Regionalism and Realism: A Study of Government in the New York Metropolitan Area

Regionalism and Realism: A Study of Government in the New York Metropolitan Area

by Gerald Benjamin, Richard P. Nathan
5.0 1
Pub. Date:
Brookings Institution Press
Select a Purchase Option
  • purchase options

Temporarily Out of Stock Online


Regionalism and Realism: A Study of Government in the New York Metropolitan Area

In this important volume, Gerald Benjamin and Richard Nathan take a critical look at the regionalist movement in urban and suburban America. Drawing on the rich history of state and local government in the New York tri-state region, the authors present a thoughtful, nuanced view of the values that reformers must understand and balance when attempting to restructure local governance.

The authors examine how governments in the tri-state region have evolved over more than a century, paying special attention to New York City. Their analysis is widely applicable to other metropolitan areas, however, particularly those that cross state lines. Through the lens of the New York experience, they discuss the similarities and differences among three different versions of regionalism. Each approach balances the regionalist's core values of equity, efficiency, and competitiveness differently, and each version must deal with localized feelings of community pride. Redistributive metropolitanism stresses greater equity between races and social classes; functional regionalism emphasizes governmental efficiency; and economic regionalism focuses on improving a region's competitiveness. Policymakers must take these competing values into account when trying to establish effective regional approaches to issues such as sprawl, transportation, and even waste management.

This book will be a valuable resource for political, business, and civic leaders as they seek to make government more effective. It will appeal to all those interested in the fascinating history and governance of the Big Apple and its environs, and it will be of great interest to anyone involved in urban affairs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815700883
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Publication date: 05/28/2001
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Part 1Understanding Regionalism
1The New York Region: 2,179 Governments3
New York City and the Region4
Web of Local Governments: Origins and Consequences8
Variations in Local Government10
Special Burdens on Cities12
Costs of Fragmentation and Layering17
Special-Purpose Governments22
Details and the Big Picture26
Approaches to Realism in the Tri-State Region27
2The Values of Regionalism33
Persistence of Governmental Boundaries35
Four Values of Regionalism38
Redistributive Metropolitanism: Seeking Equity40
Functional Regionalism: Achieving Efficiency44
Economic Regionalism: Assuring Competitiveness47
Part 2Regionalism And The New York City Experience
3One Grand and Glorious City53
The Vision: Development and Efficiency54
The Power: Development and Spoils56
The Loser: Smaller-Scale Government58
Centralizers versus Decentralizers: Revolt of the Boroughs60
Functional Regionalism and Recentralization of Power64
Recentralization of the Schools67
Community, Equity, and Community Boards70
Conclusion: Metropolitanism Subsumes Localism74
4Creating Real Local Government in New York City77
The "City" of Staten Island79
Business Improvement Districts81
Suggested Agenda for a New Charter Commission85
5The Limits of Metropolitanism91
Limits of Metropolises as Local Governments92
Rigidity of Newly Created Metropolitan Boundaries102
Interstate Metropolitan Government: An Orphan in the Federal System105
Rivalries within and among States107
Goals versus Reality110
Part 3Functional Regionalism
6Across State Lines: The Port Authority115
A Regional or Two-State Agency?118
A Bi-State, Not a Regional, Agency132
7Single-State Agencies: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New Jersey Transit135
Governmentalization of Mass Transit137
Market Failure and the Evolution of Regional Mass Transit139
MTA and the Politics of Geographical Equity146
A Single Transportation Agency for the Tri-State Region?152
Framework for a Single Regional Agency155
Part 4The Regional Idea In Subregional Settings
8The Persistence of Suburban Localism161
Eliminating an Entire Class of Local Governments166
State Incentives for Change: School Consolidation168
The Issue of Race173
Structural Change Does Not Work175
9Two Approaches: Bottom Up and Top Down178
Bottom-Up Approach179
Top-Down Approach193
Part 5The Nation In The Regional Arena
10The Case of Solid Waste227
Flow Control, Federalism, and Privatization229
New Jersey: Relying on the Counties230
Connecticut: Creating a State Authority and Making Burning Work234
Connecticut and New Jersey Compared: Structure Makes a Difference239
National and Private Sector Responsibility for Solid Waste241
Regionalism: To What End? For What Price?248
The Trade-Off: Community versus Efficiency250
Part 6Conclusion
11Lessons for the Future255
Understanding the Values of Regionalism256
Regionalism and State Government259
Regionalism and Local Government262
The Politics of Regionalism265

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Regionalism and Realism: A Study of Government in the New York Metropolitan Area 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago