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system. The political philosophy of federalism needs to be extended and applied to metropolitan affairs. Many immediate and realistic issues in the administration of Federal aid programs to urban areas hinge precisely on the concepts and values of the federal system. In the course of preparing recommendations for specific State, local, and Federal measures, the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations has necessarily defined the basic elements of a philosophy of intergovernmental action in metropolitan areas.

This brief survey of the metropolitan scene has touched on many subjects that will be explored more fully later: the problems posed by contemporary social and economic relationships in metropolitan areas, ways of reorganizing local government to cope more effectively with these problems, intergovernmental action to utilize the resources of the federal system in support of metropolitan objectives. These themes are developed in the following chapters by analyzing representative urban problems, investigating the inadequacies of present governmental arrangements for dealing with them, and then considering a series of measures to improve governmental capacity for handling these and similar issues of public policy.

Chapter II furnishes the background for these analyses by examining the current state of metropolitan America and emerging trends in its population, economic activity, social and economic relationships, and government structure and finances.

Chapters III and IV are case studies of two areas of government responsibility selected for illustrative purposes. Chapter III deals with the closely related functions of water supply and sewage disposal; chapter IV with the relocation of people and businesses displaced by government programs. Both examples provide specific insight into the limitations of present governmental capabilities and the obstacles to improved performance.

Chapter V then reviews a number of governmental reforms proposed by the Commission for strengthening the capacity of local governments to deal with metropolitan problems. These approaches generally involve the transfer of responsibilities from one local government to another, joint local agreements, or the creation of special authorities. They do not involve direct reliance on State or Federal action, except in support of local structural reforms. The merits and drawbacks of these local reforms will be considered, as well as the politics of local government reorganization.

Chapter VI opens the question of metropolitan action involving higher levels of government. Here, the Commission's proposals for intergovernmental action will be presented with particular attention to the principles that justify Federal and State participation in metropolitan affairs.

Finally, chapter VII brings together the Commission's major recommendations for strengthening State-local relations, for applying Federal resources most effectively in metropolitan areas, and for undertaking combined Federal-State-local action to deal with two significant types of metropolitan problems—urban services, as exemplified by water supply and relocation assistance, and the broad issues of inequities resulting from social and economic disparities within metropolitan areas.

No simple conclusions emerge from these investigations and proposals, but several points are clear. Poor coordination and conflicts

of interest among governments often block effective action to deal with metropolitan problems. Changes in the structure of government within metropolitan areas, and innovations in relations between the Federal Government, the States, and local communities are needed to overcome these obstacles. The complex federal system of the United States, however, is rich in possibilities for adaptation to meet the changing circumstances of metropolitan growth. With sufficient imagination and effort, the resources of the federal system can be brought effectively to bear on the urban problems that challenge our age, just as previous generations found ways of adapting the federal system to deal with other national challenges.

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Chapter II



The metropolitan areas of the United States, taken as a whole, present a picture of unparalleled affluence and surging growth. A closer look reveals great diversity within these areas: poverty as well as affluence, decline as well as growth. The mixture of people and activities in metropolitan areas can be invigorating, making available a range of cultural, educational, and employment opportunities; it can also be a divisive factor giving rise to interest groups that compete for influence and public resources.

Diversity also characterizes the structure of local government in these areas. More than 18,000 units of government-counties, townships, municipalities, school districts, and special districts—are responsible for public policies and services in the 212 metropolitan areas counted in the 1960 census.

The sheer growth of population and jobs in metropolitan areas has generated vast demands for public services and other governmental action. But the uneven distribution of different population groups and employment centers has produced significant social and economic disparities within metropolitan areas. At the same time, a highly fragmented system of local government has emerged. Together, these trends severely limit the ability of local governments to meet the needs of current metropolitan growth. Metropolitan problems result not only from the broad patterns of urban change but also from the complexities of social and economic disparities and governmental structure. Three subjects--people, economic resources, and government organization—are thus basic determinants of government performance in metropolitan areas, and will be surveyed in this chapter.

Wuo LIVES IN METROPOLITAN AREAS ? The magnetic power of metropolitan areas to attract population can be seen in the fact that most Americans now choose to live in these areas, and that virtually all new population growth has been concentrated there. The 1960 Census of Population found nearly two-thirds of the entire population of the United States living in metropolitan areas—112.9 million persons of the nationwide total of 179.3 million. The 212 areas recognized as metropolitan in 1960 accounted for 84 percent of all the increase in the Nation's population during the 1950-60 decade. For these areas, the growth was 23.6 million persons, or 26 percent, while the population of the remainder of the country rose only from 62 to 66.4 million, an increase of 7 percent. Similarly, during the previous decade, 1940–50, these 212 areas

IV.S. Bureau of the Census, Report PC(S1)-1 of the 1960 Census of Population, p. 7. Ezept as otherwise cited, the other population figures reported below are also from this


had accounted for nearly 80 percent of the total population growth of the United States. In the past two decades, accordingly, the 212 areas now recognized as metropolitan have increased 55 percent in population, from 72.8 to 112.9 million persons, while the population of the rest of the United States has grown only 11 percent, from 59.3 to 66.4 million persons.

In three of the four broad geographic regions of the United States, a majority of the entire population lives in metropolitan areas, as indicated by figures from the 1960 Census of Population in table 1. Metropolitan areas account for more than two-thirds of the total population in 17 of the 50 States; and for one-half to two-thirds in another 9 States. Table 2 ranks the States in terms of the proportion of all their people who lived within metropolitan areas in 1960.

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Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Census of Population: 1960, vol. 1, "Characteristics of the Population," pt. A, “Number of Inhabitants," table 18.

TABLE 2.—Metropolitan population by State, 1960

District of Columbia..
New York
Rhode Island
New Jersey

Percent in SMSA's 100.0 87. 7 86.6 86.3 86. 2 79.9 79.8 79. 6 79. 1 78. 9 78.8 76. 2 75.0 74. 7 74. 2 71.4 68. 9 68. O 65. 6 63. 7 63. 1 60. 1 53. 7 52. 3 51.6 51.3 50. 4 49.1 47. 6 47. 3 46. O

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