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Overview

In the 1960s, urban riots were spawned by a soaring crime rate, inadequate housing and education, and high unemployment in America's inner cities. A startled nation was finally forced to take a close look at these pockets of poverty and the forgotten people within them.

The Model Cities program was President Johnson's answer to this national problem as part of his domestic war on poverty, discrimination, and inadequate housing. Institutions supporting programs today in socioeconomic development and planning, environmental planning, urban development, political science, sociology, and other relevant fields can now access the multitude of documents generated during this program. Included are studies by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and by private consultants who analyzed the Model Cities program, plus a collection of demographic materials, studies, and statistical charts on more than 250 U.S. communities.

Johnson's unprecedented program sought to bring physical and social planning efforts together to meet complex human needs. Covering both aspects of this effort, the collection provides researchers with information on such key issues as:

 

  • transportation
  • city planning
  • evaluation design
  • day care
  • community health services
  • recreational facilities
  • vocational rehabilitation
  • urban design
  • data management
  • residential rehabilitation
  • employment
  • programs for the elderly
  • crime and juvenile delinquency
  • drug abuse programs

Fashioned almost solely by Johnson, Model Cities is indicative of the Great Society's towering aspirations. This research collection shows Johnson's determination to transform ideas into effective solutions to counteract the deterioration of American cities.

Model Cities Reports meets the research needs of scholars in many ways:

 

  • Sociologists, political scientists, historians, and anthropologists find an historical perspective on the planning approach to urban phenomena, data on population trends, retrospective studies of U.S. cities, and the beginning of the "welfare state," which provide an unparalleled source of historical data.
  • Human services practitioners and social workers discover extensive coverage on topics such as day care, unemployment, impact studies, the elderly, and crime. Also, useful information on other groundbreaking social programs of the Great Society Period is provided.
  • Urban planners, city managers, public works officials access essential facts and statistics concerning the laws, agencies, grants, and regulations affecting urban planning, plus information on transportation, pollution, and many other issues.

Model Cities Reports was filmed from the archives at the Library of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C. It stands as a historic example of Johnson's political effectiveness in dissolving the traditional deadlock between the executive and legislative branches of government to resolve an enormous and immediate national crisis.

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