Market Urbanism is the cross between free-market policy and urban issues. The theory calls for private-sector actions that create organic growth and voluntary exchange within cities, rather than government ones that are enforced by bureaucracy. It is thus a call for city growth and management in the classical liberal tradition. Market Urbanists believe that if cities were liberalized as such, they’d have cheaper housing, faster transport, improved public services and better quality of life. For a more detailed breakdown of the Market Urbanist position on various issues, visit the page "What Is Market Urbanism?"
Market Urbanism Report is a media company whose goal is to advance this Market Urbanism idea, so that it becomes better known by the public and utilized within cities. The company was founded by urban affairs journalist and consultant Scott Beyer.
While there are countless urban issues, MUR namely focuses on housing and transportation.
MUR argues that housing would be cheaper, more abundant and closer to jobs if land was less regulated. It thus criticizes zoning, height limits, growth boundaries, parking minimums, rent control, and other anti-growth regulations. More importantly, it calls for streamlined construction approvals, so that projects don’t drag on for years.
For transportation, MUR argues that existing public systems would be cheaper and faster if they escaped government control and functioned on private-sector principles. MUR thus calls for user-fees on infrastructure; reform or privatization of public transit; growth of private transit entrepreneurship (as found in the rideshare and jitney industries); and devolution, so that cities better control how transportation money is spent.
Were these housing and transportation reforms enacted, MUR posits that cities would be denser and more economically efficient, yet also cheaper and easier to get around in. Consumer demand would better be met by producers who wish to meet that demand, creating cities that better meet the needs of the individual, rather than the arbitrary whims of public bureaucracy.
For a more detailed breakdown of the Market Urbanist position on various issues, visit the page "What Is Market Urbanism?"
Scott Beyer is an urban affairs journalist. Along with founding and managing Market Urbanism Report, he writes columns for Forbes, the Independent Institute, and HousingOnline.com, and gives regular speeches and media interviews. Scott was born and raised in Charlottesville, VA, and now lives in New York City. He recently completed a 3-year cross-country trip to study U.S. urban issues, and will soon write a book on what he learned. After that, he wants to pursue a similar travel/book project covering the fast-growing cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America.