A Primer On Local Government Fragmentation and Regionalism in the Pittsburgh Region.


Prepared by:

Christopher Briem, University Center for Social and Urban Research, University of Pittsburgh, cbriem@pitt.edu


Included Below:


●Articles About Pittsburgh     ●Books    ●Academic Articles   ●Institutional Links    ● Legal Issues and    ●Misc. Links


Some Statistics:

In 2002 The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area had a total of 905 local governments. These are divided up into general purpose county and municipal governments but also include school districts and special district governments with limited mandates.








Cities & Boroughs


School Districts

Special Districts


Armstrong County






Allegheny County






Beaver County






Butler County






Fayette County






Washington County






Westmoreland County











898 (+7 County Gov’ts)

Click on number for a list of individual governments, mailing addresses and web addresses (where available). Where governments cross county borders they are listed only once in the county where the greater share of their population resides. Please note: this data is derived entirely from Census Bureau data, requests to update address or web pages should be directed to the Governments Division of the U.S. Census Bureau.


What do Special District Governments do? See: List of Pittsburgh Region Special Districts Grouped by Primary Function or Summary of local governments by type and MSA


How does the Pittsburgh Region compare to other regions? See:


How Different Are Pittsburgh Municipalities? See: Summary Demographics of Pittsburgh Region Municipalities


Institutional Links:


Legal Niceties




Reading List - Pittsburgh Specific References ( for more general topics you may also want to look at my policy document collection):

  1. Metropolitan Organization: The Allegheny County Case. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, February 1992
  2.  Reclaiming Hope:  Voluntary Disincorporation in Allegheny County. Frank J. Lucchino..Controller, County of Allegheny. Undated (this is just the first few pages of this report. If you need the whole report give me a call.)
  3. Strengthening Pennsylvania's Local Governments - Implications for the Mon Valley.Christine Altenburger, Kevin Kearns, B. Guy Peters, Prepared for the President's Conference on Mill Towns, May 5-6, 1988.
  4.  SKYBUS Pittsburgh's Failed Industry Targeting Strategy of the 1960s by Morton Coleman, David Houston and Edward K. Muller. (note: Why is a skybus report here? Well, if you read into the history, it was the fear of Metropolitanism in Allegheny County that was a major factor in scuttling the Skybus project… the effect of which has rippled through transportation planning to this day in the Pittsburgh region.)
  5. COMPAC 21 - Preparing Allegheny County for the 21st Century. A Report to the Allegheny County Board of Commissioners by the Committee to Prepare Allegheny County for the 21st Century. January 1996
  6. Final Report and Proposed Home Rule Charter, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Allegheny County Study Commission.  March 15, 1974.  pages 1-30 and pages 31-60.  
  7. Transforming the Governance of Western Pennsylvania from Town to Region. Chapter 8 of The State of the Region Report: Economic, Demographic, and Social Conditions in SWPA. University Center for Social and Urban Research. University of Pittsburgh September 1999
  8. The Impact of the Earned Income Tax on Locational Decisions and the City of Pittsburgh, Department of City Planning, City of Pittsburgh. April 1987;Part 2; Part3
  9. Hunter v. City of Pittsburgh, 207 U.S. 161 (1907) 207 U.S. 161 (the case and Supreme Court ruling that allowed the annexation of Allegheny City by the City of Pittsburgh)
  10. Pittsburgh: A Regional City With a Local Tax Base. Executive Summary. Pennsylvania Economy League, 1982.
  11. Why the Federated Pittsburgh Plan Failed to Carry: Defeated Plan to Be Resubmitted, The American City. Vol. 38, August 1929. p.150.
  12. Pittsburgh Plans the World's Most Complete Experiment in Federated City Government, By Thomas H. Reed, Director, Bureau of Government, University of Michigan, The American City. Vol. 36, May 1927. pp. 596-598.
  13. Pittsburgh - The World's Third Federated City, By Rowland A. Egger, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan
    The American City. Vol. 38, June 1929. pp. 120-121.
  14. Century-old dispute has delayed city's expansion efforts. By Christopher Briem. Pittsburgh Business Times. April 16, 2004
  15.  Suburban politicians thwarted earlier city/county merger. By Alan Robertson. Pittsburgh Business Times. April 16, 2004


Reading List - General References (Books):

