Guiding Urban Growth: Policy Issues and Demographic Constraints.
Growth policy proposals frequently take a simplistic view of how urban growth works, compounded by an exaggerated sense of what policy has in its power to do. Policymakers fail to perceive the full momentum of demographic change that could be guided and underestimate the force of demographic constraints on their intended actions. This paper considers five aspects of the migration process related to these points: (1) concentration of migratory growth in a few metropolitan areas; (2) migration's apparently one-sided economic wisdom due to economic "push"; (3) potential for return migration; (4) widely varying rate of migratory circulation among metropolitan areas; and (5) intensifying phenomenon of urban population decline, now a characteristic of entire metropolitan areas, not merely their central cities. The selectivity of migration, in terms of both people and places, becomes a more imposing influence on urbanization as the role of natural increase as a source of urban growth diminishes. 16 pp.