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Brad Hargreaves has some thoughts on building cities

The coliving developer observes the value of not over-engineering how people live together.

Upstate's Kiryas Joel (pictured here in 2006) is one of America's newest cities. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons user Daniel Case)

Common cofounder Brad Hargreaves continues to display a thoughtful intellect, this time writing a short history of America’s newest two cities, The Villages, in Florida, and the Satmar community of Kiryas Joel, upstate.

His jumping off point is Silicon Valley’s latest interest: rethinking and then building new cities. Hargreaves, whose work deals intimately with creating cohesive human communities, comes off as quite skeptical that an idea dreamed up about how we ought to live will jibe well with how humans actually behave.

“Neither KJ nor The Villages were created with a lot of preciousness,” Hargreaves writes. “They built simple, inexpensive residences using tried-and-true templates. Neither will win any architectural awards, nor will they draw designers and architects from far and wide to study their vision of utopian living like Arcosanti. But unlike Arcosanti, KJ and The Villages worked, accomplishing the founders’ goals and establishing strong, rapidly-growing cities on American soil from scratch.” (Emphasis his own.)

Read the whole thing, it’s really good.

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Companies: Common
Series: Brooklyn

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