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Growth Control and Growth Management

In the 1960s growth control and growth management emerged as a distinct area of planning and also as an area of legal and moral controversy. Two separate trends in the postwar period combined to create this field.

The first was the growth of population and the movement of population from central cities into suburban and exurban areas. Many communities felt themselves threatened by growth and thus saw a need to develop a means to prevent growth entirely or to limit and control it. The second factor was the growing environmental consciousness of the 1960s. Concern with the natural environment in general easily translated into concern with the natural environment of a particular city or town or county and furnished motivation and rationale for local growth-control efforts. One movement of the 1960s, spawned by global environmental concerns, was zero population growth (ZPG), whose slogan for would-be parents was "stop at two."7 Concern with population control at the global or national level spilled over into concern with growth control at the local level, even though the logical connection between them is minimal at best.

The growth-control movement raised legal and moral issues that have not been easy to resolve. In fact, there is now a substantial record of litigation pertaining to the subject. One question at issue is exactly what rights communities have to exclude potential residents. The subject is pursued in Chapters 5 and 14.

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