From Mark Lutter — charter city for Zambia?

I’m pleased to announce the Charter Cities Institute has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Zambian Development Agency. They are planning to propose changes to their special economic zone act to parliament, and we are working with them to improve their proposal and make it adhere closer to charter city best practices, namely, larger size, mixed use developments, deeper reforms, and local autonomy.

The memorandum of understanding is an important step in piloting charter cities. We are proud to partner with the Zambia Development Agency and Nkwashi in bringing charter cities to reality.

Mark, along with Tamara Winter, was part of the first cohort of EV winners.


Zambia is landlocked IIRC, and southern Africa is far away from the world's trade routes anyway. No ports means no chance for an effective, large, charter city.

Weren't charter cities an idea derived from "development is about people, not places" by MClem? Now Zambia should probably rather be one of those places that should depopulate, for people from there to join a charter city somewhere else where they can be productive?

In the 21st century, cities no longer need to be attractive terminals for the transport of goods in order to thrive. It helps to also have a transportation advantage, but transportation costs have declined so considerably among multiple modes that it is no longer a necessary condition. If your city is a place where institutions foster exchange, education, interaction, innovation, and livability, then it can thrive.

OMG, "We are proud to partner with the Zambia...". Besides what commentator 'yo' says upstream, Zambia, though different from Zimbabwe, shares a border and will soon experience drought issues. I once invested in a promising junior gold mining company, Banro, in the Congo, only to find that corruption, logistical problems and shareholder dilution made my investment go to almost zero (a mere $1k, but even 1%-ers like me don't like losing money). I think these young people will be hard pressed to find colonists, viz., Jamestown, Roanoke and the first Virginia colonies were disasters (took about 100 years to make things right, about the time Africa should also bloom) with arguably greater natural endowments. What's the internet like in Zambia? Probably 0.5 Mbps download speeds on average I'm guessing, which BTW was the same as in Athens, Greece around 2004 (actual average not theoretical rated).

Nkwashi builds things already. That's the pretty important difference, I would think.

Also, talk about finding "colonists" sounds pretty insulting. Nkwashi is designed for 100 000 people, and while Zambia is relativiely poor, there is more than enough local middle class for this project.

Clearly, no one cares enough about unrealistic charter city concepts to even waste time commenting on them.

Probably because everyone is playing D&D instead.

Yeah, the charter city in California that is larger than LA is a failure that libertarians refuse to even admit exists: California City. It's been turned over to the People. If California actually had the jack boot government so many claim, all the homeless would have been moved to California City where the cost of housing is much lower, and the cost of housing and feeding them would create high growth in employment, which would provide jobs for most of the homeless and hungry that are currently underemployed because of unstable living conditions.

MR search “charter city” for many similar headlines speculating Charter city in XYZ? None has gotten much farther than that. It will take a $100+ billionaires with an interest in such a project.

I'm surprised this charter city thing hasn't taken off more. Seems like a more fun (and ego stroking) investment for a billionaire who likes the spotlight than a sports team.

The prefer running for president

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