Scott Beyer

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Scott Beyer owns Market Urbanist, a media company advocating for free-market city policy. Market Urbanist has a consulting arm that tries to make these reforms a political reality.

Beyer is also an urban affairs journalist who writes regular columns for Independent Institute and various freelance publications. He also does frequent public talks and media interviews on TV, radio and podcast.

In 2017, Scott Beyer founded Market Urbanist, a media company advocating for free-market city policy reform. But before this career he began as an everyday lover of cities.

It started when, as a kid, he would visit his grandfather to tour the fancy hotels and monuments of Washington, DC. Throughout his twenties he lived in New York, San Francisco and Portland, and traveled to many other U.S. cities, working odd jobs and exploring the cities at street level. He began researching why they grew as they did, absorbing the works of Jane Jacobs, Edward Glaeser and more. From this research, he was able to read about how many of the urban problems he was seeing were caused by the government, and how those problems might be solved by letting free markets work. It was a message very different from the one many of today’s urban planners espouse.  

In 2015, Beyer wanted to take a deeper look into how these free-market ideas could work on grounds, so he embarked on one last travel tour. Over a 3-year period, he lived in 30 cities for a month each. Driving from his hometown of Charlottesville, VA, his first stop was Miami, and from there he went through the Deep South, the southwest and up the West Coast. Then he headed back east, staying in cities through the Intermountain West, the Great Plains, the Midwest, and the Mid-South. The final fifth of the trip was up the East Coast, ending in late 2018 in New York City.

Then starting in July of 2022, he embarked on a 2nd trip - this time through the Global South. Beyer spent 6 months each in Latin America, Africa and Asia, visiting the fast-growing meg-acities and new "startup cities" of the developing world.

Throughout both trips he met countless people - developers, planners, officials, activists, and other professionals - who were doing interesting things in their cities. But he also saw the structural problems, like high home prices and traffic congestion, that were hurting these cities.

Market Urbanist theory strikes him as the best way to solve these problems. So in 2017 he launched a site by that name, advocating for the use of classical liberal economic ideas in cities. In the time since it has shot off, publishing hundreds of articles, a book, and garnering a social media following of over 50,000.

To learn more about the ideas driving the company, click below:

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