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Dilemmas of Suburbanization and Growth Controls

James W. Hughes
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 422, The Suburban Seventies (Nov., 1975), pp. 61-76
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1041715
Page Count: 16
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Dilemmas of Suburbanization and Growth Controls
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Abstract

The decentralization of every facet of American life and the shifting age contours of its population structure have increased the pressures for residential diversity in suburbia. As a reaction to these geographic and demographic forces, new attitudes toward community growth are synthesizing in the form of "growth controls"-attempts by suburban communities to limit the numbers and types of residents allowed within their borders. These reactions run counter to the new responsibilities that have accompanied the benefits of suburbanization. While their justification is embedded in a matrix of environmental and "quality of life" arguments, the complex set of motivations includes a powerful socioeconomic dimension having clear implications for the metropolitan region as a whole. Moreover, the myth of suburbia-of isolated family-raising environments-is being increasingly challenged by the reality of its participation in an urbanizing region, and growth controls may be interpreted as an attempt to preserve the older ideals. The overall issues emerging are not going to fade away quietly, and since they involve so many diverse and competing interest groups, they will not be resolved easily.

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