Wednesday, August 17, 2016

NewVistas living

I've seen this come up a few times in the last year or so, especially as neighborhoods near where Tim grew up are targeted for this: NewVistas development.

In short, the developer is a "visionary" with too much money messing around with two ideas: Cramming millions of people into the smallest space possible, and a united order-type communal living arrangement for all those people. In order to do this, he'd give each person just 200 square feet to live in (think small hotel room) that would "rearrange itself" over the course of the day to become whatever you needed--bedroom, kitchen, living room, etc. And the communal living arrangement, according to Deseret News: "Each NewVistas community would be governed by a board comprised of husband-and-wife couples. Each resident would contribute all their net worth to a corporate trust that would operate businesses on-site. 'Your dividends are according to what your contribution is,' Hall said."  (Lots more details here:

Here are three major reasons I'm opposed to this:

1. Family living. Where do you fit a family if you get just 200 square feet to live? Or even 200 square feet per person? I right now have 10 people living in 2100 square feet and we can't even move without bumping into each other. I need more space, just so people can have a little privacy every once in a while, and his proposal would give me not only less space, but no place the kids could go outside at weird hours and not be in someone else's way (because all yards are part of the communal space, so it's not private). The whole plan is making the entire community into one big apartment building, essentially, and that runs against everything my soul needs.

2. Conformity vs Weirdos. That kind of living assumes a high degree of conformity among people. They all have to like the same kinds of things and do the same kinds of things. There isn't a space for the kid who wants to learn to play the drums or the artist who needs to paint really big pictures. There isn't space for all of us weirdos in the world, who live at different hours from everyone else, or have very noisy, busy kids, or who need a lot of time in nature, or who collect live bugs to observe, etc. There's not a place for history lovers who want to collect bunches of old things, or families who function great as long as each person has their own bedroom but otherwise fight constantly. With people crammed in that tightly, there's not even space for colicky babies. I know big cities and apartment dwellers survive just fine, but they're not packed in as tightly as this guy plans. Also, many of us have the freedom to shun that kind of living so we don't get on anyone's nerves.  Because, admit it, you don't really want to live next door to my noisy frantic kids who are awake at 2:00 am every night, do you? And I'm pretty sure all my established and budding musicians do not want to have to practice where the entire neighborhood can hear, nor do they want to go out of the house to practice or compose.

And 3. This favors the rich and punishes the poor, under the guise of communal living. Instead of making all things equal, your dividends are according to what your contribution is. So if you can give a million dollars, your dividends are that much bigger than the guy who gives everything and it's a thousand dollars. The rich get richer and richer, the poor get poorer, and the ruling couples get to determine how that all plays out, with a weird and warped combination of left- and right-wing ideology messing with the power structures. You might just look at the accusations against Polygamist leaders for a hint about how this works in real life. (Here's a hint:

Maybe this guy who has far too much money could start donating to great artists and musicians who need funding instead of the plan he's messing with now. Because it's a disaster for families, privacy, weirdos, and hard-working poor people.