Restoring Urban Life in Crisis Times
Wednesday, February 4, 2004
The exciting and pioneering book, The Voluntary City, sketches out a provocative vision for communities based on civil cooperation and entrepreneurship. Drawing upon a fascinating history of city innovations, the book shows why the de-bureaucratization of urban life is crucial to fostering thriving markets, vibrant neighbors and educational excellence.
Jerry Brown, Mayor, City of Oakland; former Governor, State of California
The Voluntary City is a big and important one. It opens up a number of windows on the organization of urban life and civil society generally. It addresses from many points of view, not the least of which is the past history of cities, questions that have hardly been addressed for several decades. The key question is the optimal mode of provision of a whole range of public services, including housing, transportation, education, medical care, police and law courts. This book may well lead to a reconsideration of how these services might be better provided through voluntary, market-based arrangements than by the ministrations of urban planners and other experts of the modern welfare state.
Nathan Rosenberg, Fairleigh S. Dickinson, Jr. Professor of Public Policy, Stanford University
The Voluntary City explores the fascinating history of bottom-up approaches to the challenges of urban living. It provides refreshing counterpoint to the dominant urbanologist tradition, which stresses the indispensability of government engineering of basic city institutions.
Robert Ellickson, Walter E. Meyer Professor of Property and Urban Law, Yale University
Ross C. Anderson, Mayor, City of Salt Lake City, Utah