I’d like to recommend the EconTalk podcast from a couple of weeks back. Russ Roberts talks to Paul Romer about the latter’s thoughts on what he calls charter cities.
Romer envisions a city where the rules about property and safety and contract and so on are rules that allow individuals to flourish in an urban setting in contrast to the cities they live in now where so many aspects of economic and personal life are dysfunctional. Charter cities would be havens for the world’s poor and could be created on uninhabited land in either rich or poor countries.
While the idea sounds somewhat utopian, it’s worth considering. The podcast is thought provoking, if nothing else.
You can also watch Romer on TED, speaking on the same topic.