Where Should We Park?

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    This chapter compares the ways that two similarly sized cities, Chicago and Amsterdam, have chosen to govern their streets. Chicago sold a seventy-five-year concession to manage street parking to a consortium of private investors, whereas Amsterdam’s government maintains the ability to directly govern its streets. In turn, Chicago is an illustration of how privatization of a common good according to money-lending logics, far from allowing for flexibility and efficient governance, completely prevents a city from changing with the times. Chicago has lost control over its own streets and can no longer decide what their best use is without paying an extortionate price. Any governing of a shared communal space that has a broader concern than generating profit for a private corporation is here effectively undermined by allowing marketized parking. For the purposes of this book, the Chicago/Amsterdam comparison illustrates the limitations of using privatized business actors to efficiently govern shared city space. It also serves as a counterexample to the neoliberal dogma that government should abstain from planning, because their attempts at doing so cannot outperform the market.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPeople Before Markets : An Alternative Casebook
    EditorsDaniel Scott Souleles, Johan Gersel, Morten Sørensen Thaning
    Number of pages13
    Place of PublicationCambridge
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Publication dateOct 2022
    ISBN (Print)9781009165860, 9781009165853
    ISBN (Electronic)9781009165846
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


    • Capitalism
    • Alternatives
    • Problem-solving
    • United States
    • Chicago
    • Parking
    • Cities
    • Land use
    • Minicipal governance
    • Finance
    • Amsterdam

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