Centro Henry Hazlitt | chh.ufm.edu | 2 Lecciones

The Nature and Significance of Cities (Session I)

Sophy Ramírez  | 15 de noviembre de 2019  | Vistas: 30

Cities Economy Spontaneous Order

Professor, Sandy Ikeda develops the topic of urban policy and how cities are affected by them; for him cities are generators of ideas and economic development. To explain this, Ikeda goes through the nature of cities and the significance of social order. 

Ikeda highlights some important readings that may add to the subject that is discussed and emphasizes the coherence between them. Then he goes through Hayek’s Result of human action, but not of human design and talks about spontaneous order, legal positivism, and false economy. 

Some make the mistakes of saying that buyers and sellers want to achieve the equilibrium price, that’s not true, they don’t care about the equilibrium prices, buyers want to pay the lowest prices they can, sellers want to sell at the highest price they can, through competition of both sides that tend to narrow, so the equilibrium price was nobody intention.”

Then he introduces  Jane Jacobs book The Death and Life of Great American Cities that it’s a critic Jacobs gives to the urban planning of her time and tries to understand the nature of cities.

The professor emphasized the importance of dispersed knowledge and describe the three kinds of problems that may help us understand cities such as: problems of simplicity, disorganized complexity and organized complexity.

You don’t have all the answers, you can’t impose a vision that assumes you have perfect knowledge on the living flesh of an evolving city.”

After this, Sandy Ikeda discusses other Jane Jacob’s book The Economy of Cities. He explains economic development in cities as it is described in the book, and also mentions how Jane defines spontaneous order implicitly with a story about the evolution of cities.

He concludes by demonstrating the connection that Hayek and Jane Jacobs had about spontaneous order and dispersed knowledge, and their influence in the development of cities. 


Expert on the economy of cities, professor and author