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.

My comments are the same as for Eco-Villages about how to scale this for all the world. Again, he had the best of intentions – and I wish a number of these could be built to see what we learn. But there are other ways to rescue a sense of community by building successful Third Places as I say under Rezone.

Next page: Which style for Sydney?