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Twentieth Century Metropolitan ization Although small towns and densely packed cities still persist and even though an integrated national system of settlements may emerge in the future, urbanization in the twentieth century has been dominated by the rise of metropolitan communities. These communities include the old central cities and suburbs, new suburbs and satellite towns, and an urban fringe of growing importance. Common economic and social institutions serve to link the various elements. Such communi- ties appear to represent the early stage of a uniquely modern form of regional urban settlement. Increasingly, the citizens of the metrop- olis move about the entire region to take advantage of the many choices it provides for work, residence, shopping, and recreation. Government at all levels was unprepared for the growth of urban settlements on a metropolitan scale; indeed, for many decades it was largely oblivious to the emergence of the metropolis. As metro- politan population spread over a wide area and economic and social institutions expanded in scope, governmental units and programs TWENTIETH CENTURY METROPOLITANIZATION 7

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proliferated. Two important consequences flowed from this prolifer- ation. On the one hand, the provision of governmental services on a fragmented geographical basis, though generally successful in meeting urgent immediate needs, unduly reinforced the tendency toward population dispersion in metropolitan regions. On the other hand, the proliferation of units aggravated the fiscal and social ineq- uities within the metropolitan community as a whole. THE RISE OF METROPOLITAN COMMUNITIES The nineteenth century in America was primarily a period of interre- gional and regional expansion based on advances in the efficiency of long-distance bulk haul transportation. Early in the nineteenth century, urban centers were primarily pedestrian in character; cities were confined to a radius of not more, and usually less, than three miles. Facilities for local movement and exchange in industrial cities began to improve somewhat around the middle of the century, increasing the radius over which centralized activities could extend their influence. Although the scale of organization increased corre- spondingly, the radius of local influence rarely exceeded ten miles. In contrast, local expansion in the twentieth century has been characterized by dramatic improvements in short-distance transpor- tation and communication. As these improvements occurred and the cities continued to increase in size, an outward movement of popula- tion activities and organization was set in motion. Two basic trends, the second in part a function of the first, have given shape to metropolitan communities. First, there was the trend toward concentration of population. As the country's population increased and became more urban, it tended to concentrate in larger aggregates—most notably in the rapidly growing industrial cities of the Northeast in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The tendency is still discernible in the urban areas of the South and the West. The second trend, toward deconcentration of urban settle- ments, is peculiarly a twentieth-century phenomenon. This is the drift of population and economic activity toward and beyond the periph- ery of population aggregates. The present settlement pattern in metropolitan areas is the con- 8 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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sequence of the two overlapping growth trends, aggregation and dispersal. In the first phase, settlements and new increments to the existing population congregated increasingly in the center of an area at the expense of absolute losses in its outermost zones. Before this phase of central growth was concluded, the second, or deconcen- trating, phase began. While population redistribution still has a con- centrating effect in that people continue to move toward urban centers, metropolitan settlement patterns are increasing in territorial scope. The rate of metropolitan population growth first exceeded the growth rate of the total population at the turn of the century, and it has continued to do so. As a result, the metropolitan proportion of the total population of the United States had increased from only one-third at the turn of the century to two-thirds by 1970. A large part of the increase in the metropolitan population has been ac- counted for by a relatively small number of urban centers, even though the total number of metropolitan areas continues to increase. In recent decades, however, the large centers in the North and Northeast have accounted for a declining proportion of metropolitan growth, and the most rapid growth has occurred in the metropolitan areas of the South and Southwest. The Time-Distance Factor For urban man, being near the places he travels to regularly is a value only in terms of the time it may save him in meeting his needs. In a modern technological society, however, access to opportunities of all kinds is determined less and less by how near they are and more and more by time-distance, that is, by distance in relation to the availability and costs of timesaving means of transportation and com- munication. In the twentieth century, the automobile and the truck, the telephone and other changes in communications have signifi- cantly reduced the time-distance factor and increased the frequency of interaction within metropolitan communities. The distance that can be traveled in 60 minutes provides one measure of change. Prior to the arrival of the automobile, the 60- minute radius of the cities seldom exceeded 6 miles. In principle that TWENTIETH CENTURY METROPOLITANIZATION 9

