Market-Based City Policy

a Q&A with Alain Bertaud

Senior Research Scholar Alain Bertaud discusses his book, Order without Design, and the role of cities as labor markets in a Q&A with columnist and policy analyst James Pethakoukis.

Bertaud: My problem with planners is that they try to plan what is happening within your lot and they don’t plan enough what is in the public realm and what will serve what is being developed within the land. Typically, you have the mayor of New York saying in an interview that he would like to control the height of each building, the amount of floor space everybody consumes, and their income. And at the same time, he doesn’t pay any attention to the garbage bags which accumulate on the sidewalk of New York in the evening and obstruct the sidewalk here.... Overall, a mayor should be a very good janitor. Not an inspired genius, but just a good janitor.

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