Governing? Gentrifying? Seceding? Real-Time Answers to Questions About Business Improvement Districts
Drexel Law Review, Vol. 3, No. 25, 2010
14 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2011
Date Written: 2010
Business improvement districts ("BIDs") have become a ubiquitous feature of the urban development toolkit. An important - perhaps the most important - instantiation of the trend in urban governance toward the devolution of local authority to new "sublocal," quasi-governmental institutions, BIDs play an important role in urban re-development efforts, especially efforts to revitalize downtowns and satellite center-city business districts. Drawing upon case studies of Philadelphia’s BIDS, this symposium essay seeks to answer three questions about how BIDs actually work on the ground: First, whether BIDs are actually functioning as local governments rather than quasi-private providers of supplemental services; second, whether BIDs either generate an insider/outsider problem within urban neighborhoods; and, third, whether BIDs exacerbate the pre-existing inequalities between urban neighborhoods.
Keywords: Business improvement districts, gentrification, urban development
JEL Classification: H4, H7
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation