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Metropolitan areas are increasingly becoming the focal point of many or the difficult problems which our federal system faces in adjusting to growing urbanization. The development of a predominantly urban-industrial economy in place of the more self-sufficient agricultural economy which characterized our earlier years helps to explain the demand for expanded governmental services, as well as the increase in governmental regulatory activities. Public services such as fire anof police protection, sanitation, sewage disposal, air and water pollution control, water supply, recreational facilities, and mass transportation are among the basic necessities of densely populated cities and their suburbs. In the past, however, the rural resident often furnished such services for himself or did not require them at all.
The concentration of the American people in metropolitan areas is evident from the fact that 113 million persons—nearly two-thirds of the entire population—lived in the 212 areas classified as metropolitan in 1960, and these areas accounted for 84 percent of the Nation's total population increase during the 1950-60 decade. It is estimated, moreover, that by 1980 three-fourths of the Nation's rapidly growing population will be living in metropolitan areas.
Contrary to a widely held impression, not all metropolitan areas consist of large, densely populated cities surrounded by residential suburbs. Actually, individual metropolitan areas vary greatly in size. While three such areas have more than 5 million inhabitants each, 22 others have fewer than 100,000 inhabitants. Only three States—Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming—contain no metropolitan areas at all. It is clear, therefore, that even our rural States have a stake in how we as a nation approach the solution of public problems which are presently most acute in metropolitan areas.
Since its establishment over 6 years ago, the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations has devoted continuing attention to the problems accompanying urban and metropolitan growth. One of the Commission's early reports dealt with governmental structure, organization, and planning in metropolitan areas. Subsequent reports have dealt with other metropolitan area problems, including alternative methods of governmental reorganization, Federal and State relations with local governments, and the administration of several federally aided programs Taken together, these reports provide a fairly comprehensive review of metropolitan America and its governmental capabilities. Their recommendations provide a valuable foundation for the development of a philosophy of intergovernmental relations and a coordinated program of Federal, State, and local action to meet the needs of an urban society.
The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, established by Public Law 380 in 1959, is composed of representatives from all levels of government and is charged with the task of continuous study aimed at strengthening the operation of our federal system.
It is particularly appropriate that the analysis and recommendations concerning metropolitan problems contained in the reports of the Commission should be consolidated and presented in a single document at this time. The committee recently issued a report, Unshackling Local Government, which surveyed the various proposals of the Advisory Commission aimed at removing undesirable State constitutional and statutory restrictions on the ability of local governments to handle many of their problems. That document (H. Kept. 1643) constitutes a companion piece to this study.
Last year the House and Senate Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittees, in joint hearings, conducted a comprehensive review of the Advisory Commission's past performance. In House Report 1457, Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations: The First Five Tears, our committee noted the importance of bringing the Commission's work to the attention of officials at all levels of government and the public at large. This synthesis of the Commission's research and recommendations in an important area of its concern should help to give wider dissemination to the Commission's work. It should be particularly useful not only to the members of the Government Operations Committee, but also to Members of Congress who are faced with the problems of metropolitan areas in connection •with their congressional duties and their constituencies.
As Vice President Humphrey points out in his preface, this volume develops the beginnings of an intergovernmental strategy to utilize effectively the resources of the federal system in support of metropolitan objectives. As such, I am hopeful that it will serve to stimulate the Federal Government to rethink its many programs and policies so as to achieve greater order, coherence, and effectiveness in the vast and increasing number of Federal activities which are intended to assist metropolitan communities to meet their pressing problems.
This study, based on reports by the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, was prepared by Prof. Bernard J. Frieden, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although I believe this is an important volume which deserves careful reading, the Commission's recommendations and the author's analysis do not, of course, necessarily reflect the views of the committee or of its individual members.
L. H. Fountain, Chairman, Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee.
"Depend on it," Dr. Samuel Johnson observed, "when a man knows he is going to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully." Unfortunately, most of the critical problems in urban areas are more in the nature of a quiet or creeping crisis. The problems that face our urban communities are too often illustrated by long-term trend lines: the economic decline of central cities, the physical and social disintegration of slum areas, increasingly fragmented and overlapping patterns of government, urban sprawl, housing problems and school problems in all parts of the urban complex, inadequate transportation facilities, and growing confusion and ugliness where there should be beauty. Yet, behind these statistics and population patterns, are individual personal and community tragedies.
In a democratic society, the role of government—Federal, State, and local—in meeting these problems will always be crucial. The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations has performed a major service by weaving together in Metropolitan America: Challenge to Federalism a number of its major reports and recommendations for improving intergovernmental relations in our metropolitan areas. This volume relates in a meaningful way the problems posed by contemporary social and economic development in metropolitan areas, the ways available for reorganizing government to cope more effectively with their problems, and develops the beginnings of an intergovernmental strategy to utilize effectively the resources of the federal system in support of metropolitan objectives.
The major themes for a new urban federalism are developed here: the strengthening of our general units of government, the cities and counties and in New England the towns; the use of the broad and equitable Federal and State tax base to help local governments meet their needs; consistent comprehensive planning procedures to better relate Federal, State, and local and private development activities in urban areas; and State action to remove past restrictions and play a new role of oversight and assistance to their urban governments.
President Johnson nas pledged his support for a "creative federalism" to meet the problems of urban development. In his last two annual messages on the cities, the President has requested legislation specifically designed to show how regional goals can be achieved and intertwined urban problems can be attacked through coordinated use of Federal, State, and local programs. I have been working, at his request, with the Nation's mayors, county officials, and city managers to deal with our metropolitan problems. They are the same problems that I had to face as mayor of Minneapolis and as a member of Senator Edmund S. Muskie's Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations of the Government Operations Committee when I represented Minnesota in the Senate. The debate, of course, will never end on the proper role and ways in which the Federalj State, and local governments can best work together in the Nation's metropolitan areas. The President has asked Congress to adopt the proposed Intergovernmental Cooperation Act, which is based in part on the recommendations of the Advisory Commission contained in this book.
During the American Revolution, Tom Paine said that the cause of America is the cause of mankind. Now, throughout the world, the cause of all mankind is increasingly to find the good life in an urbanized environment. We will succeed in the UnitedStates in meeting our metropolitan problems, and in so doing, we will provide another example to the world of what a free society can do.
Hubert H. Humphrey,