Our model for a private city is that of a classical liberal minimal state. The company would provide security, dispute resolution, a stable legal framework and some infrastructure. But there are other possibilities. The Free Private City concept is in fact much wider and allows for a huge amount of experimentation.
A Free Private City is essentially an entity which provides governance services on a contractual basis. Some implications of this is that the entry and continued participation are voluntary, the citizen is always free to emigrate, alterations to fixed parts of the contract can only be made bilaterally and disputes with the operator go to third-party arbitration. This is all that is required. Apart from that, the city and the citizen can now try to find out which model works best for them.
Because of this, the Free Private City functions as a kind of Startup Society: a small, experimental and responsive venture trying out new models of living together and delivering valuable information to all of us about about them, even when they fail. When they succeed, on the other hand, the result is enormous prosperity, as can be seen by the examples of Hong Kong or Singapore.
Now imagine this in a large scale. Dozens, hundreds or even thousands of free cities will subject the biggest market of all, that of living together, to the positive effects of market competition. What we get is cheaper and better alternatives, as well as differentiation for niche segments. It’s the replacement of rigid bureaucracies for disruptive innovation.
So what does your ideal city look like? A Kibbutz? An Ecovillage? A libertarian society? A religious community?
Once the pioneers of this new world successfully set the example by founding the world’s first private cities, the question of which model will prosper will be up to you. You are the client.
To learn more, read our book “Free Private Cities: Making Governments Compete for You”: https://www.amazon.com/