I met Claude Lewenz at TEDx Sydney 2009. It was great. Think of New Urbanism neighbourhoods but as a series of walled, private designed ‘micro-villages’ of 500 people. You can design your village to look like an Australian pioneer village, an Italian plaza, or even a village from Lord of the Rings if you wish! It’s up to your 500 people. Like most New Urban and Ecocity designs, it is fractal in nature, replicating smaller units that fit within bigger units that usually fit within the city. The smallest unit here is the village of 500, which has parks and gardens around it. That each walled village can have its own theme or flavour is quite attractive. They are a short cycle from each other, and contract with the surrounding land for food.The villages are clustered into 20 villages which then form 10,000 people surrounding the town core. It’s like New Urbanism, but contracted to the local farmers that grow your food. Each village is walled to prevent cars, and only a quiet electric delivery vehicle like a golf buggy is allowed inside. The purpose is that each village becomes a vehicle for what Aristotle understood the good life to be:-

“The social pursuits of Conviviality, Citizenship and Artistic, Intellectual and Spiritual Growth.”

You’ll need a bicycle, but that’s pretty much a given for all these schemes. Click on the image below to enlarge, and check out the plan.

The TEDx talk where I met him. To contact him and discover if he’s built one yet, see his website at The Company Ltd

My comments:

Folke Günther‘s Rural Outpost is a similar system of townships with a strong relationship with the local land. His particular concern is for saving phosphorus at the local level, and directs the town and drainage and agricultural systems around saving phosphorus. It’s like a perma-culture designed interface for the town and local agricultural community.

Like Eco-Villages they have a relationship with the food and fibre they use. That is their beauty, and their curse. As I explained above in my Eco-Village comments, it will forever ban these plans from the big cities where real estate is a hot investment item for buying homes, not growing bread. However, both the Village Town and Rural Outpost at least have town squares with the right sort of density of population within easy cycling distance, even if it isn’t within the strict 5 minute walk New Urbanism rule.


Other New Urban pages:-

Benefits of New Urbanism

More details on New Urbanism, further defining the neighbourhood, town, city, and showing how driving to the town square ruins it, the historical legacy of racist highway development, and how developers want to ruin public spaces.

The Eco-city, bunched in more and covered in trees and bushes.

The Sky-City, 17,000 people in one building!

The Eco-Village: the opposite of the above!

Village towns: incorporating agriculture

Which style for Sydney?

Rail: is so much better than cars

How to get there, given we’ve already spend so much on suburbia?

Objections to New Urbanism:

  1. That’s so typical of Nazi Greenie Control Freaks telling us how to live!
  2. It’s just lefty propaganda — suburbia is the American way
  3. Cities are ugly!
  4. What do we do with the vast suburban areas we’ve already built?
  5. How do we pay for all this?

Energy efficient homes

Tall timbers: modern CLT lets us build skyscrapers out of wood!

Fast homes: Don’t eco-apartments take a year or so to build, and cities take decades?

  • Assembly line homes
  • Cities transformed in 20 years