Saturday, December 17, 2005

Devolution, property and development

Robert H. Nelson has long written about the benefits of private neighborhood associations and has espoused that state laws be changed so that inner city property owners can also gain the benefits that suburban owners of their neighborhoods enjoy. He elaborates all of this in his recent Private Neighborhoods and the Transformation of Local Government.

Writing in the December 12, 2005, Forbes, ("Privatizing the Inner City: Forget condemnation. Here's how to bring housing, Costco and Ikea to urban areas"). He shows that this is the best alternative to the awful prospects made possible by Kelo vs New London, Connecticut.

"... allow homeowners to privatize their neighborhoods and sell en masse directly to developers."

Trouble is that most advocates of the inner city have such a low opinion of its residents that they would work hard to block this devolution of power (and wealth) -- away from themselves.

There is also the small problem that none of the traditional approaches to inner city revitalization have had much effect.

Oh yes, that is because they have been "underfunded". Or perhaps they have been overfunded.