The idea of building “New Towns” to absorb growth is frequently considered a cure-all for urban problems. It is erroneously assumed that if new residents can be diverted from existing centers, the present urban situation at least will get no worse. It is further and equally erroneously assumed that since European New Towns have been financially and socially successful, we can expect the same sorts of results in the United States.
Present planning, thinking, and legislation will not produce the kinds of New Town that have been successful abroad. It will multiply suburbs or encourage developments in areas where land is cheap and construction profitable rather than where New Towns are genuinely needed.
Such ill-considered projects not only will fail to relieve pressures on existing cities but will, in fact, tend to weaken those cities further by drawing away high-income citizens and increasing the concentration of low-income groups that are unable to provide tax income. The remaining taxpayers, accordingly, will face increasing burdens, and industry and commerce will seek escape. Unfortunately, this mechanism is already at work in some metropolitan areas.
The promoters of New Towns so far in the United States have been developers, builders, and financial institutions. The main interest of these promoters is economic gain. Furthermore, federal regulations designed to promote the New Town idea do not consider social needs as the European New Town plans do. In fact, our regulations specify virtually all the ingredients of the typical suburban community, with a bit of political rhetoric thrown in.
A workable American New Town formula should be established as firmly here as the national formula was in Britain. All possible social and governmental innovations as well as financial factors should be thoroughly considered and accommodated in this policy. Its objectives should be clearly stated, and both incentives and penalties should be provided to ensure that the objectives are pursued. If such a policy is developed, then the New Town approach can play an important role in alleviating America’s urban problems.
Question: The passage contains information that answers which of the following questions?
- Where did the idea of New Towns originate?
- How does Britain’s New Town formula differ from that of other European countries?
- What is the purpose of building New Towns?
- What incentives and penalties will be necessary to make a New Town formula workable?
- Why have European New Towns been financially successful?
Question: The author believes that New Towns are not being built where they are genuinely needed because
- the government offers developers incentives to build in other areas
- the promoters of New Town are motivated chiefly by self-interest
- few people want to live in areas where land is still cheap
- no studies have been done to determine the best locations
- federal regulations make construction in those areas less profitable
Question: According to the author, ill-considered New Towns will tend to weaken existing cities in which of the following ways?
- I. They will cause an erosion in the tax base of existing cities.
- II. The will divert residents from existing cities to other areas.
- III. They will increase the number of low-income residents in existing cities.
- I only
- II only
Question: According to the passage, as compared with American New Towns, European New Towns have been designed with greater concern for
- social needs
- financial factors
- urban congestion
- the profits of developers and builders
- the environment
Question: The author’s tone in discussing “developers, builders, and financial institutions” can best be described as
Question: It can be inferred from the passage that the author believes which of the following about suburbs?
- They are a panacea for urban problems.
- They will soon be plagued by the same problems that now plague cities.
- They are poor models for New Towns.
- They drive up property values in inner cities.
- They alleviate some, but not all, of America’s urban problems.
Question: It can be inferred from the passage that the author considers the present American New Town formula to be
- thoroughly considered
- insufficiently innovative
- potentially workable
- overly restrictive
- financially sound
Question: The author of the passage is primarily concerned with
- arguing for a change in policy
- exploring the implications of novel idea
- comparing and contrasting two manifestations of the same phenomenon
- proposing a radically new solution to an old problem
- summarizing recent research on a topic
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