of the Civil Rights Act period that declared any

public school with more than 50 percent black pupils to be racially "imbalanced" and in consequence illegal, is already being challenged, by precisely those who supported it in the first instance.) If, so far, these demands have been most in evidence among black Americans, there is not the least reason to doubt that they will now diffuse to other groups, defined in various ways, and that new institutions will arise to respond to this new understanding of the nature of community. In sum, two tendencies would appear to dominate the period. The sense of general community is eroding, and with it the authority of existing relationships, while simultaneously a powerful quest for specific community is emerging in the form of ever more intensive assertions of racial and ethnic identities. Although this is reported in the media largely in terms of black nationalism, it is just as reasonable to identify emergent attitudes in the "white working class," as part of the same phenomenon. The singular quality of these tendencies is that they are at once complementary and opposed. While the ideas are harmo- nious, the practices that would seem to support one interest are typically seen as opposing the other. Thus one need not be a moral philosopher or a social psychologist to see that much of the "crisis of the cities" arises from the interaction of these intense new demands, and the relative inability of the urban social system to respond to them. Rightly or otherwise-and one is no longer sure of this-it is our tradition in such circumstances to look to the condition of government. Social responses to changed social requirements take the form in industrial democracies of changed government policies. This had led, in the present situation, to a reasonably inventive spate of program proposals of the kind the New Deal more or less began and which flourished most notably in the period between the presidential elections of 1960 and 1968 when the number of domestic programs of the federal government increased from 45 to 435. Understandably, however, there has been a diminution of the confidence with which such proposals were formerly regarded. To say the least, there is a certain nonlinearity in the relationship between the number of categorical aid programs issuing forth from Washington and the degree of social satisfaction that ensues. Hence the issue arises as to whether the demands of the time are not to be met in terms of policy, as well as program. It has been said of urban planners that they have been traumatized by the realization that everything relates to everything. But this is so, and the perception of it can provide a powerful analytic tool. Our problems in the area of social peace and individual or group freedom occur in urban settings. Can it be that our difficulties in coping with these problems originate, in some measure, from the inadequacies of the setting in which they arise? Crime on the streets and campus violence may mark the onset of a native nihilism; but in the first instance they represent nothing more complex than the failure of law enforcement. Black rage and white resistance, Third World separatism, and restricted covenants all may define a collapse in the integuments of the social contract; but, again, in the first instance they represent for the most part simply the failure of urban arrangements to meet the expectations of the urban population in the areas of jobs, schools, housing, transportation, public health, administra- tive responsiveness, and political flexibility. If all these are related, one to the other, and in combination do not seem to be working well, the question arises whether the society ought not attempt a more coherent response. In a word, ought a national urban crisis to be met with something like a national urban policy? Ought not the vast efforts to control the situation of the present be at least informed by some sense of goals for the future? The United States does not now have an urban policy. The idea that there might be such is new. So also is the Urban Affairs Council, established by President Nixon on January 23, 1969, as the first official act of his administra- tion, to "advise and assist" with respect to urban affairs, specifically "in the development of a national urban policy, having regard both to immediate and to long-range con- cerns, and to priorities among them." The central circumstance, as stated, is that America is an urban nation, and has been for half a century. This is not to say that Americans live in big cities. They do not. Only slightly more than half (55 percent) of the population lives in cities of 50,000 persons or more, and the bulk of that group is concentrated in relatively small urban aggregations of 100,000 to 250,000 persons. Ninety-eight percent of the units of local government have fewer than 50,000 persons. In terms of the 1960 census only somewhat more than a quarter of the Congressmen represented districts in which a majority of residents lived in central city areas. The 1970 census will show that the majority of Americans in metropolitan areas in fact live in what are known as suburbs, while a great many more live in urban settlements of modest size. But they are not the less urban for that reason, providing conditions of living and problems of government profoundly different from that of the agricultural small-town past. The essentials of the present "urban crisis" are simple enough to relate. Until about World War II the growth of the city, as Otto Eckstein argues, was "a logical, economic development." At least it was such in the northeastern quadrant of the United States, where most urban troubles are supposed to exist. The political jurisdiction of the city more or less defined the area of intensive economic development, which more or less defined the area of 10

intensive settlement. Thereafter economic incentives and social desires combined to produce a fractionating process that made it ever more difficult to collect enough power in any one place to provide the rudiments of effective government. As a result of or as a part of this process, the central area ceased to grow and began to decline. The core began to rot. This most primitive analog began to suggest to us that in some way life itself was in decline. Two special circumstances compounded this problem. First, the extraordinary migration of the rural southern Negro to the northern city. Second, a postwar population explosion (90 million babies were born between 1946 and 1968), which placed immense pressures on municipal services and drove many whites to the suburbs seeking relief. (Both these influences are now somewhat at- tenuating, but their effects will be present for at least several decades, and indeed a new baby boom may be in the offing.) As a result the problems of economic stagnation of the central city became desperately exacerbated by those of racial tension. In the course of the 1960's tension turned into open racial strife. City governments began to respond to the onset of economic obsolescence and social rigidity a generation or more ago, but quickly found their fiscal resources strained near to the limit. State governments became involved, and much the same process ensued. Starting in the postwar period, the federal government itself became increasingly caught up with urban problems. In recent years resources on a fairly considerable scale have flowed from Washington to the cities of the land and will clearly continue. However, in the evolution of a national urban policy, more is involved than merely the question of national goals and the provision of resources with which to attain them. Too many programs have produced too few results simply to accept a more or less straightforward extrapolation of past and present practices into an oversized but familiar future. The question of method has become as salient as that of goals themselves. As yet, the federal government, no more than state or local government, has not found an effective incentive system-comparable to profit in private enterprise, prestige in intellectual activity, rank in military organization-whereby to shape the forces at work in urban areas in such a way that urban goals-whatever they may be-are in fact attained. This search for incentives, and the realization that present procedures such as categorical grant-in-aid programs do not seem to provide sufficiently powerful ones, must accompany and suffuse the effort to establish goals as such. We must seek not just policy, but policy allied to a vigorous strategy for obtaining results from it. Finally, the federal establishment must develop a much heightened sensitivity to its "hidden" urban policies. There is hardly a department or agency of the national government whose programs do not in some way have important consequences for the life of cities and for those who live in them. Frequently (one is tempted to say normally!), the political appointees and career executives concerned do not see themselves as involved with, much less responsible for, the urban consequences of their programs and policies. They are, to their minds, simply building highways, guaranteeing mortgages, advancing agriculture, or whatever. No one has made clear to them that they are simultaneously redistributing employment opportunities, segregating neighborhoods, or desegregating them, depopulating the countryside and filling up the slums, etc. All these things are second- and third-order consequences of nominally unrelated programs. Already this institutional naivete has become cause for suspicion; in the future it simply must not be tolerated. Indeed, in the future, a primary mark of competence in a federal official should be the ability to see the interconnections between programs immediately at hand and the urban problems that pervade the larger society. THE FUNDAMENTS OF URBAN POLICY It having long been established that with respect to general codes of behavior eleven precepts are too many, and nine too few, ten points of urban policy may be set forth, scaled roughly to correspond to a combined measure of urgency and importance. 1. The poverty and social isolation of minority groups in central cities is the single most serious problem of the American city today. It must be attacked with urgency, with a greater commitment of resources than has heretofore been the case, and with programs designed especially for this purpose. The 1960's have seen enormous economic advances among minority groups, especially Negroes. Outside the South, 37 percent of Negro families earn $8,000 per year or more, that being approximately the national median income. In cities in the largest metropolitan areas, 20 percent of Negro families in 1967 reported family incomes of $10,000 or over. The earnings of young married couples are approaching parity with whites. Nonetheless, certain forms of social disorganization and dependency appear to be increasing among the urban poor. Recently, Conrad Taueber, Associate Director of the Bureau of the Census reported that in the largest metro- politan areas-those with 1 million or more inhabitants: "the number of black families with a woman as head increased by 83 percent since 1960; the number of black families with a man as head increased by only 15 percent during the same period." Disorganization, isolation, and 11