  1. City-County Consolidation and Its Alternatives: Reshaping the Local Government Landscape. (July 2004) by Jered B. Carr (Editor), and Richard C. Feiock (Editor). M.E. Sharpe
  2. Metropolitan Governance Without Metropolitan Government.(2004) by Don Phares (Editor)
  3. Case Studies of City-County Consolidation.(2004) by Suzanne M. Leland (Editor), Kurt M. Thurmaier (Editor)
  4. The Metropolitan Chase: Politics and Policies in Urban America (2003) by E. Terrence Jones
  5. Political Change in the Metropolis, John J. Harrigan, 2003
  6. American Metropolitics: The New Suburban Reality(2002), by Myron Orfield.
  7. Cities Without Suburbs, a Census 2000 Update (2003). David Rusk.
  8. The Regional Governing of Metropolitan America.(2002) by David Miller
  9. Reflections on Regionalism.(2000) by Bruce Katz
  10. Metropolitan Government and Governance: Theoretical Perspectives, Empirical Analysis, and the Future. (1999) by G. Ross Stephens, Nelson Wikstrom
  11. Regional Politics : America in a Post-City Age (1996). by H . V. Savitch (Editor), Ronald K. Vogel
  12. Regional Excellence: Governing Together to Compete Globally and Flourish Locally (1996). By William R. Dodge
  13. Morning Glories: Municipal Reform in the Southwest (1996), by Amy Bridges, .
  14. The Fractured Metropolis: Political Fragmentation and Metropolitan Segregation. Weiher, Gregory R. 1991.
  15. Regime Politics: Governing Atlanta (1989) by Clarence N. Stone.
  16. Organizing Governance, Governing Organizations (1988) by Colin S.J. Campbell, B. Guy Peters
  17. The twentieth-century American city : problem, promise, and reality. (1986) by Jon C. Teaford
  18. The Unheralded Triumph: City Government in America (1984) 1870-1900. by Jon C. Teaford
  19. City Limits (1981).by Paul E. Peterson
  20. City and Suburb: The Political Fragmentation of Metropolitan America 1850-1970 (1979) by Jon C. Teaford
  21. Metropolitan Politics: A reader. (1971) Michael N. Danielson(editor).
  22. Voting patterns in city-county consolidation referenda: Case studies of Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee (1971) by Craig R Humphrey. Brown University Press.
  23. Federal-Metropolitan Politics and the Commuter Crisis. (1965) Danielson
  24. Some Fiscal Implications of Metropolitanism (Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C. Reprint. 61) (1962) by Harvey Elliot Brazer
  25. The Government of Metropolitan Areas. (1930) by Paul Studenski.
  26. Municipal Government in the United States. (1926) by Thomas Harrison Reed.


Reading List - General References (Articles):

