City Life-Cycles and American Urban Policy. Studies in Urban by R. D. Norton

By R. D. Norton

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I n t h e s a m e l i g h t , it is e a s y t o u n d e r s t a n d w h y p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e u r b a n p r o b l e m ( a n d h e n c e of w e l f a r e r e f o r m , a n d o f city fiscal r e l i e f ) s h o u l d v a r y so s t a r k l y b y r e g i o n . I n s o f a r a s y o u n g c i t i e s a r e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h e S o u t h a n d W e s t , t h e i n d u s t r i a l p e r i p h e r y m a y n o t h a v e a distinct a n d clearly d e f i n e d u r b a n p r o b l e m .

N e v e r t h e l e s s , in practice, t h e i m p a c t this bias h a s h a d o n t h e indic a t o r s is i n s i g n i f i c a n t , b e c a u s e , b y n o c o i n c i d e n c e , cities with large-scale annexations after 1950 also invanably had rapidly growing urban areas. A s T a b l e 2-4 s h o w s , b e t w e e n 1 9 5 0 a n d 1 9 7 5 city a n n e x a t i o n p o w e r a n d r a p i d u r b a n g r o w t h w e n t t o g e t h e r , j u s t a s d i d f r o z e n city b o r d e r s a n d sluggish areawide growth rates.

A s c a n b e s e e n in F a b l e 3 - 1 , a g g r e g a t e g r o w t h c o n t r a s t s r e f l e c t n e a r l y u n i f o r m c i t y - b y - c i t y t e n d e n c i e s f o r t h e p e r i o d of 1 9 5 0 - 1 9 7 0 , after w h i c h t h e p a t t e r n for i n d i v i d u a l y o u n g cities b e c o m e s m o r e v a r i e g a t e d . A c c o r d i n g l y , t h e first s e c t i o n d e v e l o p s a s t a t i s t i c a l t e s t of h o w the t h r e e influences interacted b e t w e e n 1950 a n d 1970 to d e t e r m i n e g r o w t h r a t e s in t h e 3 0 c i t i e s .

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