How Top Officials Would Save Aging American Cities

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 11, Pg. 98-101


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: The November 1978 issue of CIVIL ENGINEERING—ASCE took an in-depth look at what was ailing America's older cities — and what some possible remedies were. This current article builds on that, presenting the views of some members of Congress and of some mayors on how to resolve the crisis faced by aging American cities. Among some of the ideas: facilitate the movement of the poor out of large urban centers to jobs in suburbs and rural areas; establish an Urban Development Bank that cities could draw on for rehabilitating their infrastructures; restore some real power to city mayors; abolish public employee unions; abandon public employee pension systems and in its place help public employees set up individual retiement accounts; abolish categorical grants and replace them with block grants the cities could use for what they felt were their most pressing capital needs; overhaul the property tax system in a way that taxes land more, buildings less, a move that would stimulate urban redevelopment.

Subject Headings: Deterioration | Funding | Municipal government | Rehabilitation | Urban areas

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