The future of cities as non-territorial public goods clubs

Jason and I have a short piece in the latest issue of the CTRL-Z e-journal, about the future of cities as non-territorial public goods clubs


Do read the whole thing—the abstract is below:

What is the future of cities? We argue there are three-stages in the development logic of cities. First, that over the past millennia or so the raison d’être of cities has changed, shifting from political purposes based on centralisation to commercial trading purposes based on specialisation. Second, because of the first change, city governance becomes increasingly competitive. Coupled with growing mobility of factors and people, this condition gives rise to what economists call ‘Tiebout sorting’ (Tiebout, ‘Pure’) over local public goods. In essence, cities begin to compete for globally mobile factors through offering various bundles of taxes and public goods. Third, the next developmental stage is to remove the territoriality from the public goods, creating non-territorial public goods clubs.


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