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Ben Engelke

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Build a 100%, fully self-sustaining community that would provide for 1000 people. 5000? 10000?

No matter the cost. Build a community that doesn't rely on oil or any other finite natural resource. Granted this will require some of those finite resources to complete, but calculate what goes in compared to what the final product is. Fully sustainable living for a thousand people. Sign me up.

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  • Jun 26 2013: I used to agree with you, but after considering it for a year or two ---the idea is unfeasible. Some elements are practical, others doom the community to failure. Consider the great city-states of the renaissance-Venice, Genoa, etc. These cities flourished because of trade, not being self sustaining. The arts, letters, religious reformation, and architecture came about with the flow of people from other regions.

    A community of 10,000 people each with a specific role will become stagnant over time. How many of each profession do you need? How many musicians, artists, building trades, butchers, bakers, bankers, real estate agents make a community self sustaining? If you try to create a community that has the best teachers, brightest students you could create an elite community where the housekeepers can't afford to live there-Think Celebration, Fl or Palo Alto. If the community can't produce enough wages for everyone it could collapse into a ghost town.

    Create that community around a high school. 10,000 people will have approximately 600 15-18 year olds, a midsize AA high school. Get that community to trade with themselves, create the necessary local retail. Get your teachers, firemen, and policemen to live in the community they service. Create an area that artists as well as engineers can thrive, musicians can make a living, and a few " products' can be exported from the community. Push for land use rules that push for density so walking, biking, and mass transit is viable. Make that high school district a growing economic zone with elements that attract people-great school, job availability, and quality of life.

    IT will be easier to recreate a community that already has diversity versus building it from scratch.

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