The ongoing governance of the village will be local and democratic. No guru or permanent “chiefs”. Instead we rely on time-tested means—a five-person Village Council with staggered 2 year terms. In a pedestrian village of just 200 homes where there is an election for council seats each year there will be strong social and, if needed, democratic checks to insure the Council serves the Village.
The Village will have covenants to limit impacts on one another from our use of our lots, the common areas within the Village, and in the shared Common Green. These will be only as-needed because within those limits this is a village that values freedom.
As it happens, the design of the village, with thick masonry walls of all buildings, masonry walls around all yards, and no cars inside the village–eliminates many of the issues (such as traffic, parking, & noise) that cause conflict elsewhere.
But for some issues Covenants are needed. For example, we can’t build so high as to shade a neighbor’s agreed solar access. This covenant bind us all so as to protect solar access so that even in mid winter every house will have sunlight, and every lot will have a place to sit in the sun.
“Meetings without an Appointment”
One of the virtues of a pedestrian Village of the small size of the Imagine Village is that, by design, one will often run into friends and acquaintances on the street. This is not only enjoyable. It also supports the natural human tendency to, by chance encounters, filter and find kindred souls which can blossom into friendships, lovers, colleagues, co-creators of all kinds. In short, it fosters the knitting together of true community in the Earthen Village.
Many yearn for community, but there must also be a private realm. There must be provision for ownership of ones own house and land so there is certainty that the investment of finances, creativity, and work into your home and garden will be secure and not vanish at the whim of a landlord. Only with such secure tenure can that power to create a unique & beautiful home space be fully unleashed in most people.
But if the land is treated as a commodity in the conventional real estate market, the price can skyrocket so that only the very rich can own. In the Re-Imagined Village we seek a middle way. It appears that a new concept, dubbed a “Permanent Real Estate Trust” may be that way. It offers permanent tenure in the form of an automatically renewing 99-year lease to each lot in the village. And potential to limit to acceptable degree possible run-a-way inflation of real estate prices so the village can remain a place where all segments of society can be, not just the “1%”.