I am interested in discussing political systems in light of the built environment on this thread. To place this in the form of a question (or two): Are there differences in outcome for the built environment because of the political systems in place? And if so, are these outcomes of an obvious general nature or of a specific nature? With Cyburbia members probably located in many different nations, we should be able to have an interesting discussion.
Let me start out setting this up, but not necessarily declaring the rules.
I came up with the following set-up of political systems. But first, let me mention that in our globalized and further-globalizing world it is probably smart to state how all nations are influencing each other now and that they do so in faster and more detailed manners. Information and innovations can travel at the light of speed, but possibly there are outcomes in specific that belong or not-belong to specific political systems. Here are the four groups I view as distinct and they are ranked from least open to most open, politically.
1/ nations with a single person or group in control (think communist nations, religious nations, dictatorial nations).
2/ nations with two parties.
3/ nations with a limited number of parties (but with more than 2 empowered parties, i.e. coalition-forming governments).
4/ nations with a large number of parties (6+).
As mentioned, international organizations (EU, NAFTA, OPEC, ASEAN, WTO, etc) influence the outcome of these nations, and possibly having an empowered president or not could influence the outcome, too (with building a city like Brasilia coming to mind as an important political step, plus the question if that same choice would've been made if Brazil had not had a president).
I welcome talking about ideas such as capitol cities being larger when based on centralized or imperial systems (think London and Paris), or on decentralized/divided political entities (think Berlin, Rome, Washington). Yet specific outcomes in the built environment being different in different cities because of political choices/political systems come to mind, too (think for instance of places having lots of money for bicycle lanes and places desiring -but not having much money- for bicycle lanes).
As far as I am concerned, anything goes for this discussion as long as the outcomes point either to the political system in place actively-achieving or neglectfully-achieving specific outcomes in the built environment. The more (or the stronger the) sources you bring to the discussion, the more likely all will share your point of view.