discrimination seemingly have led to violence, and this violence has in turn been increasingly politicized by those seeking a "confrontation" with "white" society. Urban policy must have as its first goal the transformation of the urban lower class into a stable community based on dependable and adequate income flows, social equality, and social mobility. Efforts to improve the conditions of life in the present caste-created slums must never take precedence over efforts to enable the slum population to disperse throughout the metropolitan areas involved. Urban policy accepts the reality of ethnic neighborhoods based on choice, but asserts that the active intervention of govern- ment is called for to enable free choice to include integrated living as the normal option. It is impossible to comprehend the situation of the black urban poor without first seeing that they have experienced not merely a major migration in the past generation, but also that they now live in a state almost of demographic seige as a result of population growth. The dependency ratio, in terms of children per thousand adult males, for blacks is nearly twice that for whites, and the gap widened sharply in the 1960's. Children per 1,000 Adult Males 1960 1966 White 1,365 1,406 Negro 1,922 2,216 It is this factor, surely, that accounts for much of the present distress of the black urban slums. At the same time, it is fairly clear that the sharp escalation in the number of births that characterized the past twenty-five years has more or less come to an end. The number of Negro females under age 5 is exactly the number aged 5 to 9. Thus the 1980's will see a slackening of the present severe demands on the earning power of adult Negroes, and also on the public institutions that provide services for children. But for the decade immediately ahead, those demands will continue to rise-especially for central city blacks, whose median age is a little more than 10 years below that for whites-and will clearly have a priority claim on public resources. 1967 Negro Female Population Age Number Under 5 1,443,000 5 to 9 1,443,000 10 to 14 1,298,000 15 to 19 1,102,000 20 to 24 840,000 2. Economic and social forces in urban areas are not self-balancing. Imbalances in industry, transportation, housing, social services, and similar elements of urban life frequently tend to become more rather than less pronounced, and this tendency is often abetted by public policies. The concept of urban balance may be tentatively set forth: A social condition in which forces tending to produce imbalance induces counter- forces that simultaneously admit change while main- taining equilibrium. It must be the constant object of federal officials whose programs affect uroan areas- and there are few whose do not-to seek such equilibrium. The evidence is considerable that many federal pro- grams have induced sharp imbalances in the "ecology" of urban areas—the highway program, for example, is fre- quently charged with this, and there is wide agreement that other specifically city-oriented programs, such as urban renewal, have frequently accomplished just the opposite of their nominal objectives. The reasons are increasingly evident. Cities are complex social systems. Interventions that, intentionally or not, affect one component of the system almost invariably affect second, third, and fourth components as well, and these in turn affect the first component, often in ways quite opposite to the direction of the initial intervention. Most federal urban programs have assumed fairly simple cause and effect relationships that do not exist in the complex real world. Moreover, they have typically been based on "common sense" rather than research in an area where common sense can be notoriously misleading. In the words of Jay W. Forrester: "With a high degree of confidence we can say that the intuitive solution to the problems of complex social systems will be wrong most of the time." 3. At least part of the relative ineffectiveness of the efforts of urban government to respond to urban problems derives from the fragmented and obsolescent structure of urban government itself. The federal government should constantly encourage and provide incentives for the reorganization of local government in response to the reality of metropolitan conditions. The objective of the federal government should be that local government be stronger and more effective, more visible, accessible, and meaningful to local inhabitants. To this end the federal government should discourage the creation of paragovemments designed to deal with special problems by evading or avoiding the jurisdiction of established local authorities, and should encourage effective decentralization. Although the "quality" of local government, espe- cially in large cities, has been seen to improve of late, there appears to have been a decline in the vitality of local political systems, as well as an almost total disappearance of serious effort to reorganize metropolitan areas into new and more rational governmental jurisdictions. Federal efforts to 12

re-create ethnic-neighborhood-based community organiza- tions, as in the poverty program, or to induce metropolitan area planning as in various urban development programs, have had a measure of success, but nothing like that hoped for. The middle-class norm of "participation" has diffused downward and outward, so that federal urban programs now routinely require citizen participation in the planning process and beyond, yet somehow this does not seem to have led to more competent communities. In some in- stances it appears rather to have escalated the level of stalemate. It may be we have not been entirely candid with ourselves in this area. Citizen participation, as Elliott A. Krause has pointed out, is in practice a "bureaucratic ideology," a device whereby public officials induce non- public individuals to act in a way the officials desire. Although the putative object may be, indeed almost always is, to improve the lot of the citizen, it is not settled that the actual consequences are anything like that. The ways of the officials, of course, are often not those of the elected representatives of the people, and the "citizens" may become a rope in the tug-of-war between bureaucrat and representative. Especially in a federal system, "citizen participation" easily becomes a device whereby the far-off federal bureaucracy acquires a weapon with which to battle the elected officials of local government. Whatever the nominal intent, the normal outcome is federal support for those who would diminish the legitimacy of local govern- ment. But it is not clear that the federal purposes are typically advanced through this process. To the contrary, an all-round diminishment, rather than enhancement, of energies seems to occur. (This would appear especially true when "citizen participation" has in effect meant putting citizens on the payroll. However much they may continue to "protest," the protest acquires a certain hollow ring. Something like this has surely happened to groups seeking to influence public opinion on matters of public policy which have been openly or covertly supported by the federal government. This is a new practice in American democracy. It began in the field of foreign affairs and has now spread to the domestic area. To a quite astonishing degree it will be found that those groups that nominally are pressing for social change and development in the poverty field, for example, are in fact subsidized by federal funds. This occurs in protean ways-research grants, training contracts, or whatever-and is done with the best of intentions. But, again, with what results is far from clear. Can this development, for example, account for the curious fact that there seems to be so much protest in the streets of the nation, but so little, as it were, in its legislatures? Is it the case, in other words, that the process of public subsidy is subtly debilitating?) Whatever the truth of this judgment, it is nevertheless clear that a national urban policy must look first to the vitality of the elected governments of the urban areas and must seek to increase their capacity for independent, effective, and creative action. This suggests an effort to find some way out of the present fragmentation, and a certain restraint on the creation of federally financed "competitive governments." Nathan Glazer has made the useful observation that in London and Tokyo comprehensive metropolitan govern- ment is combined with a complex system of "subgovern- ments," such as the London boroughs, representing units of 200,000-250,000 persons. These are "real" governments, with important powers in areas such as education, welfare, and housing. In England, at all events, they are governed through an electoral system involving the national political parties in essentially their national postures. (Indeed, the boroughs make up the basic units of the parties' urban structure.) It may well be there is need for social inventions of this kind in the great American cities, especially with respect to power over matters such as welfare, education, and housing, which are now subject to intense debates concerning "local control." The demand for local control is altogether to be welcomed. In some degree it can be seen to arise from the bureaucratic barbarities of the highway programs of the 1950's, for example. But in the largest degree it reflects the processes of democracy catching up with the content of contemporary government. As govern- ment more and more involves itself in matters that very much touch on the lives of individual citizens, those individuals seek a greater voice in the programs concerned. In the hands of ideologues or dimwits, this demand can lead to an utter paralysis of government. It has already done so in dozens of urban development situations. But approached with a measure of sensitivity, and patience, it can lead to a considerable revitalization of urban government. 4. A primary object of federal urban policy must be to restore the fiscal vitality of urban government, with the particular object of ensuring that local govern- ments normally have enough resources on hand or available to make local initiative in public affairs a reality. For all the rise in actual amounts, federal aid to state and local governments has increased only from 12 percent of state-local revenue in 1958 to 17 percent in 1967. Increasingly, state and local governments that try to meet their responsibilities lurch from one fiscal crisis to another. In such circumstances, the capacity for creative local government becomes least in precisely those jurisdictions where it might most be expected. As much as any other single factor, this condition may be judged to account for 13

