Town Halls

Stephen C. Rose
Mar 22, 2015 · 3 min read

See “Cities” — Medium

Continuing articulation of Cybercommunities, cities of the future.

The purpose of these little windows on what a cybercommunity is meant to be require some charity on the reader’s part. I cannot do the seductive mock-ups that architects and designers offer their clients. Indeed, I try in my odd way to hook such talented people on ideas that more than likely are opposed to the current trends. We are talking not pedestrian-friendly but car free. We are talking not new housing but an ingenious leap beyond the houses of the past. And we are talking not a continuation of global governance as we know it, but a new form of governance which is so grass roots that it is almost unbelievable. I believe it is the only way to rescue the core of democracy which is self-government by the rule of the majority. Cybercommunities will have services at their fingertips and the capacity to register opinions and be heard within a few paces.

I have reserved the name Town Hall for the modest but highly competent kiosks that will be at the center of our 500-person “city”

Town Hall located in the center with security at the end of each way

The Town Hall is a 24/7 watch post connected to its outposts and able to see in all directions. I see the new professionals who will be the principals of Town Halls and their three neighbors as part cop, part counselor and part teacher. They will have the means for taking legal action but they will also be explicitly for the community. They will of course live in the cybercommunity, perhaps on the very street they serve on.

The services which the Town Hall can offer directly are

intervention when needed


counseling and advice

access to health services

emergency assistance

In essence, every population of 500 will have a minimum of four persons and more (probably 12), given the likelihood of volunteers* and persons in training.

Everyone in the community will have the Town Hall a mere click away using basic technology.

There will of course be a Main Hall within the cybercommunity.

Note that the areas taken by the five “cities” per level leave substantial space both between the spokes of the wheel, as it were, and the perimeter of the total structure.

Distribution of “cities”

The substantial space that remains after we have created “cities” will be used in the manner of a park which will contain elements that are relevant to the entire population of the level. These could include:

Larger dining and entertainment facilities

Garden areas

Athletic fields

Work spaces

What I have done is but one notion of how these cybercommunities might be realized. What is clear is that there is a way to do this. That it is within our grasp. And as we cover the bases, it will prove vastly more beneficial to people than today’s car-dependent, factory-school, impersonal mega-sprawl.

  • ** I share my life with someone who spent much of her time as a top official of a large city and as a community activist and she informs me that volunteers can be a pain. Let me suggest that if my idea goes forward, there will be continual training up of persons to assume responsibility. Whatever they are called, they will not be given the sort of slack generally given to volunteers. They will have accepted the following iteration of values and committed to the vision of the community. It is also the case that I envision basic income as part of the revolution that will eventuate in cybercommunities. This will give a different cast to all occupations.

This handbook is meant to accompany Planning and Designing a Good Future: What to Strive for and What to Avoid

Stephen C. Rose

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