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Consolidated List of Findings Thus far in the twentieth century, metropolitan communities have increased in scale and become more multicentered. Since the rapid growth of metropolitan areas in the United States has been accompanied by an even more rapid deconcentrating movement of population within metropolitan areas, there has been a general decline of urban densities. In the process of metropolitanization, there has been suburban selectivity of the higher socioeconomic groups. As multicentered metropolitan communities evolve, however, socioeconomic varia- tions among suburbs will probably be of increasing significance: different suburbs will draw disproportionately from different socio- economic classes. Construction of multiple-dwelling units in the suburbs has increased sharply. Hence, a corresponding broaden- ing in the stages of the family life cycle represented in the suburbs may be expected, including young adults and older couples as well as families with children. CONSOLIDATED LIST OF FINDINGS 133

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• The dispersion of population within metropolitan areas has been almost exclusively white, resulting in an increasing segregation of blacks in central cities. However, late in the 1960s there were indications that the outward movement of minorities was acceler- ating somewhat. There then began a trend of blacks, especially middle-class ones, moving from the central cities to the suburbs. • As metropolitan areas develop, there is a tendency for the jobs best suited for the labor force of the suburbs to remain concentrated in the central city, particularly the downtown central business district, while the jobs best suited to the type of labor force locked into the central city move to the suburbs. • With rising incomes, more education, and greater knowledge about the metropolitan environs, most metropolitan residents are able to benefit from the array of opportunities that exist beyond the actual destinations to which they customarily travel. The aged, the physically handicapped, and the poor, however, do suffer a depri- vation of access, for these are the predominant groups lacking use of automobiles, which are now necessary for metropolitan mobil- ity, particularly in low-density suburban districts. • The proliferation of governmental units in metropolitan areas and the development of urban services in suburban territory have con- tributed to acceleration of population scatter, as have certain fed- eral programs. • In view of the long-run tendency toward increasing size and com- plexity of metropolitan communities, the fragmentation of govern- ment results in disadvantages for the community as a whole. The movement of population to the suburbs and hence to separate political units has aggravated fiscal and social inequities within metropolitan areas. • It appears that residents who remain in the central city subsidize the suburban residents' use of public services. • The deconcentrating movement of urban populations and the diffusion of urban characteristics are not confined to metropolitan areas; they have extended into the adjacent rural territory to pro- duce there the country's highest growth rates. Ninety-five percent of the nation's population lives within the labor shed of metropoli- tan central cities. This labor shed may be delineated by the time 134 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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required to commute to major places of employment. The benefits of urban sprawl are distributed regressively with re- spect to wealth. While the advantages of lowered residential densi- ties have been obvious in the past (at least when nineteenth century densities are considered), the current net benefits may be negative. Sprawl appears to have outrun the ability of government to meet the requirements of urban settlements. Moreover, given the present structure of government, distortions in the distribution of costs and benefits are not readily correctable. There is reason to require more equitable sharing of costs, not only between the suburbs and the central city, but also among suburbs. There is also an argument for ending or modifying subsidies that have favored single-family, automobile-dependent, low-density suburbaniza- tion. The metropolitan experience is manifold. It offers a great range of opportunity in terms of both facilities and social contact. It substi- tutes translocal for local associations and interests. At present, the best evidence suggests that the metropolitan experi- ence involves an increase in the number and variety of impersonal (secondary) relationships and that the frequency and quality of personal and intimate (primary) relationships has remained virtu- ally unchanged. When socioeconomic and ethnic factors are taken into account, it is not clear that cities per se breed violence, though they do present more opportunity for property crimes and vice. There is evidence that pollution does cause some degree of biologi- cal damage. There is very little support, however, for the theory that city life impairs mental functioning in ways that can be termed psychiatric disorders. City-suburban differences in patterns of living, for example, differ- ences in community involvement and frequency of contact with neighbors, are almost entirely explained by socioeconomic differ- ences. The remaining differences are probably caused by self- selection; that is, those who already possess a certain characteristic elect to move to a location that attracts people of that type. The characteristic is not caused by the location. Many factors influence people's evaluations of their residential CONSOLIDATED LIST OF FINDINGS 135

