Business Improvement Districts: Research, Theories, and Controversies

Goktug Morcol, Lorlene Hoyt, Jack W. Meek, Ulf Zimmermann

April 21, 2008 by Routledge
Reference - 544 Pages - 50 Color & 15 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781420045765 - CAT# AU4576
Series: Public Administration and Public Policy


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  • Presents theoretical and legal discussions of business improvement districts in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada
  • Discusses legal issues, including democratic representation of residents and business owners
  • Covers various theoretical perspectives—from polycentrism to social constructionism
  • Analyzes historical power relations in metropolitan areas


Initiated and governed by property or business owners under the authorization of state and local governments, business improvement districts (BIDs) have received a very mixed reception. To some, they are innovative examples of self-governance and public-private partnerships; to others, they are yet another example of the movement toward the privatization of what should be inherent government responsibilities.

Among the first books to present a collection of scholarly work on the subject, Business Improvement Districts: Research, Theories, and Controversies brings together renowned leaders in the field to compile the highest-quality theoretical, legal, and empirical studies into one comprehensive volume. Investigating fundamental concerns at the core of the debate, as well as potential solutions, this groundbreaking resource:

  • Tackles the need for improved problem solving and efficiency in service delivery
  • Examines new and innovative policy tools for both the public and private sectors
  • Evaluates whether BIDs do ignore the needs and voices of residential property owners
  • Discusses the challenge created by social segregation in cities
  • Addresses lack of accountability by BIDs to the public and elected representatives

From different perspectives, leading practitioners and academics analyze the pros and cons of BIDs both in the United States and around the world. They look at their impact on urban planning and retail revitalization, consider their legal implications, and explore ways to measure BID performance. Filled with case studies of urban centers including San Diego, Atlanta, New York, Toronto, and Capetown, and state models such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, this examination bring together essential information for researchers as well as those leaders and policy makers looking to adopt a BID model or improve one already in place.