the malaise of city government, and especially for the reluctance of the more self-sufficient suburbs to associate themselves with the nearly bankrupt central cities. Sur- viving from one fiscal deadline to another, the central cities commonly adopt policies that only compound their ultimate difficulties. Yet their options are so few. As James Q. Wilson writes: "The great bulk of any city's budget is, in effect, a fixed charge the mayor is powerless to alter more than trivially." The basic equation, as it were, of American political economy is that for each 1 percent increase in the gross national product the income of the federal govern- ment increases 1 1/2 percent while the normal income of city governments rises one-half to three-quarters of a point at most. Hence both a clear opportunity and a no less manifest necessity exist for the federal government to adopt as a deliberate policy an increase in its aid to urban governments. This should be done in part through revenue sharing and in part through an increase in categorical assistance, hopefully in much more consolidated forms than now exist, and through credit assistance. It may not be expected that this process will occur rapidly. The prospects for an enormous "peace and growth dividend" to follow the cessation of hostilities in Vietnam are far less bright than they were painted. But the fact is that the American gross national product grows at a better rate than a billion dollars a week, and we can afford the government we need. This means, among our very first priorities, an increase in the resources available to city governments. A clear opportunity exists for the federal government to adopt as a deliberate policy an increase in its aid to state and local governments in the aftermath of the Vietnam war. Much analysis is in order, but in approximate terms it may be argued that the present proportion of aid should be about doubled, with the immediate objective that the federal government contribution constitute one-third of state and local revenue. 5. Federal urban policy should seek to equalize the provision of public services as among different jurisdic- tions in metropolitan areas. Although the standard depiction of the (black) residents of central cities as grossly deprived with respect to schools and other social services, when compared with their suburban (white) neighbors, requires endless qualification, the essential truths are that life for the well-to-do is better than life for the poor and that these populations tend to be separated by artificial government boundaries within metro- politan areas. (The people in-between may live on either side of the boundaries and are typically overlooked altogether.) As a minimum, federal policy should seek a dollar-for- dollar equivalence in the provision of social services having most to do with economic and social opportunity. This includes, at the top of the list, public education and public safety. (Obviously there will always be some relatively small jurisdictions-"the Scarsdale school system"-that spend a great deal more than others, but there can be national or regional norms and no central city should be forced to operate below them.) Beyond the provision of equal resources lies the troubled and elusive question of equal results. Should equality of educational opportunity extend to equality of educational achievement (as between one group of children and another)? Should equality of police protection extend to equality of criminal victimization? That is to say, should there be not only as many police, but also as few crimes in one area of the city as in another? These are hardly simple questions, but as they are increasingly posed it is increas- ingly evident that we shall have to try to find answers. The area of housing is one of special and immediate urgency. In America, housing is not regarded as a public utility (and a scarce one!) as it is in many of the industrial democracies of Europe, but there can hardly be any remaining doubt that the strong and regular production of housing is very nearly a public necessity. We shall not solve the problem of racial isolation without it. Housing must not only be open, it must be available. The process of filtration out from dense< center city slums can only take place if the housing perimeter, as it were, is sufficiently porous. For too long now the production of housing has been a function not of the need for housing as such, but rather of the need to increase or decrease the money supply, or whatever. Somehow a greater regularity of effective demand must be provided the housing industry, and its level of production must be increased. 6. The federal government must assert a specific interest in the movement of people, displaced by technology or driven by poverty, from rural to urban areas, and also in the movement from densely populated central cities to suburban areas. Much of the present urban crisis derives from the almost total absence of any provision for an orderly movement of persons off the countryside and into the city. The federal government made extraordinary, and extra- ordinarily successful, efforts to provide for the resettlement of Hungarian refugees in the 1950's and Cuban refugees in the 1960's. But almost nothing has been done for Americans driven from their homes by forces no less imperious. Rural to urban migration has not stopped, and it will not for some time. Increasingly, it is possible to predict where it will occur, and in what time sequence. (In 1968, for example, testing of mechanical tobacco harvesting began on the East Coast and the first mechanical grape 14

pickers were used on the West Coast.) Hence, it is possible to prepare for it, by training of those who leave and by providing for them where they arrive. Doubtless the United States will remain a nation of exceptionally mobile persons, but the completely unassisted processes of the past need not continue with respect to the migration of impoverished rural populations. There are increasing indications that the dramatic movement of Negro Americans to central city areas may be slackening and that a counter movement to surrounding suburban areas may have begun. This process is to be encouraged in every way, especially by the main- tenance of a flexible and open housing market. But it remains the case that in the next thirty years we shall add 100 million persons to our population. Knowing that, it is impossible to have no policy with respect to where they will be located. To let nature take its course is itself a policy. To consider what might be best for all concerned and to seek to provide it is surely a more acceptable goal. 7. The state government has an indispensable role in the management of urban affairs and must be supported and encouraged by the federal government in the performance of this role. This fact, being all but self-evident, tends to be overlooked. The trend of recent legislative measures, almost invariably prompted by executive initiatives, has been to establish a direct federal-city relationship. States have been bypassed, and doubtless some have used this as an excuse to avoid their responsibilities of providing the legal and governmental conditions under which urban problems can be effectively confronted. It has, of course, been a tradition of social reform in America that city government is bad and that, if anything, state government is worse. This is neither true as a generalization nor useful as a principle. But on the other hand, by and large, state governments, with an occasional exception such as New York, have not involved themselves with urban problems and are readily enough seen by mayors as the real enemy. But this helps neither. States must become involved. City governments, without excep- tion, are creatures of state governments. City boundaries, jurisdictions, and powers are given and taken away by state governments. It is surely time the federal establishment sought to lend a sense of coherence and a measure of progressivism to this fundamental process. The role of state government in urban affairs cannot easily be overlooked: it is more typically ignored on political or ideological grounds. By contrast, it is relatively easy to overlook county government, and possibly an even more serious mistake to do so. In a steadily increasing number of metropolitan areas, the county, rather than the original core city, has become the only unit of government that makes any geographical sense. That is to say, the county is the only unit whose boundaries contain most or all of the actual urban settlement. The powers of county government have typically lagged well behind its potential, but it may also be noted that in the few-the very few-instances of urban reorganization to take place since World War II, county government has assumed a principal, even primary role in the new arrangement. 8. The federal government must develop and put into practice far more effective incentive systems than now exist whereby state and local governments and private interests can be led to achieve the goals of federal programs. The typical federal grant-in-aid program provides its recipients with an immediate reward for promising to work toward some specified goal-raising the educational achieve- ment of minority children, providing medical care for the poor, cleaning up the air, reviving the downtown business district-but almost no reward for actually achieving such goals, and rarely any punishment for failing to do so. It is by now widely agreed that what federal grant-in- aid programs reward most is dissimulation. By and large the approach of the federal government to most urban prob- lems is to provide local institutions with money in the hope that they will perform but with no very powerful incentives to do so. There is a growing consensus that the federal govern- ment should provide market competition for public pro- grams or devise ways to imitate market conditions. In particular, it is increasingly agreed that federal aid should be given directly to the consumers of the programs concerned-individuals included-thus enabling them to choose among competing suppliers of the goods or services that the program is designed to provide. Probably no single development would more enliven and energize the role of government in urban affairs than a move from the monopoly service strategy of the grant-in- aid programs to a market strategy of providing the most reward to those suppliers that survive competition. In this precise sense, it is evident that federal programs designed to assist those city-dwelling groups that are least well off, least mobile, and least able to fend for themselves must in many areas move beyond a services strategy to an approach that provides inducements to move from a dependent and deficient status to one of independence and sufficiency. Essentially, this is an income strategy, based fundamentally on the provision of incentives to increase the earnings and to expand the property base of the poorest groups. Urban policy should in general be directed to raising the level of political activity and concentrating it in the electoral process. It is nonetheless possible and useful to be 15

