1/ The MVP
When you first move out on your own, you get a basic set of cutlery, plates, cups, pots and pans, a bed, a desk or couch… one of each thing, often handed down.
Setup is cheap, meant to get you on your feet.
Same with cities, though not many young places exist today. Search maps of North Americans places 200+ years ago and you get an idea: cheap wooden shacks along an active route of sorts.
2/ Small bets
Opportunities arise to cheaply add better tools to your starter items. More kitchenware, a reading chair found on the curb, more sets of bedding on sale, and cute memorabilia from nights out, or trips made.
Our small settlement attracts new residents, grows wider with cross roads to accommodate buildings behind the initial rows. A small grid forms. Small success means the buildings on the main road can afford upgrades.
3/ Larger Quality of Life bets
You make a targeted investment. Better baking sheets for the cookie lover; a bookshelf for the bookworm; a sound system for the audiophile. You purge stuff you haven’t used for a while, or that ceased to fit. You’re slowly finding yourself.
The town starts vibing with its own lore. Space is cleared for civic buildings to house sports, arts, and celebration. Monuments for local heroes. An influx of residents increase the footprint of the town, making Main St. more desirable. Buildings there densify as a result.
4/ Expanded zones of interest
You’ve improved and optimized one part of your home really well. Now you look at other areas and think of ways to make them equally attractive and useful to you.
The incredible success of the original town instigates smaller sub-cores to sprout which serves the daily needs of far-flung residents better. They start a similar process of development to the original core.
4/ Find what sparks joy
Some things are treasured. Your parents old paring knife from when you first moved out. A tea pot from late uncle. An alpaca wool rug by a local indigenous artisan you found on a backpacking trip. Other things may get rotated out, but not these items.
Beloved places are connected to many people’s life events, and are kept. Other places may change. The character of place depends on who is willing to breathe life into it. The main aspiration is to cultivate a thousand stewards who all care for this place, as it cares for them.
5/ It works. Now, make it a feedback loop.
Like above, fine-tune your signal to closely understand needs. Success is meeting the needs of the user(s) by taking action accordingly. Discomfort result in contractions of self and humanity, which is a result of inaction or mistake.
Original title: A Loved Home is a Microcosm of a Loved City: An exploratory semi-fiction.