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limit afforded the urban centers a scope of 100 square miles, but in actuality very few were larger than 20 square miles. The automobile extended the hour's travel distance to approximately 25 miles and opened a zone of accessibility amounting to some 2,000 square miles. Within the expanded area, the frequency of interactions multi- plied severalfold as a result of increasing access to improved trans- portation and communications. The automobile and the truck, for example, could move in any direction at any time, could be used for door-to-door pickups and deliveries, and could be employed in small lot or small passenger cargoes. Similarly, the increasing scale of metropolitan life was both mirrored and facilitated by the expansion of the telephone network and the area within which communication was possible without a toll charge. In recent decades, such areas of "free" communication have expanded rapidly: to illustrate, in the case of Providence, Rhode Island, the number of phones that could be contacted toll-free in- creased from 73,000 to over 400,000 between 1940 and 1970, and the area of toll-free service increased fourfold to 1,000 square miles in a comparable period. The mass media (newspapers, radio, and television) also increasingly provide common communications link- ages for the entire population of metropolitan communities. With the advent of freeways and other highway improvements, the 60-minute commuting distance to major places of employment and recreation has risen to approximately 35 miles in most metropol- itan communities. Moreover, since there are many job locations, commuting areas overlap. As a consequence, in parts of the United States where the metropolitan areas are relatively close together, almost all the so-called rural population is within this 60-minute time-distance. Berry (1967), using the 1960 population distribution, calculated that 95 percent of the country's population lived within the daily commuting field of a metropolitan city. Major transportation routes open up the metropolitan area and hence additional employment opportunities for the nonmetropolitan population. Interstate highways have fostered development cluster- ing at major freeway interchanges and access points. These small villages and towns have experienced population increases as they have become suburban centers. Although in previous decades the 10 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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open country near metropolitan centers was losing population, there is now a population increase in the periphery. As improvements in transportation have led to increases in the size of metropolitan areas, they have also led to increases in their spheres of influence. For example, in the past, distant merchants could compete effectively in local markets, but for many products, the truck has a competitive advantage over alternative forms of transport within a radius of 150 to 250 miles. Consequently, since the advent of the truck, local metropolitan outlets have had an ad- vantage in local markets over their remote competitors. Thus, large urban centers have gradually carved out tributary regions over radial distances as great as 250 miles. Within the metropolitan community there is an overall pattern of openness that is understandable only in terms of automobile travel. Metropolitan residents "walk" in their cars. As of 1970, some 80 percent of the households in the nation owned automobiles. Automobiles now have become so prevalent and have been pre- dominant as a mode of personal transportation for so long in the lower-density portions of metropolitan areas that it has become the common presumption that residents will have and rely on them. This, in turn, has affected the very design of these residential environ- ments, including community facilities and their accessibility and, of course, the transportation channels. On a national scale, especially since World War II, the growing web of communications capabilities has tended to increase interde- pendence among urban areas. Further changes in urbanization as a result of improvements in communications will continue to unfold in the coming decades. As these improvements enhance the access to ideas, foster a diversity of activities, and modify the comparative advantages of centralization, the metropolitan communities of the present may give way to some new urban form in the future. The Pattern of Growth The industrial cities that developed in the nineteenth century were of necessity compact aggregates located by ports or railroad termi- nals. As economic activity grew, the intensive users of space—busi- TWENTIETH CENTURY METROPOLITANIZATION 11

