Which Urban Crisis: Regionalism, Race and Urban Policy, 1960-1974

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During the 1960s and 1970s, Congress and policymakers engaged in a heated debate over the proper role of the federal government in urban America enacted several initiatives to deal with the problems facing older cities, including creating the Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, throughout these years, federal officials, members of Congress, and other interested parties remained divided over the extent and nature of the “urban crisis.” During the early 1960s, much of the debate about urban areas focused on the problems of “metropolitan growth,” but in late 1960s, urban problems became increasingly identified with issues of racial conflict. By the early 1970s, policymakers had concluded that federal programs had generally failed to improve the state of urban America, and they oversaw a devolution of power back to local governments.

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Journal of Urban History