Should Google run a city?

The Freeman was nice enough to publish my piece asking whether Google should run a city.

Would you want to live in a private city?

No? What if Google were running the city? Would that change your mind? Google building and running cities is less crazy than you think.

Google has expressed interest in constructing cities, and Larry Page wants to create autonomous zones that can experiment with social rules. Combined, these two ideas have the potential to transform the world. Institutional change can jumpstart economic growth while competent, efficient administration can ensure those gains are not lost to corruption.

I think Silicon Valley could become an extremely powerful force for local autonomy. They have the money and interest. That being said, I believe they have much to learn on the political and legal side. However, they are hardly alone in that respect. Few understand the importance of legal institutions to economic development.

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