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ness offices, retail establishments, and the like—increased in number at the center, crowding extensive space users—particularly residen- tial users—toward outer zones. Around the core business district, an area in transition from residential to industrial use developed. For nearly a hundred years after 1820, as industry expanded and the urban population grew, abetted by migration first from Europe and then from rural America, the older, more centrally located residential areas tended to be taken over by more intensive industrial and com- mercial users. With the passage of time, population growth in the innermost zones of the central city slowed and then population declined, as residences were replaced by industrial and commercial uses. The zone of negative population growth surrounding the business core has widened steadily. Population moved outward, spilling over the boundaries of central cities and invading even the outer zones that had experienced earlier population declines. Today, however, effec- tive demand for intensive land use in the inner zones of the central cities has decreased, and as housing in the central city loses its usefulness, there may be no adequate industrial and commercial demand for its conversion to more intensive uses. Demand for intensive use of inner cities stimulated the decon- centration of urban areas. Effective transportation and communica- tions facilities made it possible. As access within the metropolitan community improves, increasing numbers are drawn from the entire region into the orbit of its activities. Meanwhile, the number of those engaged in intermetropolitan transactions also rises. As scale in- creases, patterns of transaction become more complex, localities merge, boundaries become blurred, and a multicentered, multias- sociational form of urban aggregate takes shape. What is involved is a series of deconcentrating and often mutu- ally reinforcing tendencies in metropolitan areas. Transportation im- proves. People move. Industry moves. As industry moves, changes in technology encourage further moves. Retailing follows the move- ment of population; but then, as increased facilities are made avail- able, large modern retail centers may attract population and influence suburban growth. Demand for public services rises, stimu- lating the proliferation of local governments, which in turn leads to 12 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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an acceleration of deconcentrating movements. As different users of land select dispersed locations, spatial interdependencies among us- ers come into play, and thus a move by one affects future location decisions by others. As facilities are dispersed outward, they increase the relative advantage of subsequent peripheral locations for the firm and for the resident. Eventually there is a relative decline of radial movement and a complex web of crisscross movement becomes commonplace throughout the metropolitan area. A change in one part reverberates rapidly throughout the whole because of the new systemic integrity of the parts. Findings Thus far in the twentieth century, metropolitan communities have increased in scale and become more multicentered. DEMOGRAPHIC AND GOVERNMENTAL ATTRIBUTES OF METROPOLITAN COMMUNITIES As metropolitan communities have grown in scale, they have come to share, in varying degree, a number of common attributes or ten- dencies. In some cases these tendencies are simply a part of the processes of urban settlement, but on a larger scale. In other in- stances, they reflect the inequities resulting from the fact that various segments of the metropolitan population have differing degrees of mobility and access to opportunity. Since the process of metropoli- tanization is still under way and research tends to lag behind events, the current strength as well as the future consequences of some of these tendencies is not fully known. Decline in Density Despite the increase in the population of metropolitan communities, the rapid rate of movement toward the periphery has resulted in a general decline in population density. At first the deconcentration in TWENTIETH CENTURY METROPOLITANIZATION 13

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the central cities was merely relative to the outside areas. However, after 1950, an absolute decline in density occurred. All age classes of central cities reached their peak densities in 1950, and population densities for many central cities have been in decline for the past 20 years. Among metropolitan areas, there are substantial differences in the rate of density decline by population of urbanized area. The decline is most marked in areas with a population of one to three million. Density declined in these areas by more than one-third in the 1960-1970 period, while population grew by 40 percent and land area increased by 125 percent. Although the wider dispersion pattern appeared first in the larg- est metropolitan areas, it has become common in areas of all sizes. In the newer metropolitan areas, the decline in density has begun at a much smaller total population size than in the older centers. More- over, between 1950 and 1970 urbanized areas as a whole declined in density both outside and within the central cities. The decline for the period 1950-1970 is shown in Table 1. For several decades, the metropolitan zones outside the central cities have been growing more rapidly than the central cities. Be- tween 1910 and 1970 the portion of the metropolitan population living in the central cities decreased from 75 percent to 45 percent. More rapid growth of the areas outside the central cities became general after 1920. In the decade 1920-1930, the outlying zones TABLE 1. Gross Residential Densities, All Urban Areas, 1950-1970 Population Per Square Mile 1950 1970 Total Density 5,408 3,376 Inside Central Cities 7,786 4,463 Outside Central Cities 3,167 2,627 Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Census of Population: 1960, U.S. Sum- mary, Final Report PC(1)-1 A, Number of Inhabitants (1961); U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Census of Population: 1970, U.S. Summary, Final Report PC(1)-1A, Number of Inhabitants (1971). 