Business Improvement Districts in the United States

Private Government and Public Consequences

  • Abraham Unger

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Abraham Unger
    Pages 1-28
  3. Abraham Unger
    Pages 53-89
  4. Abraham Unger
    Pages 149-180
  5. Abraham Unger
    Pages 181-187
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 189-206

About this book


This book examines how privatization has transformed cities, particularly through the role of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in the revitalization of America’s downtown. These public-private partnerships between property owners and municipal government have developed retail strips across the United States into lifestyle and commercial hubs. BIDs are non-profit community organizations with the public power to tax and spend on services in their districts, but they are unelected bodies often operating in the shadows of local government. They work as agents of economic development, but are they democratic? What can we learn from BIDs about the accountability of public-private partnerships, and how they impact our lives as citizens? Unger explores these questions of local democracy and urban political economy in this age of rampant privatization and the reinvention of neighborhoods.


City Planning Urban Politics Public-Private Partnerships Business Improvement Districts New York public administration BIDs

Authors and affiliations

  • Abraham Unger
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept of Government and PoliticsWagner College Staten IslandUSA

Bibliographic information

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