What’s the ideal town look like?

images-1There was a great article in Monocle this month about what an ideal town would look like.  The importance of community, housing, outdoor space, social services and education would be the ultimate achievement for an idyllic town.

Here is the highlights.

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.

It kind of feels like some European towns.  Might have to move there.

Comments (Archived):

  1. JAJones

    I’m moving there too! Have you read Jane Jacobs The Death and Life of Great American Cities? This article written on what would have been her 100th birthday earlier this month perfectly captures how a great neighborhood or town can change your life http://www.fastcompany.com/

    1. Gotham Gal

      I have not but she was definitely a pioneer

  2. Hope Lawrence

    We lived in Cotton Tree, QLD, Australia for a year before leaving OZ and coming back to the US. Our son was 2 at the time. It was a small town (village?) where a river met the ocean and was such a great spot. The river had a long park along it, with a great playground and public pool. There was a small shopping area at the end of the park with outdoor restaurants and shops. A small school was located in that area, along with the public library and lawn bowls club. The other end of town had the grocery store, condos, more shops, real estate agents, etc. All walkable from our apt. Oh…and then the ocean was near the small shops end of town, where the river ended. Pretty much perfect. Mooloolaba was nearby for nightlife and tons of restaurants, but little Cotton Tree had all we needed. I dream of going back.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Sounds idyllic

      1. Hope Lawrence

        It was.

  3. Erin

    I don’t know if New Paltz has a river running through it, but it hits a lot of those points. OMG, I’m so on board with #7. As a creative person who needs good aesthetics to breathe pretty much, I die a little each time I see a boring sign go up with some kind of loopy, basic bitch font. I’ve even thought the city needs to subsidize quality signage to help small business make streets more appealing.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Design is insanely important in our lives

  4. Taisa

    Totally agree! Taisa