14 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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increased at rates 50 percent higher than central city rates. During the next two decades, the differential leaped to almost 3 to 1. Since 1950 outlying area growth rates have averaged 5 or more times the central city rates. Overall, in the period 1950-1970, the metropolitan areas ac- counted for 85 percent of the total population increase of the United States. During the past decade, metropolitan areas grew by 17 per- cent, using the 1960 boundaries. However, the increase in the zones outside the central cities was 29 percent, while the central cities increased by only 5 percent, a ratio of nearly 6 to 1. Recently, in certain large SMSA's,1 there has been a deconcentration of the area as a whole. Findings 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. Migration Within the Metropolitan Community Historically, migration within metropolitan areas has been influenced by socioeconomic status and the stages of the family life cycle. The result has been that those with higher incomes, more education, and higher-level occupations have been statistically overrepresented in the suburbs. On the other hand, people with lower incomes, less education, and fewer skills have been statistically overrepresented in the central cities. A similar selective process has been at work with 1An SMSA—Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area—is a county or group of contigu- ous counties which contains at least one central city of 50,000 inhabitants or more or "twin cities" with a combined population of at least 50,000. Other contiguous counties are included in an SMSA if, according to certain criteria, they are essentially metropolitan in character and are socially and economically integrated with the central city. TWENTIETH CENTURY METROPOLITANIZATION 15

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respect to the stages in the family life cycle, resulting in families at the child-rearing stage being overrepresented in the suburbs and young adults and older persons being overrepresented in the central cities. In periods of rapid suburban growth, these differences have tended to increase. Segregation of urban populations by income, ethnic back- ground, or other factors is not a new phenomenon. Warner (1969), in Streetcar Suburbs, noted that by 1900 the lower class was being left behind in the central city while the middle and upper classes moved to the outer ring. Within this ring, the band closest to the city contained the lower middle class, the next closest, the upper middle class, and the wealthy were found farthest out. There is some evidence that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the growth of homogeneous residential areas was stimulated by the massive immigration into America of Europeans, which added another dimension to stratification. A greater concern arose for personal safety, prestige, and living among people similar to oneself. Gentlemen's agreements, restrictive covenants, and con- centrated tenement housing all contributed to the existence of social and ethnic homogeneity in subcommunities. In recent times, rising incomes and increased availability of housing have extended free- dom of choice in residential location, once enjoyed only by the upper socioeconomic levels, to the lower strata of the population. Recently, blue-collar and low-skill white-collar workers have been among the most rapidly suburbanizing groups. A study of Detroit found that in 1940 the proportion of persons with the lowest levels of education was only slightly higher in the city than in the metropolitan area as a whole (Schnore, 1964). By 1950, however, following a period of rapid suburban growth, it became evident that the less-educated were being left behind in the city. During the next decade, 1950-1960, an even greater concentration of these people developed in the central city. This was the result of both out-migration of the better-educated to the suburbs and the settlement of immigrants in the central city. The Detroit pattern for the period examined is quite consistent with those in a number of other older large cities. The Taeubers (1965) have reported that the net effect of migra- 16 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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tion flows has been to diminish the educational and occupational levels of the central city population and to increase these levels in the suburbs. The outcome of selective migration in any given metro- politan area, however, depends on the nature of the central city. Schnore (1967), for example, found that only in older, larger, nonex- panding cities do the suburbs consistently exceed the city in socio- economic status. Elsewhere, both the highest and lowest classes may still be statistically overrepresented in the city. Moreover, it is impor- tant to understand that while most research has focused on central city-outside central city differences, the range of differences among suburbs is even greater. As both the evolution of multicentered met- ropolitan communities and patterns of selective migration continue, these differences are likely to be no less critical than those between the