David Emanuel Andersson and Stefano Moroni (eds): Cities and private planning: property rights, entrepreneurship, and transaction costs
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Andersson and Moroni’s edited volume is an up-to-date contribution to the literature on private urban development and city planning (e.g., MacCallum 1970; Foldvary 1994; Beito et al. 2004). The editors, in the introductory chapter, make clear that the essays focus not on the distinction between planned and unplanned approaches, but between privately-planned and publicly-planned approaches. While the editors appreciate that interaction between private and public planners frequently drives development, they immediately note the difference in incentives facing private and public actors. A crucial factor distinguishing the former from the latter is that the former are residual claimants to profits from development, which in turn depend on land prices arrived at by voluntary exchange (p. 3). The essays fall into four categories: (1) the role of private actors in urban development and city planning before the rise of publicly-dominated approaches, (2) the historical failures of centralized...
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