  1. The Evidence on Government Competition. Lori Taylor. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  2. The Case for Government Consolidation. Prepared for Syracuse 20/20. John F. Freie. September 2005
  3. The Effects of City County Consolidation: A Review of the Literature. A Report Prepared by the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, Fort Wayne, Indiana (www.inpolicy.org) for the Marion County Consolidation Study Commission. Indiana General Assembly. Project Director:Samuel R. Staley. November 16, 2005.
  4.  Conceptions of “Democracy”, “Welfare” and “Justice” in Discourses on Metropolitan Governance: The Social Constructivist Challenge to the Public Choice School. Discussion paper. By Joachim Blatter. University of Konstanz
  5. City-County Consolidation and the Rebuilding of Image: The Fiscal Lessons from Indianapolis's UniGov Program, by Mark S. Rosentraub, State and Local Government Review - Volume 32 (2000),
  6. Quandaries of Pragmatic Reform: A Reassessment of the Jacksonville Experience. By Bert E. Swanson.  State and Local Government Review - Volume 32 (2000),
  7. Metropolitan Consolidation versus Metropolitan Governance in Louisville. By H.V. Savitch and Ronald K. Vogel. State and Local Government Review - Volume 32 (2000),
  8. Looking for Regionalism in all of the Wrong Places.  Manuel Pastor Jr. University of California, Santa Cruz. Also in URBAN AFFAIRS REVIEW, Vol. 36, No. 6, July 2001 747-782
  9.  The Consolidation of City and County Governments. Pat Hardy. Metropolitan Technical Advisory Service, The University of Tennessee, 2005.
  10. Report of the Shenango County Intergovernmental Study Commission. November 2003.
  11. Husock, Howard. "Let's Break Up the Big Cities." City Journal (Winter 1998).
  12. "Beyond Merger: A Competitive Vision for the Regional City of Louisville." Center of Urban and Metropolitan Policy, The Brookings Institution (July 2002).
  13. Suburbs without a City: Power and City-County Consolidation, by H. V. Savitch,  University of Louisville, Ronald K. Vogel, University of Louisville. Urban Affairs Review, Vol. 39, No. 6, 758-790 (2004)
  14. Consolidating Wheeling And Ohio County: A review of city-county consolidation (“Unigov”) experiences regarding central city health and regional economic growth (revised December 11, 2004) prepared for HOPEFUL CITY. David Rusk.
  15. Measuring Inter-City Competition: Victoria Basolo. University of California at Irvine and David Lowery University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Undated working paper.
  16. Fiscal Decentralization: A Remedy for Corruption? By G. Gulsun Arikan. University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. April 2000.
  17. Structure, Conduct, And Performance In The Local Public Sector Randall W. Eberts And Timothy J. Gronberg. National Tax Journal, Vol. 43, no. 2, (June, 1990), pp. 165-73
  18. City-County Consolidation and Diseconomies of Scale: Summary of Selected Literature. Chris Pineda, Government Innovators Network
  19. Regionalism: Maximizing Effective Partnerships for Economic Development. Economic Development America. Economic Development Administration. Spring 2004.
  20. Local Government Reorganization In West Virginia. David G. Temple. Undated.
  21. Urban Fragmentation as Barrier to Equal Opportunity. John A. Powell and Kathleen M. Graham. Chapter 7 in Rights at Risk: Equality in an Age of Terrorism. Citizens Commission on Civil Rights, Biennial Report, 2002. pp. 79-97..
  22. Exploring the Relationship Between Metropolitan Planning Effort and Community Prosperity. Joyce N. Levine, Department of Urban and Regional Planning Jackson State University. November 2003
  23. Collective Individualism: Deconstructing the Legal City, Georgette C. Poindexter. University of Pennsylvania Law Review 607 (1997)).
  24. Does City-County Consolidation Save Money?,  Campbell, Richard W. and Sally Coleman Selden Policy Notes, vol. 1, no. 2, March 2000. Carl Vinson Institute of Government, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
  25. City Bound: Political Science and the American Metropolis by Michael N. Danielson and Paul G. Lewis. Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 1, 203-220 (1996
  26. Cooperation not Consolidation: The Answer for Milwaukee Government.  Wisconsin Policy Research Institute Report. November 2002.
  27. The Good of the Many Outweighs the Good of the One: Regional Cooperation instead of Individual Competition in the United States and Western Europe?  Linda McCarthy.  Journal of Planning Education and Research.2003; 23: 140-152
  28. Who Becomes Involved in City-County Consolidations?  Findings from County Officials in 25 Communities, Carr, Jered B. and Richard C. Feiock  State and Local Government Review. vol. 34, no. 2 (Spring 2002), pp 78-94.
  29. One Region, One Future: A Report on Regionalism. The Greater Baltimore Committee. July 1997. Frank P. Bramble, Donald P. Hutchinson, Mark K. Josepp, Carl W. Stearn.
  30. City/County Consolidation: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?, Kenefake, Scott M. Kansas Government Journal. August 2003.
  31. Central City Decline: Regional or Neighborhood Solutions? by Richard Voith. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Business Review. March/April 1996.
  32. Should Philadelphia's Suburbs Help their Central City? by Bob Inman. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Business Review. 2003.