alert for areas of intense but unproductive political conflict and to devise ways to avoid such conflict through market strategies. Thus conflicts over "control" of public educa- tion systems have frequently of late taken on the aspect of disputes over control of a monopoly, a sole source of a needed good. Clearly some of the ferocity that ensues can be avoided through free choice arrangements that, in effect, eliminate monopoly control. If we move in this direction, difficult "minimum standard" regulation problems will almost certainly arise and they must be anticipated. No arrangement meets every need, and a good deal of change is primarily to be justified on grounds that certain systems need change for its own sake. (Small school districts, controlled by locally elected boards may be just the thing for New York City. However, in Phoenix, Arizona, where they have just that, consolida- tion and centralization would appear to be the desire of educational reformers.) But either way, a measure of market competition can surely improve the provision of public services, much as it has proved an efficient way to obtain various public paraphenalia, from bolt-action rifles to lunar landing vehicles. Here, as elsewhere, it is essential to pursue and to identify the hidden urban policies of government. These are nowhere more central to the issue than in the matter of incentives. Thus for better than half a century now, city governments with the encouragement of state and federal authorities have been seeking to direct urban investment and development in accordance with principles embodied in zoning codes, and not infrequently in accord with precise city plans. However, during this same time the tax laws have provided the utmost incentive to pursue just the opposite objectives of those incorporated in the codes and the plans. It has, for example, been estimated that returns from land speculation based on zoning code changes on the average incur half the tax load of returns from investment in physical improvements. Inevitably, energy and capital have diverted away from pursuing the plan, toward sub- verting it. It little avails for government to deplore the evasion of its purposes in such areas. Government has in fact established two sets of purposes and has provided vastly greater inducements to pursue the implicit rather than the avowed ones. Until public authorities, and the public itself, learn to be much more alert to these situations, and far more open in discussing and managing them, we must expect the present pattern of self-defeating contradictions to continue. 9. The federal government must provide more and better information concerning urban affairs and should sponsor extensive and sustained research into urban problems. Much of the social progress of recent years derives from the increasing quality and quantity of government- generated statistics and government-supported research. However, there is general agreement that the time is at hand when a general consolidation is in order, bringing a measure of symmetry to the now widely dispersed (and somewhat uneven) data-collecting and research-supporting activities of the federal government. Such consolidation should not be limited to urban problems, but it must surely include attention to urban questions. The federal government should, in particular, recognize that most of the issues that appear most critical just now do so in large measure because they are so little understood. This is perhaps especially so with respect to issues of minority group education, but generally applies to all the truly difficult and elusive issues of the moment. More and better inquiry is called for. In particular, the federal government must begin to sponsor longitudinal research designed to follow individual and communal development over long periods of time. It should also consider providing demographic and economic projections for political subdivisions as a routine service, much as the weather and the economy are forecast. (Thus, Karl Taueber has shown how seemingly unrelated policies of local governments can increase the degree of racial and economic differentiation between political jurisdictions, especially between central cities and suburbs.) Similarly, the extraordinary inquiry into the educa- tional system begun by the U.S. Office of Education under the direction of James S. Coleman should somehow be established on an ongoing basis. It is now perfectly clear that little is known about the processes whereby publicly provided resources affect educational outcomes. The great mass of those involved in education and of that portion of the public that interests itself in educational matters continue undisturbed in the old beliefs. But the bases of their beliefs are already thoroughly undermined and the whole structure is likely to collapse in a panic of disillusion and despair unless something like new knowledge is developed to replace the old. Here again, longitudinal inquiries are essential. And here also, it should be insisted that however little the new understandings may have diffused beyond the academic research centers in which they originated, the American public is accustomed to the idea that understandings do change, and, especially in the field of education, is quite open to experimentation and innovation. Much of the methodology of social science originated in clinical psychology, and perhaps for that reason tends to be deficiency-oriented. Social scientists raise social prob- lems, the study of which can become a social problem in its own right if it is never balanced by the identification and analysis of social successes. We are not an unsuccessful 16

country. To the contrary, few societies work as hard at their problems, solve as many, and in the process stumble on more unexpected and fulsome opportunities. The cry of the decent householder who asks why the profession (and the news media that increasingly follow the profession) must be ever preoccupied with juvenile delinquency and never with "juvenile decency" deserves to be heard. Social science like medical science has been preoccupied with pathology, with pain. A measure of inquiry into the sources of health and pleasure is overdue and is properly a subject of federal support. 10. The federal government, by its own example, and by incentives, should seek the development of a far heightened sense of the finite resources of the natural environment, and the fundamental importance of aesthetics in successful urban growth. The process of "uglification" may first have developed in Europe, but as with much else, the technological breakthroughs have taken place in the United States. American cities have grown to be as ugly as they are, not as a consequence of the failure of design, so much as of the success of a certain interaction of economic, technological, and cultural forces. It is economically efficient to exploit the natural resources of land and air and water by technological means that the culture does not reject, albeit that the result is an increasingly despoiled, debilitated, and now even dangerous urban environment. It is not clear how this is to change, and so the matter that the twenty-second century, say, will almost certainly see as having been the primary urban issue of the twentieth century is ranked last in the public priorities of the moment. But there are signs that the culture is changing, that the frontier sense of a natural environment of unlimited resources, all but impervious to human harm, is being replaced by an acute awareness that serious, possibly irreparable harm is being done to the environment, and that somehow the process must be reversed. This could lead to a new nonexploitive technology, and thence to a new structure of economic incentives. The federal establishment is showing signs that this cultural change is affecting its actions, and so do state and city governments. But the process needs to be raised to the level of a conscious pursuit of policy. The quality of the urban environment, a measure deriving from a humane and understanding use of the natural resources, together with the creative use of design in architecture and in the distribution of activities and people must become a proclaimed concern of government. And here the federal government can lead. It must seek out its hidden policies. (The design of public housing projects, for example, surely has had the consequence of manipulating the lives of those who inhabit them. By and large the federal government set the conditions that have determined the disastrous designs of the past two decades. It is thus responsible for the results and should force itself to realize that.) And it must be acutely aware of the force of its own example. If scientists (as we are told) in the Manhattan Project were prepared to dismiss the problem of long-lived radioactive wastes as one that could be solved merely by ocean dumping, there are few grounds for amazement that business executives in Detroit for so long manufactured automobiles that emitted poison gases into the atmosphere. Both patterns of decision evolved from the primacy of economic concerns in the context of the exploitation of the natural environment in ways the culture did not forbid. There are, however, increasing signs that we are beginning to change in this respect. We may before long evolve into a society in which the understanding of and concern about environmental pollution, and the general uglification of American life, will be both culturally vibrant and politically potent. Social peace is a primary objective of social policy. To the extent that this derives from a shared sense of the value and significance of the public places and aesthetic value of the city, the federal government has a direct interest in encouraging such qualities. Daniel J. Elazar has observed that although Americans have been willing to become urbanized, they have adamantly resisted becoming citified. Yet a measure of this process is needed. There are not half a dozen cities in America whose disappearance would, apart from the inconvenience, cause any real regret. But to lose one of those half-dozen would plunge much of the nation and almost all the immediate inhabitants into genuine grief. Something of value in our lives would have been lost, and we would know it. The difference between those cities that would be missed and those that would not be resides fundamentally in the combination of architectural beauty, social amenity, and cultural vigor that so sets them apart. It has ever been such. To create such a city and to preserve it was the great ideal of the Greek civilization, and it may yet become ours as we step back ever so cautiously from the worship of the nation state with its barbarous modernity and impotent might. We might well consider the claims for a different life asserted in the oath of the Athenian city-state: We will ever strive for the ideals and sacred things of the city, both alone and with many; We will unceasingly seek to quicken the sense of public duty; We will revere and obey the city's laws; We will transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was trans- mitted to us. 17

