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Private Street Dangerous: Common Property Regimes on Private, Segmented Streets in Worcester, Massachusetts

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Mitchell, Ethan
Journal: Philica
Volume: 56
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3250
Sector: Urban Commons
Region: North America
Subject(s): neighborhoods
citizen participatory management
common pool resources
Abstract: "Worcester, Massachusetts is a highly developed urban area in which 20% of the street length is held in individual segments of private ownership, typically without any collective governing body. This pattern differs from other reported examples of private street ownership, and may be relatively unique. This private segmented tenure results in a different pattern of maintenance and modification priorities, often in conflict with the city's objectives. This in turn raises questions about the nature of urban streets as a social contract, and the possibility of private streets as a common property regime. Worcester offers an unusual opportunity to examine these questions empirically."

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