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The Woodlands: A different way of governance


  • Insa-Ciriza, Raquel

    () (Universidad de Barcelona)


The Woodlands (Texas) is one of the best examples of success in a public-private partnership between the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and a private firm. Developed as a New Town by Mitchell Energy & Development Corporation, The Woodlands has flourished and created a critical mass of residential development, employment, its own sense of community and, significantly, its own form of governance as the only example in United States of government by community associations. The Community Associations, represented by a board of directors, provides most public goods to the community. In this paper, we see what is called «citizen involvement» based on what New Public Service theory defines as government based in the community. They are not reinventing government; they are creating new governance where citizens prefer to empower rather than to serve. This case study help us understand how higher citizen participation in local governance can decrease developer’s power. This community involvement creates a citizen implication in city growth and governance.

Suggested Citation

  • Insa-Ciriza, Raquel, 2010. "The Woodlands: A different way of governance," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 17, pages 5-28.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:invreg:0068

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    Local government; New Public Service; New Public Management; New Towns; PPP;

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General


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