05 August 2009

Charter Cities ~ Paul Romer's Rules For Choice!

Stanford economist Paul Romer offers the idea of Charter Cities -- new conurbations with good rules and free choice -- at TEDGlobal... These Charter Cities are city-scale special administrative zones perhaps governed by a coalition of nations or in other non-traditional ways. Romer proposes Guantanamo Bay in Cuba as a possibility and points at plenty of land available worldwide -- and especially in Africa -- for dozens of new Charter Cities. Through colonial quirks and otherwise, Romer notes that this kind of special city situation was, in fact, experienced by Hong Kong and Singapore. And in Deng's China when they made Special Economic Zones to explore different rules and greater freedoms. I would add to the historical list: Monaco, Gibraltar, Ceuta, Tel Aviv, Cape Town, San Francisco, Shanghai, Dubai, and more. Each had back in the day -- or still have -- very distinctive qualities and rules attracting the inflow of talent and investment. Let's learn lessons from these historical accidents and go forward building Charter Cities by intention!

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