The Free Cities Initiative: Let A Thousand Cities Bloom (here). In every way an excellent thing to be happening, and crucially aligned with the deep planetary current.
This is the idea:
What is new about free cities is not the policies they will likely implement, but the manner in which those policies are implemented. The traditional model is that the nation state creates a legal baseline. Cities and towns can add to that baseline, increasing taxes or regulatory requirements for example, but not opt out of it. A special economic zone is an institutional arrangement which allows territories to opt out of aspects of the institutional baseline. […] A free city is an institutional arrangement which allows a territory to opt out of most aspects of the institutional baseline. In recent history, this is a radical change. However, it is a radical change necessary to import good institutions; rule of law, property rights, and economic freedom. We already know what works. Free cities offer a path to get there.
And this is the trend:
… free cities are by and large inevitable. … Two trends, which are not yet common knowledge, point to the emergence of free cities. Those trends are the creation of special economic zones (SEZs) and new cities. … SEZs are forerunners to free cities, they are pockets of autonomy where certain national laws and regulations do not apply. Of course, they differ in several important aspects. First, SEZs are typically small, rarely encompassing a city. Second, the autonomy for most SEZs is relatively minor. Such autonomy might encompass lower taxes or expedited customs, but does not represent a new legal system, merely slight alterations to the existing one. […] Nevertheless, SEZs represent something of a challenge to the traditional notion of a nation state, an area where a sovereign body sets the baseline legal standard. As such, it is reasonable to suggest that the number and trend of SEZs is roughly correlated with the likelihood of building a free city. A world where minor autonomy is acceptable is more likely to accept major autonomy than a world where no autonomy is acceptable. […] The trends of SEZs suggest that autonomy is becoming increasingly acceptable. …