  33. Understanding Local Government Cooperation in Urban Regions .  James A. Visser, The American Review of Public Administration, Vol. 32, No. 1, 40-65 (2002)
  34. Measuring Inter-City Competition: An Alternative Approach. Victoria Basolo, University of California at Irvine and David Lowery. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MS Word)
  35. The Portland Region: Where Cities and Suburbs Talk to Each Other, and Often Agree. Housing Policy Debate. Vol. 8. Issue 1. Fannie Mae Foundation. 1997. pp. 11-51.
  36. Metropolitan governance in Germany, Dietrich Fürst, University of Hannover
  37. Decentralized Governance: The Implications of Government Organization.in Metropolitan Areas, DeVoe Moore Center Critical Issues Symposium, October 4-5 2002 
  38. Towards a New Regionalism: Rebuilding the Urban Community. By David Rusk, (Washington D.C., Progressive Policy Institute: 1993).
  39. Regionalism Through Partnerships? Metropolitan Planning Since ISTEA, Todd Goldman and Elizabeth Deakin. Berkeley Planning Journal 14 (2000): 46-75
  40. Incentives, Entrepreneurs, and Boundary Change:A Collective Action Framework, Richard C. Feiock, Jered B. Carr
  41. In Through the Back Door: Social Equity Through Regional Government. by Scott Bollens. in Housing Policy Debate. Vol.13 No.4. 2003
  42. Cooperation Not Consolidation, The Answer for Milwaukee Governance, Policy Research Institute Report Wisconsin November 2002 Volume 15, Number 8
  43. Private Incentives and Academic Entrepreneurs: The Promotion of City/County Consolidation. Richard C. Feiock and Jered B. Carr
  44. A Reassessment Of City/County Consolidation: Economic Development Impacts, Richard C. Feiock And Jered B. Carr
  45. City-County Consolidation: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis Approach. by Linda S. Johnson & Richard C. Feiock
  46. North American Metropolitan Planning Reexamined, Donald N. Rothblatt, Urban And Regional Planning Department, San Jose State University, November 1998
  47. Fragmentation, Fiscal Mobility and Efficiency. Keith Dowding and Thanos Mergoupis. Journal of Politics November 2003
  48. Decentralized Taxation and the Size of Government: Evidence from Swiss State and Local Governments by Lars P. Feld, Gebhard Kirchgassner, Christoph A. Schaltegger, Swiss Federal Tax Administration,
  49. Governance in Erie County. A Foundation for Understanding and Action. The Governance Project. State University of New York at Buffalo.January 1996.
  50. Competitive Regionalism: Beyond Individual Competition.Reviews of Economic Development Literature and Practice. Economic Development Administration.by Linda McCarthy. University of Toledo. 2000
  51. Regionalism: The Creation of Urban Dysfunction & Strategies for Recreating Metropolitan Communities. Institute on Race and Poverty Research. University of Minnesota Law School.
  52. Elements of a Framework for Regional Decisionmaking in California. September 2002.
  53. Garasky,-Steven and Haurin,-Donald-R. Tiebout Revisited: Redrawing Jurisdictional Boundaries Journal-of-Urban-Economics; 42(3), November 1997, pp.366-76.
  54. Rethinking Local Government. New Orleans Commission on Government Reorganization.
  55. Marion County Consolidation Study Commission, meeting minutes August 10, 2005.
  56. The Local Government Boundary Problem in Metropolitan Areas. By Richard Briffault. Stanford Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 5 (May, 1996), pp. 1115-1171
  57. Donahue, John D., "Tiebout? Or Not Tiebout? The Market Metaphor and America's Devolution Debate," Journal of Economic Perspectives 11 (Fall 1997) 73-81.
  58. DANIEL Kumbler and Brigette Schwab. (2007) New regionalism in five Swiss metropolitan areas: An assessment of inclusiveness, deliberation and democratic accountability. European Journal of Political Research 46:4, 473–502
  59. Stefan Kipfer. (2004) "Metropolitics" and the Quest for a New Regionalist Corporatism in the United States: Comparative Notes and Critical Comments. Antipode 36:4, 740–752
  60. Richard Morin and Jill Hanley. (2004) Community economic development in a context of globalization and metropolization: a comparison of four North American cities. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 28:2, 369–383
  61. Victoria Basolo and Dorian Hastings. (2003) Obstacles to Regional Housing Solutions: A Comparison of Four Metropolitan Areas. Journal of Urban Affairs 25:4, 449–472
  62. Todd Swanstrom (2001) What We Argue About When We Argue About Regionalism. Journal of Urban Affairs 23 (5), 479–496.
  63. Vincent Ostrom, Charles M. Tiebout, and Robert Warren, "The Organization of Government in Metropolitan Areas: A Theoretical Inquiry," American Political Science Review 55 (1961), 831-842
  64. Charles M. Tiebout. Economies of Scale and Metropolitan Governments. The Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 42, No. 4. (Nov., 1960), pp. 442-444.
  65. Jargowski, Paul M. “Metropolitan Restructuring and Urban Policy.” Stanford Law & Policy Review. Revitalizing America’s Cities: Searching for Solutions. Volume 8:2. Summer 1997.
  66. Boyne, George A. 1992. “Local Government Structure And Performance - Lessons From America?” Public Administration. 70: 333-357.
  67. Metropolitan Governance Structure and Income Growth. Kathryn Foster and Arthur Nelson. Journal of Urban Affairs. Vol. 21 No.3 1999. pp. 309-324.