The Voluntary City: Choice, Community and Civil Society

buy now for £15.00

Price: £15.00

An exciting and pioneering book, it sketches out a provocative vision for cities based on civil cooperation and entrepreneurship.

Historically, the city was considered a centre of commerce, knowledge and culture, a haven for safety and a place of opportunity. Today, however, cities are widely viewed as centres for crime, homelessness, drug wars, business failure, impoverishment, transit gridlock, illiteracy, pollution, unemployment, and other social ills. In many cities, government increasingly dominates life. Decision-making has become intensely politicised, and largely unaccountable to the public.

The Voluntary City assembles a rich history and analysis of private, locally-based provision of social services, urban infrastructure, and community governance. Such systems have offered superior education, transportation, housing, crime control, recreation, health care, and employment by being more effective, innovative, and responsive than those provided through special-interest politics and bureaucracy. The book reveals how the process of providing local public goods through the dynamism of freely competitive, market-based entrepreneurship is unmatched in renewing communities and strengthening the bonds of civil society.

Peter Gordon’s research interests are in applied urban economics. He has recently written on the problems of the “sprawl” debate. He is the Co-Editor of Planning and Markets, an all-electronic refereed journal (