DISCUSSION QUESTION: In point 3 and in point 5, you indicated that the funds should "pass through" the states. Would you explain a little more why that should be? ANSWER: We designed a relatively simple formula based primarily on population. The "pass through," which is mandatory to the state, is an addition to a local tax effort, so that those localities, general government localities, that have made an effort to tax their own people for their own needs will indeed be rewarded. We are not trying to pass money on to the states and the cities so that they, in turn, can stop spending their own tax revenues. The purpose of the mandatory "pass through," though, I think, is basically one of simplicity. QUESTION: I wonder whether, in the process of suggesting that monies go to the states instead of directly to urban areas, there had been any provision made for urban interests to compete for those funds once they are made available at the state level. It would be very hard for the urban poor to compete for such money, because on the state level they are powerless. What provision would there be for them to compete for those funds? ANSWER: In the revenue sharing proposal, which is our basic proposal to date, there can be no competition of the type you suggest. It is a mandatory business. A city, based on its population and the amount of money it in turn contributes to the tax base, gets a certain amount of money. Does that answer your question? QUESTION: No. Some people are sympathetic to bypassing the state with federal funds so that local interest groups within the urban context can more effectively compete on the state level for funds. If you bypass the state and go directly to urban interest groups, then their chance of getting funds is certainly a lot better. ANSWER: We would expect the states to obey the laws of the nation. This question comes up primarily with regard to segregationist policies of certain states. They have to accept the provisions of the federal program and they don't have an option to accept one thing and not accept another, and so we try to protect the federal law and interest. It might be possible, of course, for a state to feel so strongly about the policy that it would not choose to buy into our welfare program, for example, but we base it on the principle of self-interest. We made it, we think, to the state's advantage economically to buy into the program and to accept our guidelines. I think we have to do it issue by issue and protect those interests. QUESTION: How does the Office of Science and Technology or the science policy effort of the Administra- tion participate or play a role in your efforts toward a national urban policy here? ANSWER: Dr. DuBridge of course, the Science Adviser to the President and the head of the Office of Science and Technology, is regularly a participant in our urban affairs councils. The President has created under Dr. DuBridge a Council on Environmental Quality. We regularly attend those meetings, and we work jointly on certain projects. So they are part of the same family and we work very closely together. QUESTION: A keypoint was referred to near the end of number 7: our lack of understanding of urban phenom- ena. Would you care to discuss what sorts of activities and institutional reforms you might be thinking about to gain a better understanding of urban phenomena? ANSWER: One thing, which the President proposed during the campaign, is an institute on the educational future, similar, I guess you would say, to our institutes on national health, mental health, and so forth. Our research in this field is generally contracted out and generally in response to a proposal that comes from within. It therefore has some great gaps, and usually has a low budget priority. Congress cut very heavily into the funds for educa- tional and experimental research. So we have been doing a great deal of talking about that with the President, and I think there is a possibility of some specific proposal sometime in the future. We have done some structural things in this area. For example, in our reorganization of OEO, we very clearly cut off the advocacy function from the evaluation function as it existed when the President came into office. The same people running the programs were evaluating the programs. They were looking over their own shoulders. We have now separated that and have put the evaluation people in another place. I think that is an improvement. As another example, in the field of international exploration of these issues, we have had a conference with the English, and another one will be held next week, to discuss the evaluation of social action programs. We are giving considerable thought to the improve- ment and revision of federal statistical systems. It is not a dramatic field, and so it does not often make the papers, but there are a great many of these problems bubbling up in various branches of the government now. QUESTION: You mentioned two directions for national policy. One is to revitalize locally based com- munity action in urban affairs, and the second is to 18

revitalize the state role. Is this not perhaps a contradiction in goals? I speak in particular of a group in Boston called ABCD, which stands for Action for Boston Community Development and they have been quite hurt by the cut in federal aid because of the shift in responsibilities for welfare programs in the city to the state. The ABCD group has been particularly successful, because each office is located in a particular community where the aid is needed, so that personnel are very accessible to the people needing the aid, and the personnel themselves rise out of these groups and help the people in the community where they live. Do you think this aid will make the communities less successful? ANSWER: I am familiar with that program in Boston. It is one of the best community action programs in the United States. Not all by any means are that successful. OEO Director Don Rumsfeld, through the regional office, is assessing the programs and agencies to weed out the weaker and more ineffective programs, which will in turn strengthen those that have done a superb job, such as the one in Boston. I did put primary emphasis on elective officials, and not specifically any contradiction in terms on the para- governments, which I would consider community action agencies, at least in those cases then where they have not accepted the Green Amendment and worked in with the Mayor. I think the intent of what the President calls the New Federalism is to return power to the states and localities. Some federal programs are clearly more manageable by the mayors than by the governors. The Model Cities program is primarily a mayor's program, as is the Summer Youth program. I think there could be closer cooperation, but I am not proposing to replace the mayor or most local elected officials with the state officials. My point was really more to get the states, which have been often remiss in this, more actively involved in it. CHAIRMAN: We have to cut off the discussion at this point. I will exercise, if I may, the Chairman's prerogative of trying to synthesize what I think I have heard in several of these questions. A recurring expression of concern is heard about the problems of whether and from what source the municipal, the state, or the federal government is going to get the clout to do what is necessary to be done to solve the problems of population growth and urban sprawl and urban deterioration. One possible answer is that it is not going to be solved by any single one nor by any one that is better than the other. We have as a governmental philosophy that the closer our government can be to the people, the more responsive it will be to the people. I suggest that the speaker may be stressing that at every level of government there has to be a heightening of interest-a willingness to really get with it-in devising, with the people, the kinds of programs and the involvement of capabilities that will bring about the best solutions. You can ask me what are the best solutions, and I can simply say, "Those that will produce the kind of a life we would all like to live." 19

TECHNOLOGY IN MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS J. Erik Jonsson It is a great honor and responsibility to be asked to share with this distinguished body of professional men of signal accomplishments some thoughts and ideas that may help to shape pragmatic approaches to solutions of our cities' problems. The scope of the Academy's organization for this as well as the wide-ranging multifaceted work it has already begun is impressive, showing meaningful insight into technological needs. I have little doubt that the sum of these endeavors-this symposium for identification of specific factors that may aid or inhibit engineers' contribu- tions to solutions of urban problems and your continuing efforts-will succeed. We have been alerted to crises by such highly audible and visible symptoms of the ailing city as considering it to be a place assailed by crescendos of demands, threats, violence; a place abandoned at the ballot box by its most qualified citizens, spurned by taxpayers wearied of the heavy loads imposed by higher ranking governments; a place deserted for suburbia by its most able educated men and women; a place that spawns crime and harbors criminals; a place where the politically ambitious with little knowledge of management of complex affairs or of technology gain their training and experience for higher posts from self-seeking ward politicians whose entire philosophies are expressed in terms of quid pro quo; a place throttled by apathy, indifference, and inattention of others. Lacking are those willing to lead by molding public opinion—not merely to respond to it. At least we are stimulated now to undertake a thorough study of urbanization in general and, hopefully, as individuals, of our own cities in particular. By these means we begin to fabricate the "team attack" on the cities' ills about which there is so much talk. We begin also to fashion an improved collective understanding of the city essential both to motivate and enable us to maintain there that which is good and improve that which is not. Only with thorough understanding can we bequeath even tolerable environments and the know-how to create new ones to future generations of our exponentially increasing population. This creation they will have to do as inevitably as they must renew what we leave behind. As a "big city mayor" for nearly six years, I have grown accustomed but not adjusted to the feeling of running uphill at top speed on a treadmill. The Academy's interest and concern, especially if it is as urgent as I sense it to be, suggests that such adjustment may be avoided altogether. In our time, scientists, engineers, and their colleagues, with the support of our productive energies, have brought us to the virtual conquest of drudgery, disease, pestilence, and many seeming vagaries of nature. Lately such persons, among whom you are distinguished, have assured us a "giant step forward" in the everlasting search to understand the universe. It is reassuring to have your attention and competence turned to the cities. Who is better able than scientists and engineers to devise new means to gain basic understanding and consequently make improvements to our way of life? None are better equipped to bring analysis, synthesis, order, and discipline into the stream rather than bemoaning the long-standing serious, complex, and difficult urban problems as terrifying or unsolvable. Solvable they are, but not with pat, simple, overnight solutions. The time to solve them is uncom- fortably short, but it is adequate. If we can understand what must be done, we are well on our way; halfway, one of my teachers used to say. The degree to which we skillfully and satisfactorily solve the problems of the ugly, decaying, spreading urban mess will depend on the degree to which, as realists, we see things as they are, and as we take exceeding care to accommodate the nature of man in our solutions. If the engineer is truly to contribute to the solution of urban problems (not just create more new technology that may but serve to compound the present state of affairs), he must understand the city and its setting with the greatest possible sensitivity to its human factors and the interaction of these with the physical. Frequently civic-minded doctors, lawyers, ministers, engineers, businessmen-people of like and unlike persua- sions-say to me: "What can I do to help solve Dallas' problems?" Most often, my answer is: "The best thing you 20

