Box 22, Folder 17, Document 11

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Box 22, Folder 17, Document 11

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Memorandum Date: November 17, 1966


Subject: Area of emphasis for White House
Task Force on the City

to write a letter in response to your request at the first task force

ing, I have become impressed by the extent to which the majority of the problems

we talk about today have been reviewed over and over again in the past. On

of these I am relatively inexperienced, and rather than trying to set out a

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anework on all of the problems that we should try to deal with, I would like
trate on one particular area which I feel very strongly about.


¢, and the bulk of it practical. Neither benefits substantially from the
heoretical study of the city concentrates variously on urban growth and form,
ecology, or the planning process, making little contribution to the understand-
action policies. Projects are developed on an ad hoc basis to meet a compro-
ng the expressed needs of their more vocal constituents; the outcome is

wide of the first objective and there is seldom any attempt to show how it
. There are no controlled experiments in the field and little cumulation of

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Performance in both the academic and practical areas of urban studies could be
improved by providing a bridge between the two kinds of work. I suggest that a
portion-~possibly 2%-5%--of every Federal program directly or remotely affecting

the city be committed for experimental work, and that these experiments be conducted
under the direction of an interlocking body which would represent and serve all the

affected Federal agencies, State and local officials where appropriate and repre-
sentatives of industry, labor and the academic community. In addition to performing
(1) research and (2) experimental projects, this body could:

(3) provide policy coordination between agencies,

(4) serve as a clearing house for information on regular and experimental
programs of the linking agencies, and for consulting services in research
and planning,

(5) direct contract research for other public and non-profit bodies.


120 Broadway
San Francisco, California 94111
Phone 415 434 3830

Page two

These experimental programs would review the effect of possible changes in
codes, labor practices, market organization and many other aspects of our work
in cities which affect cost and performance of our physical structures. We
would equally be concerned with the relation of people to one another, the
introduction of social services, and the development of neighborhoods. By
structuring the experimental programs , it should be possible to AETEDOR a data
base which would enable future decisions to be made on major proETens for the
city on better information than we have today.

Given such a means of coordination, Federally sponsored urban studies could
be structured in a planned, cumulative sequence, contribute reliable experimental
idence, and provide a sound bridge between academic and practical study in the

I am not stressing a point of view on a singte subject too strongly
t go-round.

Ezra Ehrenkrantz


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