Runaway urban sprawl is a political hot potato. Some cities are trying to control it, and Al Gore has made it a campaign issue. But what's the alternative to sprawl? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, we'll talk about some attempts to build model communities — in small towns and big cities.
Tracy Kidder profiles the town of Northampton, Massachusetts in his book "Home Town." He talks with Jim Fleming about some of the people whose story the book tells, including a town cop, an attorney stricken with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and a single mother on welfare enrolled at elite Smith College. Also, Andrew Ross, director of the American Studies program at New York University, tells Judith Strasser about living in Celebration, the model community built by the Disney Company outside Orlando. He says the biggest challenges were in the area of public education. Ross' book is "The Celebration Chronicles."SEGMENT 2:
John Norquist is the Mayor of Milwaukee and the author of "The Wealth of Cities." He tells Steve Paulson that the federal government certainly has a role to play in assisting cities, but many federal assistance programs have created more problems than they solved. Also, Pulitzer Prize- winning journalist Buzz Bissinger was granted unprecedented access to the inner workings of city government by then Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell. The result in "A Prayer for the City." Bissinger tells Jim Fleming how Rendell confronted the city's out-of- control unions and juggled the demands of competing minority groups.SEGMENT 3:
Historian Donald Miller tells Steve Paulson that Chicago is THE American city. From its founding through its explosive growth in the 19th century, the city represented the future, and the indomitable spirit of America. Miller's history of the city is called "City of the Century: The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America."Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 99-08-29-A.
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