Forget charter schools; 2013 will be the year of charter cities.
Conceived by economist Paul Romer as a kind of modern day Hong Kong, charter cities are cities created by carving out a section of empty land in an existing country and allowing private entities to contribute to the governance and construction of a complete new city.
The charter cities are given complete control over their own affairs, including laws, taxes, regulations, etc – the idea being that increased competition between legislative systems will work to promote better laws and lawmaking.
Negotiations have been underway with various states for several years to work out the best legal structure under which they should operate and this week, Honduras became the first country to officially approve the set up of a charter city – three in fact.
Just as charter schools slipped under the radar when they were first introduced, this announcement hasn’t been particularly well publiscised, but I suspect in a few decades we’ll look back on this as the start of a big.
You can read more about charter cities on the non-profit “Charter Cities” organisation’s website.