It is now widely appreciated that the United States is not merely an urban nation but a country of large metropolitan concentrations as well, and that it is becoming steadily more metropolitan. The stresses and strains imposed upon our economic, governmental, and social institutions by these trends are also now familiar themes of public discourse. Among the many aspects of a complex metropolitan society, the governance of cities and of metropolitan regions has proven to be one of the most intractable problems. "Solutions" abound, but "progress" is elusive. A major difficulty resides in the fact that knowledge about the existing political systems in urban and metropolitan communities is usually insufficient to provide a sure footing for the governmental and administrative proposals often advanced as remedies for metropolitan ills.
This volume is the first of a series of studies which will examine some of the salient governmental and political dimensions of the New York Metropolitan Region. These studies are a product of a metropolitan study program at Columbia University which began in 1957 and has been supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation. The main purpose of the program has been to provide, as part of the education of candidates for the Ph.D. in political science, an emphasis upon contemporary urban and metropolitan political systems, especially the twenty-two-county, tristate New York Metropolitan Region. Each holder of a fellowship in the program has written, or is now writing, his dissertation on a New York Metropolitan Region problem. Several of these dissertations will appear in this series.
Harold Kaplan Urban Renewal Politics demonstrates effectively the main themes of the metropolitan study program: a con