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In 1930, the National Municipal League (which is now the National Civic League) published a pioneering study called The Government of Metropolitan Areas. "The rapid growth of metropolitan regions has been one of the conspicuous phenomena of the Twentieth Century," the study concluded. "The task confronting our urban populations is one of political reconstruction calling for high statesmanship and sound political wisdom."
Regionalism, or as it was then called, "metropolitanism," was an early and pressing concern for the leaders of the National Municipal League (NML). The vapid economic growth of following World War I had caused many municipalities to overflow their boundaries, creating a sense of confusion about who was responsible for providing which services and infrastructure improvements.
This was troubling …