Cities and Private Planning

Cities and Private Planning

Property Rights, Entrepreneurship and Transaction Costs

Edited by David Emanuel Andersson and Stefano Moroni

Through comprehensive case studies of privately planned cities and neighbourhood in Asia, Europe and North America, this book characterizes the theoretical basis and empirical manifestations of private urban planning. In this innovative volume, Andersson and Moroni develop an understudied aspect of urban planning and re-evaluate conceptions of our urban future.

Chapter 6: Community technology: liberating community development

Alvin Lowi and Spencer MacCallum

Subjects: economics and finance, austrian economics, institutional economics, urban economics, urban and regional studies, cities, urban economics, urban studies


Obviously, human beings have developed some degree of community know-how. Otherwise, we would still be wandering in the wilderness and foraging about the countryside scrounging for necessities rather than living in communities and enjoying the specializations, protections, opportunities and comforts available therein. Just as obviously, we find ourselves in a time of rapidly accelerating change attributable to advances in both social and physical technology. There is no warrant for assuming that communities will not change drastically in the generations to come as a result of technological advances specifically applicable to community living itself–technology born and bred of marketplace opportunity and competence. As used herein, the phrase ‘social technology’ and its sub-category ‘community technology’ denote dependable know-how in voluntary social organization and exchange. Such technology is validated by authentic social science, for it exploits man’s natural propensity to produce more than he consumes and then to trade his surplus to advance his welfare as he sees it (Simon, 1996). Accordingly, in speaking of social or community technology, this chapter will use ‘technology’ in its special and modern social sense of human know-how that is not only technically feasible but also economically viable. By economically viable is meant attractive of entrepreneurial and investor interest for wide application in the marketplace, presumably for financial profit.

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