Tragedies of cities regulated by the state.

Urbanisation is the process of people concentrating in one area, to get more access to each other. People live in one place for multiple reasons:

  • To have access to workplaces in high-traffic are or concentrated facilities.
  • To have access to entertainment, culture and social opportunities.
  • To meet sexual partners and/or form families.
  • To live closer to places of shopping, consumption and services.

Concentration in one place helps people to have more access to other people and resources, while using less energy for transportation. Therefore it’s natural that land value increases in dense cities, as well as real estate prices.

Unfortunately many wannabe urbanists and architects, want us to live in an esthetic, planned environment. This restricts the possibility of bulding high-risers in cities, and has multiple adverse effects.

First of all, decreasing the ability to build tall buildings causes room price to rise, and land price to rise. This drives people out of the city centre, to the suburbs.
People living in the suburbs quickly grow addicted to automobiles and public transportation to move around. Walking and cycling doesn’t suffice for them.

And this causes multitudes of evils. First, people vote for building the infrastructure much needed for their mobility. Roads costs billions, and so do buses, trams and trains. It all comes from taxes, which discourages productivity, as unfortunately governments tend to tax work and profit, instead of violent misdemeanors.
Heck, they even punish victimless crimes too!

Then, there is noise and air pollution resulting from traffic, which makes the city centre less attractive. Also land use discourages more dense construction. You need space to have roads, railroads and parking for cars. And this requires even more energy for transportation, and even more environmental effects.

And who will complain about the environmental effects most? I think the political left, who voted for land-use and spatial planning in the first place… The same left who wants rich people to pay taxes for infrastructure, will also complain about exorbitant profits of car making and oil drilling corporations.

If we were to apply free market and non-aggression principles to cities, you would be allowed to do everything you wish. However living far from city centre is less profitable because:

  • You have to personally pay not only for fuel, but also for private roads, so the driving is discourage.
  • You have to buy electric car soon, because road-owner can get sued for emissions from traffic.
  • On the contrary you can buy flats in city centre quite cheaply, as many real estate investors build very high buildings to maximise area possible to sell.
    They also make sure that everybody has a heat pump or district heating, to maximise the building’s attractiveness.
  • Everybody is free to trade every good and service without even a registered business and paying taxes for their works, which maximises everybody’s profit and social cohesion. The rich no longer have to be tired of the average, which vote against them… and will be allowed to make any transaction and share business knowledge more freely.
  • Because hiring process gets easier and work more profitable, businesses have better access to employees, and workforce has better access to job opportunities. Gone is the formalised job market, you are free to interact in a gig economy, where everybody is encouraged to be an independent contractor, or even a startup owner. Even if it is only making beer and dumplings at home, you are free to do it for bitcoins etc.
  • The freedom extends to the smaller houses surrounding the city core, which are allowed to generate energy (provided that it is not environmentally harmful, so no outdated smoky furnaces), food, build machines or whatever the city centre needs and wants from land. Energy generation is no longer constrained to subsidised power plants, and as it is untaxed and decentralised – it gets cheaper and more accessible for consumer.
  • Lack of regulation (other than noise and pollution) allows more people to provide taxi service for the city dwellers, who no longer need and own car (and would have to pay for road access). It maximises capital utilisation.
  • Freedom to provide to education might encourage charlatans if people get intellectually lazy… but as everybody is encouraged to do productive work parents will watch out for their children and children for their parents. It’s easier to manipulate people who are always forbidden to do something, than people who live in a world of open opportunities and discipline required by productive economy.
  • Cheap good and services mean, that even minimal work can provide good living standard. People will not compete with robots… they will just use them if they are sufficiently cheap. Also, living in the land will always be cheaper than living in the city, because only in the land you can generate solar and wind energy.

Isn’t the free market a great urban planner?

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