can do is to give of yourself; you can't hire someone to do what is needed of you. As to your resources, you and you only know what you and your institutions possess that may be brought to bear. I can give you an overview of the problems, perhaps thereby to reveal the barriers to solu- tions and, therefore, a means to determine how we may join forces to prescribe for them." It is this kind of approach that 1 propose to you now. Our overview should begin with the fundamental fact that cities are built by people to serve people. As we might expect, cities clearly reflect the strengths, the weaknesses, the characteristics of those who built them and those who inhabit them; the resources at their command; their collective energy; their initiative and "will to preserve, protect, and defend." Time, that slippery and elusive fluid, enters into our overview as well. Sometimes we marvel at the foresight and grasp of future needs displayed by ancient and living men alike. More often we are aghast at the short-term characteristics of their insights. Never to be forgotten is the caution in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: "There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood leads on to fortune; omitted all the voyage of their lives is bound in shadows and miseries." Only those who design their cities and institutions with utmost creativity, build them with quality and integrity uncompromised, and maintain them with skill and devotion can understand and take the tide at flood. No city can be viewed as a complete and independent entity standing alone. Its environment may be as vital as iis other resources. External forces of various kinds and magnitudes from near and far operate upon it. Often these forces, over which a city can exercise little or no control, may exert more influence on its future and its ultimate fate than those that are applied within its confines. The forces can be physical as in the case of weather and climate. They can be economic, as when a protracted strike or external competition destroys an essential business or industry vital to the community. They can be legal, as when an inhibitory law limits growth and development. There are other aspects of the overview. Because telecommunications brings instant knowledge of remote events, goals and plans may be made immediately obsolete by happenings literally half a world away. Because air transport brings the rest of the world within reach of the ordinary man's pocketbook and his newly available leisure time, travel to distant lands becomes commonplace. A few of the barriers to amity and accommodation between people are broken down, a few new ones are raised. Linkages, new alliances, in commerce and travel, heretofore impossible, are forged and expanded in scope and speed almost beyond credibility. Thus-with the great mobility of men, raw material, products, and services readily achieved-new opportunities, new competition, and new problems multiply; new per- plexities and new crises occur to bedevil men in the smallest and remotest places. In the great cities, the centers of trade and travel, already overflowing with 70 percent of our population on less than 2 percent of our land, the influx of new residents from afar, domestic or foreign, appears almost cataclysmic. Technology created and constantly pushed forward by scientists and engineers, numbering in our country less than 1.5 percent of our 203 million people, has brought the greatest migration to the cities that is recorded in all history. Our new mobility is employed to an extraordinary degree, but with it, we seem unable to fashion a sense of community. Sometimes a horde of people will desert a city all at once. At other times a tidal wave of new residents moves in to enjoy what they consider to be a more favorable environment or opportunity. Most of the migrants have not been prepared for life in densely packed environments. They were no more ready for the cities than the cities were for them. Bringing little education and few skills to the metropolis, they tend to huddle in rapidly growing clusters in aging housing vacated by former residents who had deserted to more pleasant vistas in distant suburbs. Bewildered and helpless, these new ones never identify with the city. Finding little demand for their raw muscle power, many soon resort to any means they can discover and employ for survival. Welfare is the common life-preserver for most; crime the end point of many. Officials of local governments experience an unparal- leled dwindling of the taxable values and income to support increasing costs for serving the growing numbers. Cancerous slums spread; the better equipped and better financed citizens who might assist in meeting and dealing with these problems flee from them in increasing numbers. As suburbs multiply, so do duplication and overlapping of taxing units-wasting resources, introducing conflicts of interest. Thus we see the dynamics of a city as one of its most dominant characteristics in our time. Almost nothing about it is static, for even decay can have dynamic effects. Buildings constructed for half a century of use become obsolete and are removed because of a shift in technology or diminished economic justification. Major fractions of central city cores are bulldozed and rebuilt, but the slums don't disappear. They simply become vertical. The neighborhood as we knew it in earlier times does disappear, and with it the closeness of neighbors to each other in their feelings about common aims and concerns- their empathy. Neither slum dweller nor suburbanite returns to his old way of life. Their former habits and customs, their days, become more and more compart- mentalized, less involved with those close by. 21

For most city denizens, a house or an apartment is a home no longer. It is simply a shelter, a defense against a hostile world, a meeting place for the family to become reacquainted briefly between sorties and safaris whose aims are to achieve more living in less time. Inevitably it results in just the opposite. To be worth living in, a city should do better than that for its people, and the people should do better for their city. It should be a pleasant, gracious place reflecting its natural surroundings or improving upon them, to be viewed not as a destroyer of Mother Nature and all her laws and tenets, but as if "it grew there," part of the land itself. A city's resources should be used as effectively as possible while providing a balance of freedom and opportu- nities for its individuals and institutions to maximize their potential in their efforts to satisfy their needs and reach their goals. In meeting these requirements, the larger and older cities of America are failing absymally. So completely do they miss their targets that many believe they must be abandoned and new cities built to replace them. Such profligacy we cannot afford. Affluent though we may be, we must do the rebuilding jobs that face us in such multiple and disheartening arrays, and do them well and in timely fashion. This is not to say that whole new cities should not and will not be built. Quite the contrary is true, and here we shall have fresh, new requirements for such settlements. They must be designed with flexibility and adaptability to changing conditions; to make highly salvageable our precious store of materials and the labor invested in their application; and so that relationships of various com- ponents and strata of facilities may be changed and moved without need for bulldozing and consequent loss of their great intrinsic values. If thing get out of balance, it must be possible to readjust and rebalance while there is time. The main thrust of our efforts, however, must come in rebuilding and restoring our old and aging cities. To succeed we must first understand what the finished product should be like, what people who live there need and desire; their characteristics and their conditions; their many and in- volved relationships to each other and to educational and social facilities; to employment; to housing; to shops; to transportation; and a thousand things more. I believe we should take into account how people change with time, how their goals shift, how plans change, how they adapt. The young man of 1930 hoped for a steady job-any job-security through savings or a modest retirement pension. Not today! His present aims are nearly without limit and will increase much more with each succeeding decade. Thus the end result of our urban design must reasonably approach the flexibility and quality of the newer cities or new mass migrations could result. Failure could lead to continued trauma, to fatal explosion. So far I have tried to convey that the cities with which I am most familiar are largely products of haphazard, random growth and development. There is little con- sistency, coordination, mutual sharing or pooling of resources, and unified attach on problems among in- dividuals, institutions, and governments. Some entities are obviously close to peril points; failing to adjust and adapt to our new times, they seem close to the end of the road. Let's see if we can draw attention to a few characteristics of our patients that might suggest some constructive help to be rendered. 1. Systems as they exist in the cities were developed largely by empirical methods to render simple services to a less complicated society. They were responses to some developing needs, not anticipations of all of those needs. Connections between fragmental subsystems were lacking or imperfect. 2. Few communities possess rational goal setting and planning endeavors. Here engineers with their systems approaches might really lend a hand if they became involved. 3. Interaction between various facets of the society wasn't sufficiently understood; it still isn't. Here we need a great deal of work; creating systems more nearly total and better interconnected will enlarge and complicate the problems but will 'lend hope for better comprehension of interactions through simulation and other studies. Inter- action among housing, jobs, and transportation, for example, are urgently in need of critical examination, and I feel certain that Dr. Forrester, author of the new book Urban Dynamics, will bring much light to that subject later. I readily assent to his view that our intuitive solutions for such pressing urban problems have been wrong almost always; we might have done better to listen for intuitive promptings than to proceed in just the opposite manner. The interactions of humans with each other and with the mechanical devices of our society are something else. It is here, I believe, that we need explorations beyond any I have heard about. 4. Merging of governmental and taxing bodies is one of the real needs in most parts of the country. Bureaucratic vested interests, false civic pride, and fears of individuals and institutions that they would lose control of some share of empire make everything difficult. Where merging can't be accomplished, perhaps sharing facilities by contract might. The small units are in danger because they simply can't furnish the many services now called for by their citizens, nor can they afford to buy the tools they must buy to make acceptable progress. The world has passed them by. 5. Gties get about 15 percent of the tax dollar, the 22