central cities and the suburbs which are now so salient. Family Suburbia For decades, American families have been settling in the suburbs to raise their children. The conventional image of the suburb has been an area made up largely of owner-occupied, single-family homes. However, there are signs that during the 1960s a shift away from this dominant pattern may have begun. During the past decade, the number of multiple-dwelling units constructed in the suburbs in- creased sharply. The availability of such units very probably will be reflected in a corresponding change in the stages of the family life cycle represented in the suburbs and in migrations to and from the suburbs. An increase in the number of young adults and older peo- ple, and thus an increase in heterogeneity, can be expected. Nearly half the residential structures added to the housing inven- tory of the suburbs between 1960 and 1970 were multiple-dwelling units (see Table 2). Moreover, the number of multiple-dwelling units added in suburbs exceeded the number added in the central cities by one million. Indeed, more than three out of five of the total number of multiple-unit structures added in metropolitan areas were added in the suburbs. In 1960 only 22 percent of multiple units in metropolitan areas were located in the suburbs, while by 1970 the proportion had increased to 33 percent. TWENTIETH CENTURY METROPOLITANIZATION 17

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terms of community leadership. Frequently, however, because of the fragmentation of metropolitan government, political boundaries sep- arate societal capacities from societal problems. By 1970, significant differences between the central cities and the areas outside them were evident in average incomes and other socioeconomic characteristics. There are also, of course, significant differences among suburbs. The ratio of families with incomes over $ 10,000 to those with incomes under $3,000 provides one measure of the socioeconomic gap when computed for cities and suburbs. Table 7 shows the ratio per hundred families by size of metropolitan area. While the ratio of high to low incomes rises with size of metro- politan area, so does the difference between the central city and outside central city ratios, and at a more rapid rate. Central cities have proportionately more of the aged, the less-educated, and female-headed families (Table 8). Among the suburbs, significant differences are also found. Outside Difference Entire Central Central in Ratio Population of SMSA SMSAa City City (OCC/CC) 124.2 93.9 169.4 75.5 183.0 126.7 311.5 184.8 160.5 97.3 238.9 141.6 95.6 73.8 129.3 55.5 82.8 78.6 87.4 8.8 70.3 73.1 66.6 -6.5 67.0 76.3 44.0 -32.3 TABLE 1. Ratio (per 100 Families) of Families with Incomes Over $10,000 to Families with Incomes under $3,000, by SMSA Size, 1959 All SMSAs Over 3,000,000 1,000,000to 3,000,000 500,000to 1,000,000 250,000 to 500,000 100,000 to 250,000 Less than 100,000 a Ratios are expressed in percentages. Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Census of Population: 1960, PC(3)-1 D, Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (1963). 36 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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TABLE 8. Distribution of Socioeconomic Characteristics in Metropolitan Areas, 1970 Outside Central Central City City Percentage of persons below poverty levela 13.4 6.3 Percentage aged 25-29 with less than high school education 25.3 19.2 Percentage of population over 65 11.1 7.4 Female-headed families as a percentage of all families" 17.0 8.8 AFDCC families as a percentage of all families6 9.8 2.4 a 1969 data. "1971 data. CAFDC—Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Source: Adapted from C. L. Schultze, E. Fried, A. Rivlin, and N. Teeters, Setting National Priorities: The 1973 Budget (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1972), p. 295. Findings 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. Suburban Costs to the Central City A study (Hawley, 1951) of 76 cities of 100,000 or more population and their metropolitan areas found that per capita costs of govern- ment (computed on the population residing within the city) are more closely related to the portion of metropolitan-area population living TWENTIETH CENTURY METROPOLITANIZATION 37

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outside the city (r = .554) than to that living in the city (r = .398). The difference was even more pronounced if expenditures were limited to "operating costs" only. The relationships were such that when linearity was assumed, every increase of one person in the central city population was associated with a $1.30 increase in the cost of government, whereas an increase of one person in the outside area added $2.77 to the cost of government in the central city. In other studies, this impact of the suburban population on city expenditures was still evident when controls for central city's size, age, per capita income, and the percentage of the population that is nonwhite were introduced (Kasarda, 1972). The added burden placed on the city by nonresidents who live near it is usually referred to as the "suburban exploitation of central city" hypothesis. Kasarda also showed that the number of suburbanites who commute to work in the central city has a direct impact on the total per capita operating expenditures for central city services. His detailed examination has shown that the suburban population in general and the commuting population