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Explainer: Cities, Boroughs, And Townships, Oh My! Pa. Municipalities Clarified


Ever drive along a road where signs welcoming you to a borough or township appeared more frequently than stoplights? Pennsylvania is broken up into myriad units, many with overlapping jurisdictions, different powers and responsibilities, and varying classifications. For example, I live in the municipality of Allegheny County, which is a county of the second class, in the city of Pittsburgh, which is a second-class city. Sometimes I go to the movies in the borough of Homestead or visit friends who live in Shaler Township. Here’s a breakdown of what that actually means and what the differences are between the various entities. 

Read the full version of this report at Keystone Crossroads' websiteKeystone Crossroads is a new statewide public media initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a participating station.

Irina Zhorov was WESA’s reporter for Keystone Crossroads, a statewide public media initiative focused on issues in older Pennsylvania communities.