lundi, mars 14, 2005

Minnetopia was Trademarked

Conversation with a friend inspired an idea. The idea? I’m going to create my own city, and call it…

New Utopia

Here’s the master plan-


All are welcome. Because all are welcome, only those who welcome all are welcomed (so I guess all are not welcome).

If you have problems with gays or lesbians, if you have gender issues you’re working through, if you have racial prejudices, then New Utopia is not for you. You have to be down with the plan to live in New Utopia.

Here’s the rest of the plan. Growth will be limited to accommodate smart/reasonable growth.


House sizes will be limited to 500 square feet per occupant (two occupants = 1,000 square feet, four occupants = 2,000 square feet and so on). Citizens receive a 100 square foot bonus for each cat or dog residing on the premises limit 4 cats or dogs, etc.). Houses will be powered by renewable energy (wind, solar/photovoltaic, hydro-electric, biomass, etc.) and designed for maximum energy efficiency (creativity in design is encouraged). Lawns are allowed, but citizens are asked to keep it reasonable when it comes to lawn care. Fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and gas powered lawn mowers are not allowed. Sidewalks are required. Recycling is required. Composting is required. Those who cannot afford a house will be given a house by the community.


Just like on Mackinac Island, (gasoline powered) cars are not allowed (law enforcement personnel and public servants are granted an exception and are encouraged to use electric vehicles). We will have parking outside of New Utopia for use when visiting non-utopian communities. Initially, New Utopia will be small and bicycles and walking will be primary modes of transportation. As we grow (recognizing that growth is inevitable), we will add light rail transit or electric cars.


New Utopia will have daycare, pre-school, K-12, trade school, technical school and college (through trade school or bachelor’s or its equivalent).

Costs for child care and education are the responsibility of the entire community.

Each school will have excellent infrastructure, the best teachers available, strictly enforced student teacher ratios of at least 15 to one and no more than 100 students in any one daycare or pre-school, 200 students in one elementary school. 350 students in one junior high-school and 500 students in each high school.

Every school will have:

Orchestra and band
Physical Education
A library and a librarian
Age-appropriate health and sexuality education
A swimming pool
Computer labs
Science labs
Complete special education programs including (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, an alternatives for students with behavioral and cognitive challenges).
Vegetarian options in the cafeteria

For free trade school, technical school or college, some residency requirements may apply. Anyone who gains acceptance may attend the school, free tuition…not so much.


New Utopia will have a hospital and physicians for every required medical discipline. Alternative medicine will have equal status to western medicine. Mental health will have equal status to physical health. Healthcare for the individual is the responsibility of the entire community.

Law Enforcement/Public Services:

New Utopia will have a police department, a fire department, ambulances and paramedics. They will have really cool uniforms. We will have courts and halls of governance. We’ll think about how we respond to criminal activity if it comes up; our orientation is toward examination of the behavior and its roots causes. Punishment will not be the goal. Victims will be exalted, but revenge will not be our motivation.

Business Climate:

Businesses who want healthy, well-educated, high functioning , creative, kind, earth-loving people will come to New Utopia. No tax breaks will be given - business will pay their share. If you don’t want to come to New Utopia, we’re okay with that. Our expectation is that New Utopia will attract service providers, artists, farmers, craftspersons, consultants, musicians, writers, small business owners and larger multi-national corporations probably will want to have their headquarters and production facilities elsewhere. We realize some of our citizens will work outside of New Utopia. We realize that citizens of non-utopian communities will work in New Utopia. It’s all good.

Places of worship:

All faith traditions are respected. All faith traditions must comply with the standards for citizens of New Utopia (religions that are working through gender and sexual orientation issues may not wish to erect houses of worship in New Utopia). Religion is not permissible grounds for mistreating or judging a fellow citizen.


New Utopia will not have a flag. New Utopia will not have oaths, pledges or anthems.


Tax burdens will be allocated based on income. There will not be a property tax. There will not be a sales tax. There will not be a sin tax. There will not be a gasoline tax (there will be no gasoline). At the end of each year, citizens will be assessed a portion of the overall community expense based on the percentage their income represents of the entire community income. So, if Citizen A’s income is 3% of the entire community’s income, then Citizen A will be responsible for 3% of the community’s expenses. If Citizen B’s income is .00015% of the entire community’s income, then Citizen B will be responsible for .00015% of the community’s expenses.


New Utopia will be governed by a Constitution. These foundational principles will be included in the Constitution. Changes to the Constitution, amendments or alterations, requires assent from 100% of the voting-age populace. The voting age is 16. New Utopia will not have a mayor or a city council. New Utopia will have elected facilitators. The facilitators cannot enact legislation, but they can approve the tax request, and they can prepare ideas for consideration by the larger community. All new laws (laws without constitutional implications) will be submitted to the community and will require the support of at least 60% of New Utopia citizens.

I know I’m painting with a broad brush, here, but I’m curious to know your thoughts on 4 things:

1. What is New Utopia missing?

2. Would you live in such a city?

3. Would New Utopia fail?

4. Would only the elderly, the sick, the poor and those with special needs live in New Utopia or would some of the other features (free education, excellent air and water quality, excellent schools, free healthcare, openness to all) make for a diverse community?