Growing the City as a Community
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The effort to design a perfect city, an ideal society, eutopia (the good place) rather than utopia (nowhere at all), has a history centuries long; it deserves an overview, a picture of what the city would look like from the cab of a dirigible, perhaps, so that all its parts can be seen, and seen to work together. The enterprise goes back at least to the Greek philosopher Plato (c. 427-c. 347 B.C.), whose Republic described a carefully layered social system that worked beautifully as long as all classes—farmers and tradesmen at the bottom, soldiers (guardians) in the middle, and a few philosophers at the top—remembered to do their duty in their proper place, in the proper way, and not try to cross lines and become something else. Since then, a variety of thinkers have tried their hand at the construction of the Ideal Society—the human community where all people can live in harmony, ensure their safety, govern their affairs, produce what they need to live, and make each other happy.