||In various parts of the
world, as well as within the USA and UK, a large number of groups of people
have chosen for safety or confidence to live in close groups, often over a
period of time taking over a complete neighborhood. While this provides some
cultural advantages, it creates tribal differences between them and
surrounding areas often resulting in racial or similar problems. Similarly
within some communities such as Northern Ireland, splitting the education
and living arrangements of catholic and protestants, has resulted in less
understanding between groups and perhaps activities that a combined
community would not have accepted.
therefore has to be taken when considering any enclosed community. In some
places, and the best examples we have seen is in the USA, some enclosed
communities do work well. Some are in effect a large number of homes within
a walled complex with a number of pools and a range of other facilities and
uniformed personnel on the main gate. Similarly we have seen large enclosed
communities such as one for elderly people, where the elderly or retired
residents take on all the community tasks, and the quality of life is good.
In the UK these sort of developments are being looked at in some areas,
although not as common place.
A living community can be little more than a housing
association or group that everyone belongs to, or at the other end a corporation
that own the property and where the members are controlled tenancies. There is
no need to have a wall around it, for it to be a community.
For the concept to work well, members of the community
must share ideals, like not stealing from each other, dropping litter and should
always treat others as they would like to be treated. They also have to take
responsibility for any guests they have. This means that if an enclosed and safe
estate is created, children and old people are safe, but they have to make sure
that anyone they introduce, sticks to the same ideals. This is easier said than
done, for example take a complex for elderly people, visited by relatives, while
their children may choose to visit, the grandchildren may not be there by choice
and be subjects of other cultures, far different from the ideals of a community.
It also has to be remembered that people are frightened of what they do not
understand, or is different from them, so families within an enclosed safe
complex may find their children viewed as different by other children at school.
This tends to be made worse by the need for people within the safe community to
teach their children to be safe when outside their safe environment.
Within an enclosed community, any objects that are enshrined when it is set
up and to which all agree to is fine, so single religion communities, whether Christian,
pagan, or other are fine as are different sexual practices, however they are
still subject to both the laws of the country they are in and the bias and suspicions
of others outside, who may have completely different views.
Living Communities can have considerable benefits, security, safety, no
crime, friendly, organized social life, no unwanted callers, quality facilities
always open, a feeling of belonging, and more. However as we hope we have shown
above there can be down sides as well, if the project is not thought
through, not just considering the current time, but time to come.
Being set up as a New Atlantis trust may help, and we are always willing to
advice or discuss ideas that you have for new communities. We do not publicize communities
we are associated with.
We have a special site dedicated to building communities at www.communities.new-atlantis.org