Any amateur athlete wanting to get to the olympic level, or any hobbyist street hockey player who wants to increase their skill set would be very welcome in this city. Any budding composer, pianist, painter, band or director would also be welcome. In this city the exchange of services and products and fees are based on time, not on money. You'll need to pay whatever you can afford to come into the city to pay for your home, but once it's paid for, most everything else can be had by volunteering while not doing the training you need for your art or sport. Your only future cost is to pay ten percent of any earnings if you go professional for the first five years after you've become professional.
Since our world is so completely driven by money and tending more and more towards business and enterprise, we need a place where athleticism, sports, music and art have a place to bud, grow, develop and be nurtured. Why not have a city that is devoted to satisfying these needs in a safe, friendly and cooperative atmosphere?
Since this city will be rather dependent on outside sources for many goods, it shouldn't be too far from either a major city, or a major highway that is near a major city. The idea here, though, is that it is far enough away that the nearby major city won't interfere or come near the sports & arts city. The influence in this city is to promote the parts of society that are underfunded and poorly represented, but which are needed to provide culture and a finer dimension to our business oriented world.
There won't be zones of high weatlh and poor housing, all zones will be mixed so that there are no ghettos or rich areas that cause any type of class differentiation. While it will be true that some people entering into this city will be far wealthier than others, the size and quality of their housing will not be exceedingly more than the basic, though it will be obvious that the wealthy do have more space and somewhat more luxury. A basic affordable price will be set for anyone to buy into this city, and the price is made up of the downpayment, and a total number of hours that need to be worked at a specific rate. The downpayment will determine what size of home the person will get when they enter the city, but as they work more hours in the city, they would be able to move into larger quarters. The rate that a person's time is worth will be determined based on a number of different factors. What were they doing before for work and for their sport or art, how old are they, and maybe a few other factors. It won't be a secret, it will be some sort of formula that anyone who wants to enter the city can calculate. More on this will be discussed in the trading of time. Ultra basic housing are one room small apartments which are meant for very simple meal preparation, sleeping for one person and all of the bathroom fixtures needed. With numerous levels above this come larger and larger apartments and then homes, based on the combined values of all of the occupants.
As mentioned earlier, small, medium and large homes will be interspersed and mingled. Commercial areas will be grouped together, most of the city will be high density because the primary mode of transportation is by bicycle or by walking. Commercial areas will be connected by roads such that the back side of any retail or restaurant outlet faces a lane where delivery trucks can go, but the front face of any such retail or restaurant faces the bike/walk paths that criss cross this city. Certain downtown commercial paths will be perpetually covered from the elements while in other places it will be a seasonal coverage that is raised every fall and brought down every spring while the remainding outlying areas will be perpetually open. Where the connecting road meets this city from the major highway, there will be access routes to get to the commercial areas for goods being brought into the city, and a large parking area for any visitors to park their cars. For people who live in the city who have their own car and wish to keep it, they will have their own seperate parking area which is seperate from where they live since it also needs to be close to the connecting road that meets the major highway. Made available to anyone who visits the city will be free bicycles that they will use while they are visiting, or electric carts for a small fee.
As mentioned above, when a person wants to move into the city, they will have to provide a cash downpayment. For a new construction this downpayment goes towards the cost of the home while the balance of the cost will initially have to come from outside investors. For a currently occupied home that is being sold where the vendor is moving out of the city, the vendor will receive the entire downpayment from the purchaser, as well as a monthly amount from the city until the value of their property has been paid off. For a currently occupied home that is being sold where the vendor is moving to a different unit in the city, the downpayment goes towards the downpayment the vendor needs for their new home. In both cases the purchaser who is new to the city will make up the difference of the value of the property by working in the city for the number of hours needed to make up the difference based on the rate that is calculated by the public rate calculation. Here are a few examples to help illustrate.
Peter McKay In no relation to the political leader of the progressive conservative party, Peter is eighteen years old, has finished all of his education, and has since he was eleven years old been an avid triathlete and wants to get in on the new city being built specifically for sports and arts. He goes online and learns that the smallest apartment, called ultra low, is for sale at 35,000$ with a minimum of 10,000$ downpayment. He has managed to save four thousand and is able to get the balance of the downpayment from his parents, so with 10k he now works out what his rate is to determine how many hours he has to work to make up the difference of 25K. He plugs in age 11 as the age he started doing the triathlon, 18 as his current age, and 9$/hour as his current wage, and the formula gives him a starting rate of 9.90$ an hour. This means that he needs to work 2525 hours or about 67 full time weeks to pay off his home. What Peter figures he'll do is work half the full time weeks so he can devote more training time, and work 134 weeks, which is just about two and a half years.
Stephen Harper In no relation to the political leader of the Canadian Alliance party, Stephen is 31 years old and is wanting to get out of the computer programmer job he has been doing. He already owns a condo that he can sell for a net value of 45,000$ (after paying off the mortgage and real estate agent fees). He has always dreamed of learning how to play the harp and become a solo quality harpist, but he has no training whatsoever. He's checked out the website of homes and found that he could live with the two room condo that is near the centre of the city that costs 65,000$, plugs in his figures in the formula and finds he needs to work 4143 hours, or about 110 weeks, to pay off the balance of his home. He figures to work four days a week, devote two days a week to harp practice, and have one day off, so his payment ends up being 138 weeks, or a little under three years.
Paul and Sheila Paul and Sheila have two children ages 3 and 5. Paul is a manager in a medium sized retail company while Sheila had been working as a call center agent until they decided she would stay home with the children. They both want their kids to grow in an atmosphere of strong physical education and arts programs, while at the same time getting a solid education. Paul had been training for running marathons and has participated in two over the last five years, Sheila and the kids haven't been doing anything sports or arts related on a regular enough basis to figure. They have a home that if they were to sell they'd net 95,000$, and the home in the city they want to buy is valued at 195,000$. Presuming the balance they owe to the city is 100,000$, Paul and Sheila would together have to work for a combined 2856 hours, which if Paul worked full time would be 76 weeks.
