City Design: Redesigning Failed Municipal Golf Courses

More golf courses have closed than opened since 2006, according to Bloomberg. Many a failed municipal golf course opened during the stock market bubble of the 1990s and the housing market bubble of the 2000s, only to suffer during the Great Recession. In 2013, 14 new courses opened in the U.S. while 157 courses closed.

Governing the Commons: Reviving a commons in Japan

Elinor Ostrom‘s great book Governing the Commons describes how one community in Japan managed its common mountain forestry for hundreds of years using local traditions instead of government rules. But can government rules help revive commons farming in Japan?

Twelve Marketing Questions for Politicians and Candidates

It’s primary election season in California. Sometimes we compare elections to the corporate hiring process, talking about “the best person for the job” or “tossing someone out of the office.” Extending that comparison, the campaign process becomes analogous to interviewing candidates. In my voter’s pamphlet (with its awful governmental page layout), several candidates emphasized their...Continue reading

Governing the Commons: Cliven Bundy and Grazing

Governing one of the large commons of the West–federally-controlled grazing lands–recently burst into the New York Times with the tale of the Bundy Standoff. Cliven Bundy is a Nevada rancher who, for more than 20 years, has refused to pay fees to the federal government for grazing his cattle on federal land. He disputes federal ...Continue reading

Governing the Commons: Regulation is Good, But Not What You Think

One clear message from Elinor Ostrom‘s Governing the Commons is that regulations–rules–matter for the sustainability and fair use of community resources. Ostrom studied or surveyed thousands of systems from around that world that had sustainably managed community resources over long periods of time, decades, even centuries.

Governing The Commons: The Other 4 P’s of Marketing

In this blog I’ve been relating marketing and its classic 4 Ps–product, price, placement, and promotion–to the public goods, services, and interactions that build and strengthen our communities. Reading Governing the Commons by Elinor Ostrom reminded me of the other 4 Ps of marketing.

Governing the Commons: A Tale of Two Fisheries

In a previous post, I touched on an archaeological dig in British Columbia, Canada, that is chronicled in a series of articles in the Pacific Standard magazine. The dig concerned how a tribe of hunter-gatherers transitioned to a settled life based on fishing a salmon-rich river.

Governing the Commons: Eight Ways to Avoid the Tragedy of the Commons

One great thing that Elinor Ostrom did in her book Governing the Commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action was to lay out design principles for long-enduring institutions that manage community pooled resources (CPR) and avoid the “tragedy of the commons“. (CPRs can be many things. Ostrom’s draws her main examples from forestry, fisheries,...Continue reading

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