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Governance Handbook

Charter cities are new cities with new rules. The Governance Handbook is the first comprehensive guide that lays out what these rules should be, and how they should be administered.

Charter cities are new cities with new rules. The Governance Handbook is the most comprehensive undertaking to date that lays out what these new rules should be and how they should be structured to promote inclusive economic growth. Humans have been building new cities for millennia, and we continue to do so today. There are urban planning firms to plan cities, funds dedicated to investing in cities, and architecture and engineering firms to design and construct the built environment of cities. But currently no comprehensive framework exists to guide the development of the legal system for new cities. The Charter Cities Institute’s (CCI) objective in publishing the Governance Handbook is to help fill this gap. The Governance Handbook can be used by charter city developers, international development specialists, and policymakers as they build the cities that tomorrow’s urban dwellers will live in. The handbook covers 16 chapters, each dealing with a particular regulatory domain that is essential to get right for the charter city and its inhabitants to thrive.

Each of the 16 chapters has four main components: 1) the chapter introduces the regulatory domain and explains why it’s important to achieving inclusive economic growth, 2) it lists the key values that should be prioritized within each domain and gives specific goals and metrics to track progress toward these values, 3) it provides step-by-step advice for setting up the regulatory policies and agencies needed to administer each domain effectively, and 4) it summarizes the key takeaways from each chapter. Case studies are provided throughout the chapters to further elaborate concepts and give concrete, real-world examples.

This handbook was prepared by members of the Charter Cities Institute’s research team — Kurtis Lockhart, Jeffrey Mason, and Carl Peterson — along with advice, comments, and suggestions from many people along the way, particularly Mark Lutter.

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