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environments. This may help to explain why, although there is a tendency for higher levels of satisfaction to be associated with a higher degree of residential planning, no clear patterns of liked or disliked attributes are associated with different levels of planning. Moreover, studies of the quality of life indicate that residential satisfaction is partially based on assessments of such nonsite at- tributes as public schools, police-community relations, and local taxes. • Multivariate analysis shows that the links between objective and subjective measures of environmental attributes are substantial. The impact of environmental characteristics, as measured by ob- jective indicators, on residents' satisfaction with their neighbor- hoods is moderately strong, but other factors intervene. • People do not clearly differentiate between their micro- and mac- roneighborhoods. The characteristics of one are often confused with those of the other. • Lower residential densities, rising household incomes, increasing specialization, and a preponderant reliance on the automobile have contributed to the diminished importance of the more tradi- tional neighborhood, or microcommunity, pattern. • In the metropolitan context, the local neighborhood, or microcom- munity, has become relatively less significant as a locus of interac- tion and a force in personality formation. It survives principally as a means of control over the immediate physical environment and in that respect tends to operate as a unit only when it is threatened. Poor and minority neighborhoods are somewhat of an exception. In these neighborhoods, social interaction is more intense and community efforts are more concerned with obtaining responsive public services than with the exclusion of threats to the commu- nity. • A central problem in microcommunity control of the environment is the absence of any authoritative way in which residents can appeal to a single set of boundaries. • Although residents of microcommunities often share similar life styles, participation in neighborhood affairs is usually limited. There is instead a tendency to rely on professionals and formal organiza- tions for the discharge of community responsibilities. Microcom- 136 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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munity action is basically determined by communities of limited liability, that is, communities in which people invest their efforts and resources for achievable gains with the expectation that they can "pull out" on short notice. Attempts to increase the influence of the microcommunity in the wider community frequently have floundered because adversary relationships between community groups and public agencies have developed. Each metropolitan community is itself part of a larger national and even international, multicentered urban network or system. In this larger system, different metropolitan communities perform differ- ent roles; the relationships among the parts of the network are not so much territorial as functional. Each provides some services and goods for the others and each, in turn, is served by the others. Together, they constitute a complex web of interdependences. The network is still growing, and the range and frequency of trans- actions is mounting. However, what form the future growth of this network will take remains uncertain. Despite the expanding scale of organization to the national level, there is lack of (Da broader, more empirically based understanding of urbanization processes; (2) support for innovation and experi- mentation in urban development; (3) a sensitive network for infor- mation collection and analysis that can monitor the outcomes of public and private initiatives; and (4) adequate feedback of findings and forecasts to provide a more reliable basis for public and private decisions. The present system of local government fails to answer the needs of a clearly metropolitan society. Fragmented and overlapping gov- ernment in metropolitan areas (1) aggravates the mismatch be- tween resources and social needs, (2) makes the solution of metropolitan social problems more difficult, and (3) inhibits effi- cient administration of services. Although no coordinated national policy has evolved in response to the unfavorable by-products of metropolitanization, all levels of government have undertaken specific programs. If the federal re- sponse has been inadequate or misconceived, the same generaliza- tion can be made with much greater force concerning the states. CONSOLIDATED LIST OF FINDINGS 137

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Of the external forces influencing metropolitan government since 1962, none has had a greater impact than the federal courts. Unfortunately, from the central cities' viewpoint, the judicial re- quirement of one man, one vote representation in state legislatures came after the cities had already lost much of their population to the suburbs. The cities no longer had the votes to redress the balance between resources and social needs. The chief beneficiar- ies of reapportionment were suburban jurisdictions, and suburbs will gain even more as population continues to move outward. The courts, however, in issues recently and currently before them, have the potential to reduce some of the inequities caused by fragmenta- tion. Experience indicates that voter approval of metropolitan reorga- nization is virtually impossible to obtain outside the south. In lieu of reorganization, a large number of special districts have been created to meet the service needs of metropolitan communities. Although the county seldom includes the total interactive and in- terdependent area of a metropolitan community, enlarging county responsibilities may improve local government for smaller metro- politan areas. Counties also may serve as effective subunits in a larger metropolitan regional system. Councils of governments have been put forward as one solution to the metropolitan governmental problem. Although councils of gov- ernments are easily organized, flexible, and adaptable govern- mental units, none of the large number created in the 1960s has solved a major metropolitan problem. There is no evidence that they are beginning to take on a metropolitan governance function. A large number of intergovernmental service arrangements have been created. Sixty-three percent of the 2,375 municipalities re- sponding to a mailed questionnaire have entered into formal or informal agreements with other public or private units for the sup- ply of services. One can state with reasonable confidence that the major problems of metropolitan areas will have to be confronted by state or federal government unless new areawide mechanisms are developed. 138 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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