in particular exert heavy costs on police, fire protection, highway, sanitation, recreation, and general administrative functions performed in the central cities. In sum, the daily use of central city facilities by suburban resi- dents is reflected in increased expenditures for municipal services in the central city. It can be argued, of course, that higher expenditures result in better-quality services that elicit greater suburban use of the city than if the quality of services were low. Suburban use may increase the value of property in the city, and commuters may pay user fees and sales taxes within the city. If so, there may be a gain to the economy of the city as well as a cost to its government. However, suburban residents may experience a net gain while avoid- ing a fair share of the costs. Findings It appears that residents who remain in the central city subsidize the suburban residents' use of public services. OCR for page 7
URBANIZATION OF RURAL AREAS A single urban society is emerging that includes both the metropoli- tan and the nonmetropolitan population. Whether a person resides in a rural or a metropolitan area is less indicative today of patterns of behavior than are a number of other characteristics, such as socioeconomic class and ethnic background. The assumption of a rural-urban dichotomy, or any other division based on the premise that residence in small villages or open country in some way results in distinctive characteristics, is unwarranted. While differences in behavior patterns persist and will continue among communities and regions, these variations are small com- pared with the common elements of the shared urban culture. Geo- graphic differences do not have the magnitude and consistency of earlier times. Differences do exist, however, among the socioeco- nomic classes and the ethnic groups within communities, regardless of whether the community is rural or urban. The urbanization of rural life is evident from a number of per- spectives. The farm population has declined until it is now less than 5 percent of the total United States population, while the rural non- farm population has grown substantially. Increased off-farm employ- ment in rural areas accounts for part of the growth. Commuting from rural communities to urban work places is another factor. A bench- mark in the urbanization of rural areas was reached between 1940 and 1950, when more than half of the rural population could be classed as rural nonfarm. No longer were the rural areas primarily agricultural. The residents were employed increasingly in diverse occupations, and homogeneity of interests tended to disappear. In 1970, although 27 percent of the nation's population was still classified as rural, five out of every six rural people were nonfarm. In 19 states, over 90 percent of the rural population was nonfarm. In no state was a majority of rural population in the farm category. Urbanization of rural areas also is evident in the two-way flow of migration between urban and rural places. The outward move- ment from urban areas tends to bring urban value systems into rural areas. A recent study (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1971) found TWENTIETH CENTURY METROPOLITANIZATION 39

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that urban-to-rural migrants made up 24 percent of the white rural population, while rural-to-urban migrants made up 20 percent of the white urban population. For the black population, however, the relationship was reversed. Among blacks, urban-to-rural migrants made up only 11 percent of the rural population, while rural-to- urban migrants made up 21 percent of the black urban population. As metropolitanization gathers momentum, it reaches out to link and absorb formerly rural areas on the periphery of a metropolitan community. Today, the country's highest growth rates are to be found in the rural areas adjacent to metropolitan areas. A recent study (McNamara, 1972) in the North Central region found that the larger the metropolitan area, the higher the level of migration into the adjacent nonmetropolitan counties. More generally, the scope of outward drift from the central cities into the "rural-urban fringes" of metropolitan areas has increased in the last decade. Urban areas, as defined in the census, increased from 25,000 square miles in 1960 to 35,000 square miles in 1970. The growth rate of communities within 50 miles of a metropolitan area has been twice that of similar places at greater distances from metropolitan areas and well above that for the nation as a whole. Moreover, a study (Sturgis, 1973) of the growth of communities with populations of over 10,000 for the decade 1960-1970 found that among the rapidly growing places within 50 miles of a metropolis, those with high interstate highway access were growing twice as fast as those with low access (28 percent growth over the decade as compared to 16 percent). During the 1960s, of course, major improvements were made in the inter- state highway system. Today, the employment radius or "labor shed" of a metropoli- tan area is determined by time-distance, the distance that can be traveled in a specific time. Acceptable commuting distances are determined by the time it takes to travel to the major areas of em- ployment, not by distance per se. When the employment area is viewed in this way, one can understand the rapid growth in the areas adjacent to metropolitan communities. Taken together, of course, those daily commuting areas take in a large amount of