Now what would Paul, Stephen and Paul and Sheila do to have an income while they are paying off the city? What do they do to earn an income after their city debt is paid off? There will be opportunities in both the private and the public sector of this city. The same job that any of these people are doing to pay back the city debt can also be work that they do to earn an income. If Peter needs an income to support himself while working half of his week for the city, he can either get a job anywhere in the city, like being a bartender or waiter, computer progammer, teacher or doing whatever he studied, or, whatever work he is doing for the city, he can say that half of his time there is for paying the city debt while the other half is to generate revenue for himself. Splitting his time for the city would mean that he would be paying off his city debt over a longer period of time, but this option makes it so that he can still devote as much time as he wants to the triathlon training.
What does it mean to be working for the city? Well, there are so many things that this city will be doing for its population, that just in running the city there will be a need for a large number of people. On top of that, any business that comes into this city will be able to apply for city employees to work for that company. If a small software development firm comes into the city, they could apply to the city to have three additional programmers made available to them, these employees wouldn't have to be paid by the software firm, and they aren't being paid by the city either since they are just paying back the debt they owe to the city (unless they are taking the option to convert some of their current time into revenue, in which case the city is paying). If a light manufacturer wants to build a plant in the city, many of the employees could be city employees working off their city debt.
In turn, any company or business that comes into the city will have to pay to the city a fee for any employee that comes from the city. This fee won't be at the same cost as what this employee would typically command, but would be enough to allow the city to recuperate some of the costs. In addition, any city employee who can dream up and execute a business where the city is whole or majority owner, this would be another way to generate revenue for the city, and to employ people who are paying off their city debt.
The math will need to be done to determine what all of the revenue sources are, and how the trading for time works, but in all cases the idea is to make it so that the city is offering employment and benefits to companies and people in the city in such a way as to make it possible for the employees to participate in their sport or art.
As can be expected, spotted throughout this city will be the common work out facilities that are needed for every sport. Things like an exercise room, weight room and cardio room will be present in numerous places and will be completely free of cost to anyone in the city. In addition will be a large variety of facilities that answer to the needs of many different sports. Many soccer fields for the playing and practice of football and soccer. Many ice rinks for hockey and figure skating. Baseball diamonds, swimming pools and marathon length running track that goes through the city unperturbed by any other form of traffic. A canal will be built for Olympic calibre rowing races, and all forms of sports that do not require large amounts of geography will be provided for. Table-tennis, track and field, cycling tracks, everything you can think of which is a sport, be it indoor or outdoor, summer or winter, all will be available except for things like downhill skiing or anything that requires that large slope (unless the city is built near to such a mountain). All will be free to people in the city, and all will require employees to help maintain and operate. For example, Peter is on the triathlon training team, so as part of his work, he will work with the youth of the city in preparing, organizing and operating a triathlon camp. Paul is a marathon runner, part of his working time could be spent on monitoring the marathon track, or working with fledgeling marathon runners in giving them training programs and monitoring their progress. As much as possible there will be places for an audience to take part so that any world class competitions that end up in this city will have plenty of room for spectators.
Much like the way sports facilities will be dispersed throughout the city, music training will be provided throughout the city as well. Basic music instrument lessons will be made available at a large number of small conservatories in many different neighbourhoods. In addition, medium sized performance centers will dot the inner subarbs of the city where bands and orchestras will rehearse and perform while at the very city center will be the largest peformance hall that can seat thousands. At this central performance hall there could be operas, orchestras, bands of all genres of music and events such as graduations. Finally, there will be a number of clubs throughout the city to showcase local and visiting productions, like jazz clubs, rock clubs, blues clubs and so on. Like in the sports centres, many of these different places will require city employees. If Stephen is wanting to learn how to play and practice the harp, he can work at the local conservatory, and once he becomes proficient at playing the harp, he can give lessons, and this is how he pays the city.
There is a wide variety of arts that will be supported in this city, so many that this document can only explain a small portion of them. In a most basic form there will be painting, sculpture, drawing, writing and computer related art like animation or graphic design. Studios of all varieties will also be dispersed throughout the city, making it so that any one person could learn to play the piano, practice their archery and go to the studio and paint all within ten to fifteen minutes of their home. There will be plenty of places throughout the city that local artists will be able to display their work. Very few art installations will be permanent, however, such that many different artists will be able to display their work in the same location over the period of years. A number of museums each of which focuses on a specific genre will be built, and also a large number of art stores such that locals and visitors will be able to purchase any of the art that is produced. As with all of the other components, some of the artists who have to pay their city debt will be able to work in the museums or art stores, thereby working in the same domain as their interest.
Since fitness is such a large part of the concept of this city, and since pollution is so opposite the concept of this city, the only gasoline powered vehicles that enter into the city are the delivery vehicles needed to supply the stores and industries that appear in the city. For all purposes of moving people and the small amounts of goods that people need to move (like groceries and shopping), bicycles will be the predominant method of transport. Everyone who moves into the city will be provided a bicycle and all will be provided with a similar model or quality. Since all of the bikes will be mostly identical, there will be no requirement for locks. If it ends up that someone is the last person to leave and there is no bike left, a special company will be created for the city to provide a bike for any stranded person.
As the city grows, even though it is mostly densely populated, outer subarbs will develop. When they do, some sort of tram system will be put in place that accepts occupants and their bicycles. In this way someone who lives in an outer subarb can take their bicycle to get to any other point in the city by taking the tram.