Friday, July 16, 2010

Creeping Metropolitanism - A Pittsburgh Neologism

My friends over with the CONNECT project had a bunch of ink yesterday. The PG version: 'Also-urbs': Pittsburgh and 35 towns create catalyst for cooperation
 
Some noteworthy quotes in there, but I caught yet another reference to fears of "creeping metropolitanism". I actually did a search on the historical use of the term "creeping metropolitanism" and it is almost exclusively generated from Pittsburgh-related stories.  Think about that.  I like this article:  Creeping Metropolitanism Giving Suburbs Jitters...  That is from 1960.   It was not just Pittsburgh that was of concern apparently, they (not quite sure the 'they') also worried about McKeesport.  The specific objection of one suburban denizen was that he:
"..also objects to having White Oak, Versailles, Liberty Port Vue, Elizabeth, Glassport and other neighboring communities classified as "boudoirs" of Mckeesport"
Boudoirs? And just the semantics of "creeping"...  nothing good ever 'creeps' does it?  What is the antonym of 'incrementalism' I wonder?
 
They didn't have much to worry about in 1960.  28 years later the spectre of "Creeping Metropolitanism" would barely be humorous  fodder for columnists when in 1988 Tom Hritz wrote: City Limits Wafting South.  Today the Pittsburgh region remains the most fragmented local government structure in the entire nation and quite possibly the world and there is not much on the horizon that is going to change that anytime soon.  What is it about Pittsburgh that makes it so much more opposed to even talking about these things than just about anywhere else on the planet?
 
As regards to the City of Pittsburgh.  Territorial growth the city has been virtually stagnant since the Depression.  Really not all that much since Pittsburgh annexed Allegheny City in 1906/7. For history buffs if nothing else, below is my transcription of the history of territorial growth of the City of Pittsburgh. 

Also there is another related story today of a new effort to survey public opinions on government services.   Will be interesting to see the results of that and compare it to the survey my friend Jim D. completed 20 years ago just about. (also note the longer paper version).  

Territorial Growth of the City of Pittsburgh
Territory Annexed          Entry Date Area  Annexed   Total Area
                                          (both in Square Miles) 



Borough of Pittsburgh          March 5, 1804  0.50 0.5
City of Pittsburgh            March 18, 1816  0.5
Northern Liberties Borough     March 1, 1837  0.17 0.7
City's District 8/17            July 7, 1845  0.17 0.8
Part of Pitt Township       November 4, 1846  0.8
Part of Pitt Township       December 4, 1846  0.93 1.8
Part of Pitt Township      December 12, 1846  1.8
Remainder of Pitt Township     June 30, 1868  1.8
Peebles Township               June 30, 1868  1.8
Liberty Township               June 30, 1868  1.8
Collins Township               June 30, 1868 21.34 23.1
Oakland Township               April 2, 1872       23.1
Lawrenceville Boro             April 2, 1872       23.1
Union Township                 April 2, 1872       23.1
Temperanceville Boro           April 2, 1872       23.1
Mount Washington Boro          April 2, 1872       23.1
West Pittsburgh Boro           April 2, 1872       23.1
Monongahela Boro               April 2, 1872       23.1
South Pittsburgh Boro          April 2, 1872  4.19 27.3
Allentown Boro              December 1, 1894       27.3
Birmingham Boro             December 1, 1894       27.3
East Birmingham Borough     December 1, 1894       27.3
St. Clair Borough           December 1, 1894       27.3
Brushton Boro               December 1, 1894  0.45 27.8
Beltzhoover Boro               March 1, 1898  0.30 28.1
Elliott Boro                 January 2, 1905  0.32 28.4
Esplen Boro                  January 8, 1906  0.28 28.6
Sterett Township             January 8, 1906  0.48 29.1
Montooth Boro                January 7, 1907  0.11 29.2
Sheraden Boro              November 21, 1907  0.97 30.2
City of Allegheny           December 6, 1907  8.07 38.3
West Liberty Boro            January 6, 1908  2.74 41.0
O'Hata Township             October 30, 1908  0.32 41.3
Beechview Boro               January 4, 1909  0.33 41.7
Part of Union Township       January 4, 1909  0.09 41.8
Part of Baldwin Township     January 1, 1912  0.24 42.0
Part of Ross Township      December 19, 1916  0.02 42.0
Spring Garden Boro           January 5, 1920  0.19 42.2
Part of Penn Township          June 28, 1920  0.00 42.2
Part of Chartiers Township   October 4, 1920  0.02 42.2
Rem. of Chartiers Township   January 1, 1921  3.42 45.7
Part of Reserve Township    October 31, 1922  0.25 45.9
St. Clair Boro               January 1, 1923  0.97 46.9
Prts of Lower St. Clair Twp February 7, 1924  0.08 47.0
Part of Swissvale Boro     November 27, 1925  0.03 47.0
Carrick Boro                 January 3, 1927  1.59 48.6
Knoxville Boro               January 3, 1927  0.30 48.9
Westwood Boro                January 3, 1927  0.30 49.2
Union Township               January 2, 1928  0.94 50.1
Part of Ross Township          June 29, 1928  0.06 50.2
Hays                         January 7, 1929  0.74 50.9
Part of Mifflin Township   February 15, 1929  0.92 51.8
Part of Ross Township         April 22, 1929  0.03 51.9
Part of Ross Township         April 25, 1929  0.13 52.0
Part of Ross Township           June 3, 1929  0.01 52.0
Part of Ross Township           July 1, 1929  0.00 52.0
Part of Mifflin Township       July 22, 1929  0.00 52.0
Part of Penn Township        January 2, 1930  0.03 52.1
Part of Penn Township       January 22, 1930  0.02 52.1
Overbrook Boro               January 6, 1930  1.23 53.3
Part of Baldwin Township     January 5, 1931  0.08 53.4
Part of Mifflin Township   February 27, 1931  0.76 54.1
Part of Reserve Township      March 20, 1931  0.15 54.3
Part of Baldwin Township    December 1, 1947  0.06 54.4
Part of Ross Township         April 28, 1948  0.02 54.4
Part of Baldwin Township    February 5, 1951  1.08 55.5
Part of Baldwin Township      March 13, 1951  0.04 55.5
Part of Robinson Township    August 19, 1955  0.03 55.5
Source: Office of the Pittsburgh City Controller


3 Comments:

Anonymous MH said...

I saw your first link yesterday and laughed at this quote:

"We don't want to be dragged down by Pittsburgh and its problems," said Bill Beck, McKees Rocks manager.

Friday, July 16, 2010 2:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Rocks don't want to be dragged down by Pittsburgh? I bet Stowe and Kennedy Townships say the exact same thing about McKees Rocks! LOL

Friday, July 16, 2010 2:49:00 PM  
Blogger Grimace said...

Can't the city just take that part of Baldiwn Borough that cuts down Becks Run to the Mon River and encompasses the bike trail and train tracks?

Friday, July 16, 2010 8:02:00 PM  

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