federal government about 67 percent. How can they render more and more service with ad valorem taxes on property as the only reliable base? 6. Citizens scream about the cost of government, but don't bother to vote. Will they ever wake up? Much more neglect, apathy, indifference, and they will have completed the job of letting local government fall into obsolescence and decay. The cost of restoration may be prohibitive, the end result further centralization of power in the federal government, less freedom where it counts-at the local level, where the individuals are. 7. When graft or corruption is present, people are apt to shrug and say, "That's politics for you." It is if we are lax enough to permit it. Laissez-faire in such matters is the reason why the Mafia could preempt certain businesses (laundry, trucking) and services (garbage collection) in our larger centers. Permissiveness, lack of interest, and failure of local government to do its job well allowed the intruders to get started, then get a stranglehold. 8. The heart of organized crime is income from gambling, loan-sharking, prostitution, and dope. The answer is largely a matter of law enforcement. There can be no permissiveness. In some way the cost of control of crime must be accepted and paid. 9. The Census Bureau gives us a population figure of 203 million; 46 percent of these are under 25 years of age; 23.6 million, or 11.6 percent of the population, are between 18 and 24. Their voices will be heard. It is their future they're thinking about and they don't see much in it. They just may know something! 10. Racism isn't being resolved by integration, nor is segregation getting anywhere. The best long-range answer seems to lie in education, but means must be found to get along until that can be accomplished. 11. Inflation and Vietnam take the money and manpower we could apply to local needs. At some point we must make up our minds what we intend to do about belt-tightening and peace. Now, from the eleven areas listed, I haven't thrown much light on jobs engineers can tackle. Nevertheless there are delineated in these subjects some first-class inhibitors. It's easy to produce more. If they're not all for the engineer to solve with his slide rule, they are something the engineer must face as a citizen, a man, a humanist. I see as much need for him in politics as in his normal pursuits. Isn't it his life, his family, his contribution to society that go down the drain if we don't solve our urban problems? Why are lawyers almost the only professional men to be found in local politics? Aristotle said: "Lack of experience diminishes our power of taking a comprehensive view." It is urgent to become involved at the local level, for if one is indeed searching for the pragmatic solutions, how else but in this way can he know, with certainty, what will work? We who are in local politics aren't just holding fingers in the dike; we're submerged to the neck. Six good experienced mayors of big cities quit in the last year because they were worn out, tired of taking a beating for people who didn't care, abused them, underpaid them, and turned their backs to what was going on. Priceless ex- perience was lost and will be difficult to regain. I try to accomplish what my alma mater, Rensselaer, is attempting to train its students to do, namely, to sort out from "what can be done" those things that "ought to be done"-and to do it. Some experiences may explain the emotional inhibitors through questions they raise. Now I'd like you to imagine yourself in my shoes as a mayor for the moment, and I'll attempt to make you feel the job as I do. Suppose you knew that a hundred people in your city would be murdered next year; another hundred would be killed in traffic. You haven't money enough for sufficient tools and men to do what you know can be done to cut these slayings way down. Which would you push? Are you sure? One person tells you he wants more police protection, more law enforcement; and he's willing to pay the necessary taxes to get the job done. The same day a widow on a small pension and Social Security writes: "If you increase taxes, I'll lose the home my husband and I saved for all our lives. Please, Mr. Mayor, don't let them increase my taxes!" What would you do? You see hundreds of children rush from a school in a slum, but there's no place to play. Parents are working or absent. You know the kids will grow up in the streets, unsupervised; most are unwanted and unloved. Do you think they'll mature as fine citizens, as disciples of the American way? You have a code enforcement program to keep housing safe-with tolerances for inadequate wiring, plumbing, and hazards to life. You red tag a house that is unsafe in these and other ways; you know a carelessly dropped cigarette could burn half a dozen people to death. On freezing nights, would you turn out people who sneaked into such a house for shelter, perhaps to acquire pneumonia, or would you let them risk being burned to death? A rich parent tells you to arrest his teenage son who's taking dope. He says he can't handle the boy; he's through. Do you put him in jail with hardened criminals? There's no place to treat him as a sick person. What do you do? You observe that squad cars are bringing in many children, from 3 to 12 years of age. You ask what offense they could possibly have committed so evil as to require arrest. The porter explains what you are not quick enough 23

to sense: "Mr. Mayor, they are abandoned children." Dear God, how could a parent leave a child to his fate that way? Well, there it is. There are no set hours on the job-just all you have-and there are quite a few vacancies. You'll shed a few tears for your country and a lot more for the humans you should be able to give a hand up, but can't. You'll wish you were more able, but will find you're just one guy, and pretty lonesome up there. There's not much fun, but you'll get a few laughs, mostly at yourself. You'll see your family now and then, and they'll see you, but mostly on TV. Your heart, you will learn, can take more than you thought. You'll talk to some widows of policemen shot in the line of duty, perhaps you'll see a fireman you knew was a fine person brought out of a blazing building on a stretcher, covered. He has fought his last fire; he left some kids, a widow, a small pension. The phone will wake you at 3 A.M., and a drunk you never heard of will ask you to get him out of jail. You'll try, you'll try; but you're never good enough. The days never have enough hours. You'll be tired, frustrated, angry. You'll find how easy it is to make someone hate you, how difficult to win a following, one you must have to do what must be done. Is it worth it? You bet! It's something those young and old who can't fight abroad for their country can do at home to keep home worth fighting for. It is imperative that all of us experience this shattering side of the lives of the city's poor and forgotten, particu- larly the children. No computer can know it; no system is yet able to cope with it. Perhaps if we gain the humbleness and humility we need, we can see more clearly what can be, what ought to be done. Can't we learn to capitalize on Nature's assets, so richly bestowed, without destroying them wholly or in part? Can't we find a way to live in peace and harmony with our follow men on this fast-shrinking little planet? Can't we slow our relentless pursuit of difficult goals long enough to determine their worth, readjust if we must? Can we imagine richer lives for ourselves, more worthy or desirable heritages to leave behind than to know that in our time we have done all that our knowledge and power made possible? I doubt it. DISCUSSION QUESTION: These community goals are com- mendable. Do they affect the building codes that so often allow the speculative builder who builds for profit, and not, as you say, people who build to serve people? As we all know, the economic power of the speculator enables him to bend codes and do almost anything in the city that he wishes, not always in concert with the community's needs. ANSWER: As you probably know, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has a program in which it is proposing to help the cities aggregate the locations and then have housing produced in the mass by manufacturers. I think it is a great idea. But it begins to get into trouble because many of the locations are picked because the land is vacant, or because you need a little housing today in an area where next month or next year it won't be needed at all or wanted. You may be creating housing in the wrong place in the wrong way, and yet something must be done. The need for the housing is desperate. Secretary Romney is trying to get the cities to change these building codes and zoning regulations so that you can do a better job of this. Believe me, changing building codes will be fought by vested interests all over the lot. And as for changing zoning regulations, some cities have them and some don't. Houston has none, Dallas has many. We have spent two years changing every zoning regulation we had in order to try to improve it. With two years of intensive effort by dedicated people, we still have not found out how to avoid the perpetuation of bad slums. When you get into civic affairs, be durable, stay with it, and change these codes as much as you can. In our case, we are trying to get them changed right now in ten counties through a ten-county council of governments that we created, because we knew it would do no good to try to change them in one place. If we are successful, we believe it will be possible to build better housing for less and do it quickly. QUESTION: Do you see more of a need for us as engineers for our technical capability, or a need for us as human beings? ANSWER: I see a great need for both. What little systems there are in the city halls of America were not designed by today's engineers using advanced technologies. In my case, for example, I am just getting at the use of the computer in combatting crime because it is the first time we have really had enough budget to do it. And so it is a constant fight with the art of the possible. I would say we need you on the whole much more as concerned citizens. You take a part in seeing that it is done well, whatever the subject matter is. QUESTION: Have you enlisted the efforts of engi- neers and scientists in Dallas, and for what specific purposes? ANSWER: We have a quaint old custom in Dallas, 24

