The Government of Metropolitan Areas in the United States

By Paul Studenski; Frank H. Sommer et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIX
CONCLUSION
As this work draws to a close a few general observations regarding the subject under study may be made. Seven types of organization or readjustment of metropolitan government thus far proposed and attempted have been examined--intermunicipal coöperation and exchange of services, consolidation and annexation under a unitary form of government, city-county consolidation and separation, expansion of county government, special metropolitan commissions, the New York borough plan, and the federated region or city. What are the final conclusions as to the relative merits of these plans and the possibility of the ultimate solution of the problem of metropolitan organization? They may be summarized as follows:
1. There can be no single answer to the problem of metropolitan organization, applicable to all conditions and times. Each region must be studied separately and an organization devised for it which will meet its peculiar situation.
2. The different types of organization or readjustment so far proposed are not always mutually exclusive. They supplement each other to a large degree. The federal plan of regional organization may adequately meet the needs of the metropolitan area as a whole and particularly so far as the more loosely connected territories are concerned. On the other hand, consolidation or annexation, under either a unitary plan or a borough form of government such as that of New York City, may be the solution for the more closely knit sections of the territory. A reëxamination of the status and functions of the county will be necessary. Where county boundary lines coincide with those of the region the county government, revamped and modernized, may serve as the foundation on which to build a regional organization. In other cases, in which the region covers two or more counties, the county may be preserved as a constituent part of a federated government, its historic rôle being modified in accordance with the demands of a new situation. On the other hand, where homogeneous urban conditions have developed and the need for it has

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