August, 2007

Mercatus on Policy: Power to The Neighborhoods

  • Peter Gordon

    Mercatus Center Affiliated Senior Scholar
  • Sanford Ikeda

    Associate Professor of Economics, SUNY Purchase
Key materials
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Whether based on a top-down approach or some form of citizen participation, most urban-planning policies fail to live up to their good intentions.  Never was this more apparent than in post-Katrina New Orleans, where a storm that leveled city blocks also laid bare the failures of previous urban planning.  As New Orleans rebuilds, city officials have an opportunity to redirect their efforts away from the misguided policies of the past and towards the promise of private neighborhood associations (PNAs).  Such organizations would aid the re-emergence of New Orleans as a "living city" - one that generates its economic growth form its own local economy.  A network of PNAs would create many different kinds of communities with a variety of rules, fees, and services among which people can pick and choose.