Cities: Hope for the Heart

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"We cannot all live in cities," cautioned Horace Greeley a century ago, "yet nearly all seem determined to do so." His own classic answer to the problem, "Go West, young man," was no lasting remedy—unless one can ignore Los Angeles. Though Editor Greeley disapproved of the country's rapid urbanization, he nonetheless divined accurately one of the American's most deep-rooted traits: his hankering for city lights.

In 1966, 67% of the nation's population is jammed into 9% of its acreage. In all, 130 million people inhabit the 224 U.S. communities that are...

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