territory. In some parts of the United States, where the metropolitan areas are relatively close together, almost all the so-called rural territory is 40 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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within a one-hour time-distance. Over one third of the counties in the United States are either metropolitan counties or adjoining coun- ties. The growth of agribusiness is yet another indication of the ur- banization of rural areas. Farming has become a business enterprise and has declined as a family-centered way of life. Changes in the organization and the manpower requirements of agriculture have brought with them a reduction in the differences between farm and city life. Widespread ownership of automobiles, telephones, radios and television sets by farm people has given them access to news and information as complete as that enjoyed by urban residents. In virtu- ally every sphere of daily life, the resident of the open country is served by urban-type institutions. The exceptions to this urbanization are mainly persons below the poverty line. ..... .' • Findings 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 tin required to commute to major places of employment. BENEFITS AND COSTS OF URBAN "SPRAWL" Suburbanization, as was noted earlier, has increased the problems of the cities. There is a growing concentration of the poor and blacks in the cities. Because of lack of mobility, there is a serious mismatch between the inner city labor supply and-new jobs, which are now increasingly found in the suburbs. The costs of these problems are disproportionately borne by the cities. There are also other costs resulting from suburbanization that the suburbanite escapes because of the fragmented nature of metropolitan government. Eath taxing TWENTIETH CENTURY METROPOLITANIZATION 41

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jurisdiction concerns itself only with the costs that bear directly on itself. In addition, federal policy has provided stimulus toward subur- banization in the form of major road systems and tax incentives to encourage home ownership. The costs of these have been borne in large part by taxpayers other than the suburbanite. The issue these points raise is whether urban "sprawl" would have gone so far or so fast if the suburbanite had paid all the costs created by suburbanization rather than shifting them to others. Is it not possible that the social costs of suburbanization are now exceed- ing the social benefits? The automobile and an increasingly wider network of roads for commuting facilitate the spread of suburbs farther and farther from the central cities. A substantial portion of journeys to work (which account for approximately one-third of automobile trips), as well as some shopping, recreation, and business-to-business trips, take place between suburbs and cities. These trips impose costs both on sur- rounding communities and on other road uses. Although costs of construction of the interstate highway system and some state high- ways are borne entirely thro'ugh gasoline taxes, the collection of these taxes on a per gallon basis rather than a true cost per car mile basis involves some subsidization of the urban journey to work at the expense of intercity and other trips. Moreover, road maintenance often must be financed by local jurisdictions. This expense is espe- cially burdensome for central cities, whose roads are heavily used by outsiders. In addition to these costs, there are the costs to other drivers caused by congestion and delay on the highways. The costs of noise, air pollution, and accidents often are imposed on neighbor- hoods through which heavily traveled roads pass. As land is taken for highways, relocation costs are borne largely by the residents and commercial establishments directly affected. And since automobile insurance rates are computed on a local basis, city residents may pay higher rates which are in part attributable to commuter traffic. Quantification of many of these costs has been very limited. In the Boston area, higher road maintenance and automobile insurance costs as well as a disproportionate share of transportation assess- ments were found in the inner ring which is heavily used by commut- ers. There have been efforts to measure air pollution effects on land 42 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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values. Studies of land values in the San Diego and Chicago metro- politan areas have found lower values near the freeways. In short, the limited evidence suggests that central city residents may in effect bear a portion of the cost of suburban commuters. Some economists, for example Tiebout (1956), have argued that the proliferation of governmental units with homogeneous constit- uencies provides more responsive public services and, by implica- tion, results in greater efficiency. One finding—that more fragmented counties spend less per capita than those with fewer jurisdictions— lends some support for the thesis. However, an alternative explana- tion may be that fragmented districts provide fewer or poorer-quality services. More important in the present context, however, may be the incentive this fiscal fragmentation provides for moving to the suburbs to avoid some of the costs it creates. Favorable credit arrangements and tax treatment for owner- occupied housing also may have contributed to a more decentral- ized urban pattern. In the older sections of the central city, it is