The Citadel is a Planned Community Designed for Resilience and Sustainability. Not.

Citadel II/Promo image

We are not alone in talking about the need for building resilient communities. Alex Steffen has said "The future is a tough place, and as we move into it, we are going to need to think of ways to reduce our vulnerabilities to not only climate chaos, but all sorts of instabilities that are happening as our economy shifts in the face of planetary realities."

That's why I am so impressed with The Citadel, a new planned community proposed for Idaho. It is designed to accommodate up to seven thousand families in a community modeled after a quaint German fortress town Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Regular readers will know that I believe that we have to " learn from those who designed communities before there was oil, about how to live after oil", and this model is positively medieval.

Citadel III/Promo image

Alex Wilson and the Resilient Design Institute will love the planning; Alex warns that we must be prepared for " more intense storms, greater precipitation, coastal and valley flooding, longer and more severe droughts in some areas, wildfires, melting permafrost, warmer temperatures, and power outages." That's why the Rothenberg model, and the systems behind the planning, are so appropriate: It is designed for security, but for beauty too.

The Towers and Curtain Wall providing the town's primary perimeter defense will be inaccessible to tourists. Each Tower will house condos. The wall sections between Towers will be the location for many of the larger homes. By looking at the Artist's Concept (left) you can see that housing will be well-removed from tourist foot-traffic. The Perimeter Road follows the Curtain Wall.

Each neighborhood within the walls will have lower defensive walls, dividing the town into defensible sections/neighborhoods. Each neighborhood will have similar housing for visual uniformity and aesthetic appeal.

Walking paths, orchards, and stands of woods will be incorporated throughout the space within the walls, adding privacy and aesthetically pleasing green spaces. Public gardens with both flowers and vegetables will enhance the experience of residents and visitors alike. Water features (canals, ponds and waterfalls) will also offer picturesque retreats.

Citadel III Condos/Promo image

I do love the way the condominiums are so artfully integrated into the design. No doubt Alex Wilson will approve of the fact that "All homes will be built of poured concrete for exceptional strength and durability."

Arms III/Promo image

The economics of new communities can be a problem. What does everyone do for a living? Citadel III has this one solved; they are building a factory that will produce AR15 rifles, "Arms offers finely crafted weapons that will serve you well if you must ever reach for steel to protect your life or Liberty." They insure a ready market for their guns by requiring in the Patriot Agreement that all sign before they join the community that "Every able-bodied Patriot of age within the Citadel will maintain one AR15 variant in 5.56mm NATO, at least 5 magazines and 1,000 rounds of ammunition." If you don't work in the factory, you can work in some of the many tourist attractions:

The Citadel intends to become a premiere tourist destination for Americans from sea-to-sea and border-to-border. Not only will tourists travel to see the only real fortified castle & town in America, we intend to offer numerous attractions including a firearms museum where enthusiasts actually get to fire their favorite arms from history!

Another issue that many communities face is the incompatibility of citizens. That won't be a problem at Citadel III; they warn you upfront:

Marxists, Socialists, Liberals and Establishment Republicans will likely find that life in our community is incompatible with their existing ideology and preferred lifestyles.

So while they promise no restrictions on the basis of religion or race, this might be a deal-breaker for some. Which is a real shame; I know a lot of people who might be interested in living in a secure, resilient walkable community designed around historicist principles with zero property taxes and no recycling police.

Sign up at the Citadel III.

Tags: resilience | Un-TreeHugger | Urban Planning

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