Vision for a Progressive 'Ownership Society'

Communities and cities can benefit from a more communal and equitable approach to "ownership", argues Gar Alperovitz, one that embraces cooperatives, land trusts and non-profit neighborhood corporations.

"There are...sophisticated and highly developed community-benefitting ownership strategies available at the local level. For instance, some 4,000 to 6,000 nonprofit neighborhood corporations now regularly invest in—and own—housing and businesses and provide other services on behalf of communities throughout the United States. In Newark, N.J., one such corporation—New Communities, Inc.—generates $50 million in economic activity each year, employs more than 1,600 people and uses its ownership position to leverage other community services.

"Still another strategy operating just below the level of media concern involves cities becoming owners of productive and profitable enterprises which make money, produce new revenues and help the local economy in a variety of other ways. Enterprises range from hotels and large-scale city-owned real estate projects (especially in connection with transit development) to cable television, Internet and other services. And, of course, there are some 2,000 public utilities operating at the local level. Many efforts have proven so effective that even Republican mayors have begun to back new municipal enterprise strategies."

Thanks to Michael Dudley

Full Story: A Real Ownership Society

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!