Will D.C. Stand Up for America's Cities?

In his column Urban Nation, Harry Moroz argues for deeper involvement from the federal government in urban policy in order to give American cities the fighting chance they deserve to be healthy and enjoyable places to live.

Moroz sees the increasing removal of considerations of "place" from federal policy as "the Nixon-Reagan philosophy that the federal government can do best for cities by doing least has won the last 30 or so years of federal urban policymaking." Politicians in D.C. leave it up to the nation's mayors to ensure the success and well-being of their cities, laments Moroz. "We might all be accustomed to D.C.'s inaction, but since when did we become so resigned as to accept that mayors should succeed despite the feds?"

He notes that there has been a shift in federal involvement in urban affairs over the past 30 years, with direct federal aid to cities dropping from 15 percent of city revenues in 1978 to just 3 percent in 1999.

For Moroz, the profound shift in federal grants for state and local governments to social spending, rather than infrastructure investment, ignores "the role that place (in general) and cities (in particular) play in the country's economic and social well-being." In conclusion, he argues that, "[t]he federal government should once again take on the responsibility of ensuring that places thrive."

Thanks to Emily Williams

Full Story: Urban Nation: The Feds Lionize Mayors, But Forsake Their Cities


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