What is a rural city?
If you've talked to me for more than 10 minutes, you'll have heard my pitch to build a new way to live. As I've tried to evangelize how I want to live to people I've struggled to paint the vision so someone can latch to. Most people like the ideas of living with friends in a place where kids can run free but I've struggled with what to call it.
I've tried saying, "I'm starting a cult", "We'll live 4 different places throughout the year", "It's a centrally planned town", "Somewhere you can just plug into the community", "A capitalist ecovillage" ... all with little resonance.
This was frustrating because I thought I was describing what most people have said they want too. But, all of these descriptions would conjure up some previous failure people had experienced or heard about. It can't be a cult because more people than you realized have been affected by harmful cults. It can't be a consensus based commune because people have seen how simple decisions can take hours. It can't a centrally planned town because that's the same as soulless subdivisions.
I wanted something easy to understand that did not cause people to imagine some obvious failure called the same thing. It needed to explain the essence of how I wanted to live while allowing each individual to fill in the details how they wanted.
After trying hundreds of terms, I'm finally comfortable using rural city to describe where I want to live. It has all the amenities and community of the city without the stresses of traffic and crime. It has the clean, peaceful and free aspects of a rural setting but with high income opportunities and modern technologies. This is what we need to build.
Anecdotally, rural city has been better received by the people I've talked to so I'll keep using it. With luck I'll convince the right people to join us and make it happen.
In the next post I'll describe the steps we can take to build a couple rural cities around the world.