Unlocking human potential requires a rich network of institutional arrangements in both private and public spheres. Opening the private sphere to entrepreneurship and complex market organization is well understood as a key to increasing the level and quality of private goods available to consumers. Opening the public sphere to entrepreneurship and innovation at local, regional, and international levels is also a key to increasing the level and quality of public goods – e.g., peace, safety, and health – available to citizens. This paper reviews studies of urban service delivery that have repeatedly found communities of individuals who have self-organized to provide and co-produce surprisingly good local services. In addition to unlocking individual freedom, we need to unlock the public sector from rigid, top-down, hierarchical organization.
entrepreneurship urban public services polycentricity