more difficult to utilize these advantages of home ownership. However, there has been little empirical study of the extent to which these policies make a difference. A related factor is the relative ease of acquiring blocks of land for residential construction at the periphery of urban areas rather than in the older, more densely settled parts of the city. In general, developers find suburban residential construction more profitable. Speculation in essentially rural land on the urban fringe may also encourage suburbanization. However, the extent of such speculation and its effect have not been established. But what- ever the incentives, suburbanization increases the distances that sep- arate various types of land use—residential, industrial, retail, recreational, and the like. The results, as have already been noted, are higher transportation costs and, for inner city residents, more limited employment opportunities, although studies differ on the magnitude of this problem. All persons who do not have the use of an automobile—most frequently the elderly, those with physical disabilities, and the poor—suffer from the reduced accessibility asso- ciated with spatial separation. Racial discrimination, of course, is also a powerful independent factor at work. Those who want to escape residence near racial TWENTIETH CENTURY METROPOLITANIZATION 43

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minorities and the poor move to the suburbs. The result of suburbani- zation, until very recently, has been increased segregation of blacks in the central city. The long-run costs of continuing this pattern are incalculable. Meanwhile, the negative effects on educational achievement and the reduction of positive contacts that provide a corrective for prejudice may be counted a cost of suburbanization. In sum, given the present state of the research and the present structure of local government in urban areas, attempts to assess the overall effects of urban deconcentration produce scarcely more than an informed judgment. Inferences about the distribution of costs, however, generally move in a common direction. The costs of socio- economic segregation and of access to metropolitan services, job opportunities, and so forth, are disproportionately borne by low- income, minority, and elderly individuals. As an offset, there may be an increased availability to the poor of old housing. In some cities, however, this has now proceeded to the point of abandonment of the older residential areas. In addition, suburban settlement, aging facilities, fiscal disparities, commuter movement, and other factors tend to lower values in older neighborhoods occupied by poor rent- ers and moderate- and low-income homeowners. In essence, the central city and the people who continue to reside there bear costs of suburban sprawl for which they are not compensated, while sub- urbanites receive some benefits for which they do not pay. Subur- banization may be said to have gone too far inasmuch as the costs are not fully borne by those who suburbanize and the present struc- ture of government does not address the distortions that result. Findings 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 ben- efits may be negative. Sprawl appears to have outrun the ability of government to meet the requirements of urban settlements. More- over, given the present structure of government, distortions in the 44 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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distribution of costs and benefits are not readily correctable. There is reason to require more equitable sharing of costs, not only be- tween 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 suburbanization. In summary, during the twentieth century metropolitan commu- nities have been expanding systems. Their population has increased. Their production has grown. Wealth has accumulated and income has risen. Mobility of goods, people, and ideas has increased. As growth took place, it was accompanied by an even more rapid deconcentrating movement of population and activity within the metropolitan area. The consequences for the metropolitan popula- tion as a whole were an unprecedented rise in standards of living and improvement in the quality of life. However, up to the present, the costs and benefits of metropoli- tan expansion have been unevenly distributed with respect to various sectors of the population. The segregation of blacks has increased. Employment opportunities tend to be remote from residence. Resi- dential choice has been severely limited for moderate- and low- income groups. Access to many urban facilities is restricted for those without automobiles. Meanwhile, fragmentation of government makes it more difficult to match needs and resources. And all the while, it appears, the full costs of suburban movement may not have been borne by those suburbanizing. The recently emergent shortage of petroleum and other sources of energy may reverse the trend toward expansion. Barring that possibility, there is still the question of whether metropolitan commu- nities will continue to expand in the absence of the capacity to deal with the inequities that result. If that capacity is to be acquired, metropolitan people and their leaders must somehow gain a clearer appreciation of their actual interdependence and their potential com- mon interests. This is what community, in the most useful sense, means. TWENTIETH CENTURY METROPOLITANIZATION 45

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