NEW YORK CITY'S BOROUGH PLAN
The government of the city of New York, or Greater New York as it was called at the time of consolidation and in the city charter, is a unique form of metropolitan organization. Created as it was for the administration of what was then nearly the entire metropolitan region of New York, it must be regarded as a form of metropolitan organization. The fact that the region today extends far beyond the boundaries of that "Greater New York"0 must not be allowed to obscure the essentially metropolitan nature of Greater New York's government, as originally established.
It represented an attempt at the organization of a metropolitan territory on the principle of maintaining side by side a central, common government and semi-autonomous local subdivisions. But the effort in that direction was very mild. Centralization was carried so far and borough autonomy allowed so restricted a sphere as to make the scheme inconsistent with true principles of federalism. The consolidation embodied in the scheme was of a dual nature. It combined, on one hand, all the political divisions of the territory in one "greater city," and united, on the other hand, given groups of such divisions into new, larger subdivisions, or "boroughs," of the greater city. It was both a general or regional and a sectional or subregional consolidation. The borough governments were constituted in a most peculiar way. They were provided with single heads who exercized the duties both of a borough mayor and a borough council, and who were tied up to the central government of the greater city in an unprecedented manner.
Combining as it does different principles of governmental organization, New York City's "borough plan" does not lend itself easily to Classification. It will be treated as a form of metropolitan organization akin to and yet distinct from the "federal plan" discussed in the following chapter. A study of its features and of the modifications which it has undergone under the pressure of new conditions and an appraisal of its strong and