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In the heart of the American South a handful of new cities have popped up with new borders seemingly defined by class and race.
The new governing authorities of these cities are run by private contractors. Inside USA travels to the affluent white suburbs of Atlanta where there is an almost eerie sense of calm.
The US economy is facing its greatest crisis in generations with the whole economic doctrine of privatisation and de-regulation being blamed. Yet in Sandy Springs, Georgia, it is as if none of that exists.
Three years ago the citizens of Sandy Springs began a bold experiment by voting to secede from the municipal government of Fulton county and incorporate as a city. The new government of the city decided to bring in a multinational corporation to run all of the city's services - with the exception of police and firefighting - making Sandy Springs the first fully privatised city in the world.
It is a trend that is spreading fast with four new cities launched in the last three years, all of them run by the same company.
The company's name is CH2M Hill. It is one of the leading defence contractors in the US and has made billions of dollars in revenue from the occupation of Iraq, and the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.
This episode of Inside USA aired from 17 October, 2008.
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