The Great Experiment in Decentralized Urbanism

“When going back makes sense, you are going ahead.” – Wendell Berry

At one time people everywhere built villages in the same way. Construction followed a logic informed by basic human needs. People walked, so their villages were compact and they raised their food on the immediately surrounding land. Resources were dear and thrift obligatory. Buildings were attached to conserve heat and reduce maintenance. Streets were narrow. These inherently sustainable “traditionally patterned” villages, places like Old Quebec City, instilled a sense of community. They brought people together instead of dividing them. Perhaps that is why the few that still exist are among the most beloved and heavily touristed locations in the world.

Our project was founded to establish the first compact, car free village in the United States. We will acquire a site of approximately 500 acres on which 125 acres will be developed. Regulatory approval for the project will be attained and necessary infrastructure installed in phases as needed. Though our project will not construct buildings, we will draft the street plan and simple design code, based on the best of traditional practices, that will guide the build-out of the site. Attached, durable and fire resistant buildings, no taller than a walkable height, will front on narrow streets, with continuous arcaded sidewalks offering shelter for the elderly and mobility challenged. Buildings will be arranged to create plazas, serving as markets and democratic meeting places for all classes of people, and will surround interior courtyards for more private space. All destinations will be within convenient walking distance, with vehicles garaged at the village perimeter. 375 acres of garden space, sufficiently sized for each household to raise a significant amount of food, will encompass the developed zone.

With an above average household density, this small-footprint project stands to offer steady employment in the building trades for generations, free of attendant development sprawl, and preserving the rural character of the Piscataquis River watershed. This unique mix of rural/micropolis offers the best of both worlds, inspiring to all ages, especially attractive to the self-employed, retired and mobility impaired, and is our best hope to counter the demographic winter that grips the rural counties of Maine. We are committed to the creation of a new paradigm in American urban planning. One that emphasizes humanity and human interactions to create a healthy, people-centered community.



Piscataquis Village in the News


A Novel Development Concept Gathers Steam in Piscataquis County

         Christian Milneil, Mainebiz, 2012-04-12, Full Article

Piscataquis Village presents at TEDxDirigo

         A Carless Rural Village, 2012-10, Video     

Fairfax Climate Watch:Are Walkable Cities a Fantasy or Could They Become an Economic Cash Cow?

Matt Owens, Fairfax, Virginia 2013-04-04 Full Article 

The Sprocket Podcast:The Piscataquis Village Project

Sprocket Podcast, Portland, Oregon  2013-01-22 Podcast

An Urban Experiment in Rural Maine

Tyler Falk, Smart Planet, 2012-02-08, Full Article

Can One of Maine’s Emptiest Counties Become an Urbanist Paradise?

Sarah Goodyear, Atlantic Cities, 2012-02-08, Full Article

Piscataquis Village: Building a Car-Free Utopia  in the U.S.

Ariel Schwartz, Co.Exist, 2012-02-02, Full Article

‘Really Narrow Streets’ Project in the Planning Stages in Maine

Emily Washington, Market Urbanism, 2012-01-27, Full Article

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