which is how I happened to get into politics. You have a committee call on you and tell you you have volunteered. We do this to them! The average corporation is a good corporate citizen and wants to help, but they won't if you don't let them know that you need them. Once you inform them of that, they will help. For example, let me tell you what my own corpora- tion did in the last year. We took about 35 people out of City Hall in responsible positions of management and we offered to teach them the techniques of goal setting and planning that Texas Instruments has. We have a tremendous response from the city em- ployees to this. They were really going back to school. But in the average city, you find no provision for paying for advanced education, no provision for paying for continuing education. In fact, there is very little in our civil system to help a man become better. These limitations to progress through additional training are frustrating and, at times, discouraging. In the meantime, however, there are things to do. Ask people to help you. Most of them will, if they know you need help. They are good people, and the corporations have so many assets that are idle so much of the time that when they don't need them, they will lend you some. They will even lend you computer time, and they will pay for it. But you must ask. QUESTION: I would like to ask you to comment on how you are developing research and development pro- grams within your community in solving pollution prob- lems, particularly water pollution, because we want water in Houston. ANSWER: You have hit on one of the outside forces that the local community really can't do much with. Here is something the engineers can get a handle on. For example, the urgent problem of picking up garbage, brush, and bushes in areas where there are lots of trees, grass clippings, bottles, and all the other junk that people throw out. It is awful to look at a machine that is put out by a commercial outfit that possibly has not been improved since a year later than Adam. There is no competition worth mentioning, so nobody thinks about it much, and they compress the stuff and cart it off. It is about the same way it was when I was a boy. That solution isn't any good. We need engineers, and we don't have the funds to get them. I think the federal government should help. I would suggest that one way to find out more about this is to go back to your own community and make your city people bring you the ways they think the engineers can get into the act. They won't like you for that, not one bit. You know, if you can use the status quo, you solve most of the politician's problems. He does not figure to be there long. He is either using his office for a stepping stone, or he has decided to get out while he is alive. When you propose something like this, go in prepared to make it stick, and don't think politicians are not sensitive to letters, phone calls, or a glaring eye! 25

A WILDERNESS OF MIRRORS Martin Goland The perspectives of history tell us that the city came into being in response to deep-seated human needs. Contrary to first impressions, the city is not a product of technology, although it is true that the frustrations of modern technology bear their bitterest fruits in the city. Lewis Mumford, in his treatise on the history of the city,* points out that the early wanderers first established fixed meeting places to do homage to their dead. In his words: "The city of the dead antedates the city of the living." Gradually, over the ages, the city evolved to its present form. Communal cave dwellings gave way to agricultural villages; religious shrines were joined by commercial centers; and an emerging industrial society accelerated the growth of today's metropolis. Increasingly, by virtue of its size and complexity, the city came to depend on tech- nology to accomplish its vital functions. As a closed loop, technology made it possible for the city to grow, and the development of urban society in turn encouraged the advance of technology. Recent events cause one to wonder whether the feedback loop involving the city and technology is in danger of becoming unstable; some would contend it has already reached that state. In such discussions, even deeper and more profound philosophical questions intrude. Octavio Paz, the Mexican poet and philosopher, appraises North American society in these words: In the United States man ... has built his own world and it is built in his own image: it is his mirror. But now he cannot recognize himself in his inhuman objects, nor in his fellows. His creations, like those of an inept sorcerer, no longer obey him. He is alone among his works, lost-to use the phrase by Jose1 Gorostiza-in a "wilderness of mirrors."t To the engineer at work on urban projects, the city does seem to be a wilderness of mirrors. Technical feasibility interacts with social pressures, with politics, and •Lewis Mumford, The City in History, Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., New York, 1961. t Octavio Paz, The Labyrinth of Solitude: Life and Thought in Mexico, Grove Press, Inc., New York, 1961. with the peculiar economics of government to defeat the emergence of a seemingly consistent set of working objectives. By training, the engineer is remarkably well equipped to seek the best course of action among various alternatives that satisfy a visible end point. In the case of the city, however, the crux of the issue is usually the setting of wise goals, rather than in choosing the manner of achieving them. Pressure groups have conflicting interests. Urban mechanisms are poorly understood, and it may well be that a dependable theory of the city is still beyond our grasp, even in principle. Learning how to participate meaningfully in the process of goal-setting is the new dimension that the city engineer must include in his professional horizon. There iS much talk these days about the attitudes of engineers, and whether training as an engineer leads to personality traits that are unduly conservative and in- flexible. Generalizations regarding so large a group of individuals are, of course, superficial and meaningless. We have our introverts and extroverts, our men of ideas and those with narrow vision, our broad humanitarians and those who cannot see beyond the machine. Nevertheless, some observations are in order as to who speaks for engineering in urban affairs. In our form of government, public issues are resolved through the interplay of pressure groups. The climate for decision is one of conflict-hopefully, constructive conflict. It must be admitted that certain characteristics of the engineering profession tend to reduce the effectiveness of the engineer's voice in such an environment. To begin with, the engineer is professionally com- mitted to the realizable. From his earliest training, he is indoctrinated with the philosophy that the element of compromise, between what is most desirable and what is possible, is ever present in engineering decisions. Does this account in part for the conservative attitudes of most engineers-for the preference to extrapolate from the present, rather than seize on the bold new innovation? The team nature of engineering projects also in- fluences the engineer's outlook. Few of today's engineers 26

can claim a project for their own; rather, advances are born from the cooperative efforts of groups of specialists. Valuable as this approach is, it tends to diffuse the impact of the individual voice and the strong personality. The team concept is further enforced by the corporate environment in which most engineers work. Corporate careers are not enhanced by participation in public debate, particularly when political overtones are present. These factors, it seems to me, account for the circumstance that relatively few engineers choose public careers. Even as private citizens, they seldom seek the crusader's role, preferring to avoid the limelight and work with the available facts in a more considered and deliberate fashion. Does this mean that engineering attitudes and pro- fessional philosophies need recasting in the future? To some extent, the answer is probably yes, in order that the engineering viewpoint be enhanced by a greater political forcefulness and public impact. We should not be un- reservedly proud that engineering students are taking so small a part in today's liberal campus movements. No socially responsible person can condone the destructive and negative antics of the extremist student dissenters, but the positive side of the coin is the sincere searching by many students for a heightened sense of social values during unsettled times-issues in which an activist engineering participation is increasingly important for the future. But if engineers do become more politically aggressive and more publicly vocal, this should not be the cause of a distorted engineering perspective. The engineer is a realist; his professional responsibility is to be a visionary in a real world. The problems of the city may be solvable through some grand plan, but it is more probable that there is no Utopian answer for the city-that its most optimistic future will continue to entail compromise, conflict, and an uneasy truce between new technology and older values. Engi- neering, in its ultimate definition, should make its contribu- tion in precisely such an environment. 27

Session II METHODOLOGIES W. Deming Lewis, Chairman

Next: METHODOLOGIES »
Engineer and the City: A Symposium Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering at Its Fifth Autumn Meeting, October 22-23, 1969 Get This Book
×
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF
  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!