Business Districts, Urban Commons
This chapter contributes to existing work that bridges two rich scholarly conversations by examining the role that BIDs play in city governance and their relationship to the urban commons. The first section summarizes the existing literature on the scope and meaning of the urban commons: what do we mean by the governance of the ‘urban commons,’ and how do BIDs fit into this scheme? Section two contends that decision-making, representation, and accountability should be used as factors in evaluating urban commons institutions. Third, the chapter concludes that, instead of framing BIDs as singular bodies capable of managing a common pool resource within the city, scholars should insist on inclusive decision-making, representation, and accountability as necessary elements of the urban commons, including BIDs.
Alexandra Flynn, "Business Improvement Districts and the Urban Commons" in Sheila Foster & Chrystie Swiney, eds, Cambridge Handbook of Commons Research Innovations (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, [forthcoming in 2021]).