NEW YORK: The Politics of Urban Regional Development by Michael N. & Jameson W. Doig Danielson

NEW YORK: The Politics of Urban Regional Development

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Using the New York metropolitan region as a model, Princeton professors Danielson and Doig (both, Politics and Public Affairs) have assembled a compendium of insights into the consequences of overgrowth--leaving it up to others to devise practicable solutions. Strictly on its own terms, the book is not without flaws. On the plus side, the authors succeed in explaining the forward progress of a metropolitan region overlaid by 2,191 state, regional, county, district, and municipal governments. They effectively argue that the region is well into long-term governance beyond responsive--or perhaps even responsible--management by many of its jurisdictions. By use of the case method, they delineate and explain the diverse public sector agencies, commissions, departments, and committees inter-relating and cross-functioning in and about the area's far-too-many politically untouchable levels of government. On the debit side, the book's many anecdotes may lead novices to believe that the good and bad results of this governmental potpourri derive personally from Nelson Rockefeller, Robert Moses, Austin Tobin, John Lindsay, William Ronan, and a clutch of New Jersey officials now remembered mostly there. Individual sections--on the Port Authority's ill-fated new jetport proposal in the 1960s, the same agency's writhing and waning in the '70s, Newark's stop-and-go economic development patterns over two decades--show some hasty generalizations. The book's overdone tidbits on the Port Authority's one-man-rule during the later Tobin years and the succeeding ""Wholly Ronan Empire"" ignore the uninspiring fact that, in the opinion of many viewers, the bi-state agency's accomplishments under its present ""regional recovery"" program are largely cosmetic. Spotty, then, and near-useless for remedies (too many jurisdictions?--just try to get rid of them!); but a prime resource, nonetheless, for scholars and practitioners in the field.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1982
ISBN: 0520045513
Publisher: Univ. of California Press