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Neighborhood Empowerment And The Future Of The City, Kenneth Stahl Dec 2012

Neighborhood Empowerment And The Future Of The City, Kenneth Stahl

Kenneth Stahl

In any given metropolitan region, there are scores of municipalities locked in a zero-sum struggle for mobile sources of jobs and tax revenue. This competition appears to advantage small, homogenous suburbs over large, diverse cities because the former can directly enact the uniform will of the electorate rather than becoming ensnarled in conflict between competing interest groups. Cities can level the playing field with suburbs, however, by devolving municipal power to smaller, more homogenous subgroups within the city, such as neighborhoods. Indeed, one such effort at neighborhood empowerment, the “business improvement district,” (BID) has been widely identified as a key …