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For the last 50 years, we have been building communities for the wrong reason. How to Build a VillageTown proposes to turn real estate development upside down, so that people may regain control of their lives, their communities and their future.
Instead of building communities to sell cars, How to Build a VillageTown proposes people build communities that provide for their needs and aspirations... places to live that are places they love.
The idea is not new. Over 2,000 years ago, Aristotle wrote that when several villages come together so they may become economically self-supporting, the purpose for their continuance is to enable their citizens to enjoy a good life, understood as the social pursuits of conviviality, citizenship, artistic, intellectual and spiritual growth. In almost every place and time, except our own, every aspect of community design, from the central plaza with its meeting places, cafes, taverns and shops, to their support for the artistic, educational and holy places followed these timeless patterns and principles of design. The people who live there help shape its design which is what gives it its character and authenticity.
Beginning after World-War II, starting in America and spreading to other parts of the world, we radically redesigned how people live based on a different intent: to perpetually boom national economies. We invented suburbs to sell cars. We reshaped life based on this plan that came to be known as suburban sprawl. The core principle was that of separation. We separated destinations, generations and stages of life. The design principle became that of standardization.
If we look at everything that surrounds us in daily life, we notice the extent to which our physical environment has become generic and bland. We redefined citizens as consumers, and in the process lost sight of why we build communities. This radical experiment in suburban sprawl failed to deliver on its promise.
We now face a host of new and serious challenges our ancestors knew not. For the most part, our response to these problems is either denial or investing substantial energy trying to fix broken and broke systems. We call it tweaking . It does not work, although it does provide jobs for consultants and the development industry.
In How to Build a VillageTown , you are invited to take a different approach. Called a VillageTown - a town made of villages - it proposes people come together to form villages, about 500 people in each, with about twenty villages side by side to create the necessary economic and social critical mass of a town of 10,000 people.
The optimal size proposes a200 acre urban core surrounded by agreenbelt and a walk-to industrial park.
Within the urban core, all is walkable - no cars within. This rescales everything, permitting a secure, stimulating place for all ages and stages of life. Human-scaled, it more resembles the market-town of yore; only it takes advantage of modern technology,that permits one to be in two places at once.
It proposes creating its own local economy that enables its citizens to regain control over their own lives and enjoy a Good Life.
The purpose of the series of VillageTown books is to put forth a proposal to build a new, timeless form of community to replace suburbs.
All profits from book sales go to raise the funds required to build VillageTowns.The author takes no royalties, the publisher charges no fees. To support the idea, to help make it go from a good idea to real built communities, buy books, give them as gifts, leave them in cafes or anywhere else folks gather. This is not a drill. If you like the idea and want to live in a VillageTown, please go to the web site, VillageTowns.com and become involved.
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