A National Urban Policy? Not So Fast
Attempts to establish a national urban policy have popped up and failed throughout U.S. history.
For example, in 1959, a Senate subcommittee heard testimony related to two bills. The first to provide for the establishment of a Commission on Metropolitan Problemsand the second to provide for the establishment of a Department of Urbiculture.
Experts testified in support of studying urban issues. One of them was the then-mayor of Philadelphia, Richardson Dilworth, who said, “We are justly concerned with developing a national defense policy, a national farm policy, a national fiscal policy, etc. The time is long past due when we developed a national urban policy.”
Neither bill became law that session. Indeed, 50 years later, President Obama found himself making a similar pitch.
The U.S. has never had a national, comprehensive urban policy.
Read the full version of this report at Keystone Crossroads' website. Keystone Crossroads is a new statewide public media initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a participating station.