Part 1 in a series of articles exploring cities adopting DR’s covenants.
People often say that Dancing Rabbit is in the middle of nowhere, and it’s hard to dispute. Rutledge, our nearest town, has a population of 100 (which we hope to surpass in the next few years) and our whole county has fewer residents than some big city high schools (4,843 by the last census).
But what we do at Dancing Rabbit is as relevant to cities as it is to small town USA, and I’ve begun to wonder: what if cities adopted Dancing Rabbit’s ecological covenants?
These six Dancing Rabbit covenants are the foundation of our ecological expectations of residents and members. Our covenants are based in the belief that radical change is possible and that it will come both through personal choices and through major shifts in physical and social infrastructure. They are based in the understanding that conservation is key, and that only with reduced consumption can technological innovation meet our needs sustainably. We’ve found that cooperation is a powerful tool for conservation and we believe a shift towards more sharing is a big part of the social change we’ll need. Our covenants don’t describe every aspect of a sustainable society, but we’ve found that these few simple rules put us far along the path towards sustainability.
In this series of articles I’ll explore what it would look like for cities, neighborhoods, or regions to adopt DR’s covenants.
Our first (and perhaps most impactful) covenant states:
“Dancing Rabbit members will not use personal motorized vehicles, or store them on Dancing Rabbit property.”
What would happen if a major US city passed a law that personal motorized vehicles were not allowed or at least seriously curtailed their use? For example, what if New York prohibited personal motorized vehicles to drive or park on the island of Manhattan? Could that really work? Would people stand for it? Would the city suffer or flourish under such a law? What exceptions would have to be made?
People have written whole books about New York City transportation systems and I can’t possibly cover it all in that level of detail but here’s a quick look at the possibility. Continue reading