Joanne Wilson shared Monocle’s insights recently on the characteristics of the ideal community. They’re all worth sharing:
1 – Village Square would anchor the city with grass, flowers, moveable chairs, cafes and a 24-hour kiosk.
2 – Main Street where there would be awnings to keep us from rain or too much sun. Retail on the bottom and residential homes downstairs creating constant community.
3 – Housing that was small and large from single homes to large family homes with balconies and front lawns for a little outdoor space. Everyone pays for the upkeep of the public spaces. The buildings would all be environmentally conscious made with smart materials.
4 – Services that include a hospital for serious situations and a small medical center for smaller injuries. Certainly a fire department and a police department who would even rescue the local cat.
5 – All shops would be open from 8 – 8 catering to all from a haircut to getting your groceries on the way home.
6 – Local newspaper that reports on everything happening in the town and some national info thrown in too.
7 – Good signs that help brand the village. Has to be good looking signs from the book shop the barber shop and the cafe.
8 – Weekend farmers markets to buy the farmers vegetables and chickens including home brews and wine.
9 – Local farm where people can always go to purchase from the farm shop on a daily basis. Keeping the community sustainable.
10 – A beautiful flowing river that moves through the town. People can fish, canoe and enjoy the river side as well.
11 – Founding myths and folklore about the town to be passed down generation to generation.
12 – A local tennis and bathing club open all year round to the entire town. More community there.
13 – An artists studio for the young to the old.
14 – A library piled high with books, magazines and easy to download materials.
15 – An artisan quarter for people making furniture or even getting a kitchen chair repaired.
16 – Serious wifi for all.
17 – A grand hotel with amazing food on a leafy terrace overlooking the river.
18 – A primary school that everyone has attended at one point of their life.
19 – Public transportation for everyone.
20 – Festivals held during the year from music to arts.
What do all of these things, more or less, have in common? They’re not the characteristics of suburbs.