Environment: New Town Blues

HUD abandons a disaster

They are an urban planner's dream: new cities carved out of the raw earth, self-contained, self-sufficient and carefully designed to avoid all the problems that afflict older, unplanned urban centers. In 1971 the Department of Housing and Urban Development began financing 13 such communities,*and that so-called new towns program became one of the decade's most widely publicized Government social experiments. Now the planner's dream has become HUD'S nightmare. Housing Secretary Patricia Harris has announced that the new towns program will be ended, and HUD will abandon financial control of seven of the agency's 13 communities.

To begin with, the...

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