Tim Brochu, co-host of Anarchitecture Podcast, will be presenting at the Free State Project’s 14th Annual Porcupine Freedom Festival (PorcFest) in New Hampshire!
Tim’s speech, entitled “Private Ownership of Public Space in Post-State Cities,” will be at 10:00 AM, Friday June 23rd in the Creating Communities tent. See below for a synopsis of his speech.
Tim is also sponsoring PorcFest on behalf of his new architecture practice, Adra Architecture. Adra Architecture offers a broad range of architectural services to residential, commercial, and healthcare clients in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
Tim will create his own piece of public space, the “Adra Lounge,” in PorcFest’s Agora Village. If you make it to PorcFest, be sure to stop by to meet Tim, discuss Anarchitecture, view a portfolio of his work, and learn more about Adra Architecture’s services.
The Free State Project is an agreement among 20,000 participants to move to New Hampshire by 2021, working toward “the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals’ rights to life, liberty, and property.”
See you at PorcFest!
Private Ownership of Public Space in Post-State Cities
“Public property” and “public space” are often misconstrued as describing the same thing, implying that if public property were privatized then public space would be eliminated.
The reality is that public space is often indispensable to private property (shopping center plazas, condominium green spaces, office park roadways, etc.). On the other hand, public property often restricts activities and charges fees for use of the limited space available for public use. “Public property” is a misnomer; it is just private property whose owner happens to be a government.
This government property – roads, parks, plazas, parking – forms part of the basis for the state’s power and perceived legitimacy. The suggestion that ownership of public space could and should be privatized is anathema to most people. They cannot imagine a world without government roads and government parks, thus they cannot imagine a world without government.
Anyone proposing a radical reduction of state power must have a strategy for divesting government property that preserves the function of public space through the means of private property ownership. This is not as simple as auctioning off state property; any divestiture must account for the public nature of spaces as they exist, while removing them from the authority of governments who use them as justification for unjust taxation.
This inspires a vision for post-state cities in which public space is freed from the tragedy of the commons. Private ownership can bring market efficiency, value discovery, and accountability to public space. This could incentivize the enhancement of green spaces and urban plazas; the reduction of road congestion and traffic accidents; the provision of appropriate parking; the efficacy of mass transit; and the mitigation of unsustainable sprawl.
With or without a state, the thoughtful divestiture of state property to private owners could enrich our cities and towns with a flourishing of public space.
Tim Brochu is an architect and co-host of Anarchitecture Podcast, a podcast and blog exploring peaceful, non-governmental approaches to the development of the built environment.
From the personal scale of your home, to the community scale of a city, to the global scale of a diversity of regions, Anarchitecture identifies the impacts of historical and contemporary governmental aggression on the constructed form of the physical world around us. Anarchitecture explores alternative, non-aggressive approaches for resolving conflict and promoting voluntary cooperation in the development of the built environment.
In addition to original content presented in conversations between Tim and his twin brother Joe (an engineer), Anarchitecture has had conversations with Tom Woods (Tom Woods Show Ep. 802) and world-class architect Patrik Schumacher, Principal of Zaha Hadid Architects.
A New Hampshire native and Maine and New Hampshire Licensed Architect, Tim recently founded his own architectural practice, Adra Architecture, offering a broad range of architectural services to residential, commercial, and healthcare clients in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
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