Whereas governmental communities are financed with taxation, where taxes typically have little connection with benefits, private communities are financed as payments for benefits. In a hotel, for example, the public goods such as elevators and security are paid for from room charges.
One early American example was Lucas Place, laid out in 1851 in St. Louis, Missouri, the first of about 50 such private places unique to the city. Today, there are "60 million people who now live in roughly 300,000 private communities" in the United States.
A noteworthy Canadian example, Arbutus Ridge Seaside Community for Active Adults in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island was the first comprehensive retirement community built in Canada. It subsequently became the template and proving ground for the now accepted and commonplace age-restricted community.
- Voluntary community
- Proprietary community
- Gated community
- Planned community
- Spencer Heath, whose goal was to have cities and large land areas owned by single private owners, which would rent out the land and housing and provide all conceivable public services
- Spencer H. MacCallum
- Spencer H. Macallum: "Suburban Democracy vs. Residential Community". Critical Review, Vol 17, Nos. 3-4, 2006.
- Spencer H. MacCallum: "The Enterprise of Community: Market Competition, Land, and Environment", Journal of Libertarian Studies, Volume 17, no. 4, Fall 2003, 1-16, published by Ludwig von Mises Institute, Slightly amended by the author, June 2004.
- Georg Glasze, Chris Webster, Klaus Frantz, Private Cities, Routledge, 2006.