Title I was launched in 1949 as an extreme reaction to the neglected living conditions of city slums and called for the clearance of the areas. By 1960, hundreds of slum clearance programs were in progress nationwide and Robert Moses took the opportunity to become the pacesetter of the movement in New York City. His goal was to keep the middle class from fleeing to the suburbs, construct affordable housing for the people displaced by the slum clearance, and support institutions and universities. .
His ideas were not always well received because he thought about the long-term interests of the city as a whole, rather than considering the short-term outcomes in the small neighborhoods he would be working in. Today this is apparent because his projects "have been absorbed into the fabric of the city " (Ballon 94). He faced many constraints because of Title I and managed the strange relationship between the federal government, the city, and private developers. He became the middleman between the public and private interests in the use of the newly cleared land and had to balance the private property rights and the long-term effect it would have on the city. He was strongly committed to the survival of New York City and noticed that the slums would be the downfall of the city if nothing were done properly. Slum clearance was the suggested solution as the Title I manual said, "patching up hopelessly worn-out buildings on a temporary or minimum basis presents the possible result of slum preservation rather than slum clearance. " (96) Similar to Le Corbusier's thoughts, Moses knew that the traditional city pattern with limited light and very little open space was an unhealthy way to live. By using superblocks he transformed the amount of land use by using tall towers that opened up over half of the site while keeping the population density the same and in some cases even increasing it, accounting for growth.