NewVistas is more than just a blueprint for a physical and economic community.
Living in NewVistas is also designed to encourage a variety of lifestyle adjustments that can benefit individuals, families, and the community as a whole.
Walking, Not Riding
NewVistas communities are designed to make it easy to walk or bike, rather than passively riding to get from place to place.
This lifestyle change has the potential to improve individual health as well as substantially reduce residents’ carbon and energy footprint.
This in turn helps stimulate increased local social and economic interaction, another intended outcome for the NewVistas model.
Expanded Rental Services
As a society, we place a lot of emphasis on owning things as a marker of personal success and worth, even though psychologists and religious leaders tend to agree that this materialism isn’t good for our spiritual and emotional health.
While membership in NewVistas won’t change human nature, NewVistas living subtly encourages a general shift from owning a lot of things—houses, cars, appliances, clothing, furniture—to having on hand those things you plan to use, which individuals might choose to own but more likely would rent or lease on a short-term or long-term basis.
Living in NewVistas will encourage expanded use of rental services for items such as furniture, appliances, recreational equipment and vehicles, and even clothing, as opposed to private ownership.
This way of doing things brings a lot of practical advantages. Needs, tastes, and interests change over time.
Sometimes people want to engage in activities that require specialized equipment that might get used only once or twice a year.
By renting instead of owning, families and individuals avoid tying up their capital—and their storage space—but still have access to things they want.
Less Cooking, More Eating Out
Each resident in NewVistas has access to a workstation that can function as a kitchenette, in addition to myriad other uses.
The kitchenettes provide facilities for basic cooking, microwaving, and other food preparation. These facilities can be expanded if desired into something more closely resembling a traditional kitchen by bringing up items from storage under the flooring.
However, it’s anticipated that many people will take advantage of the lower overall cost of living in NewVistas to cut back on the amount of cooking they do and take advantage of other options instead, such as nearby cafes and food delivery.
For special events, residents could rent the fully equipped kitchen and dining spaces within the community or lease equipment on a short-term basis.
People who like to cook could work part-time in a restaurant or even start their own food business, with others to help.
It’s all about options. Residents living in the NewVistas neighborhoods can still choose to cook traditional meals for themselves and their families if that’s important to them. However, they don’t have to do so.
Engaging with Greenspace
Part of what makes the NewVistas neighborhoods enjoyable places to live is the extensive incorporation of greenspace within the community design, including the terraced gardens behind the houses (draining down to the pond area) and the streets themselves, which are planned to include trees, shrubs, vines, and raised gardens.
Several unusual features about these greenspaces make them different from what most of us may be familiar with:
- The NewVistas commitment to sustainable, small-footprint living means that instead of taking up space with purely ornamental landscaping, greenspaces will be planted with varieties that produce edible fruit, nuts, vegetables, or other crops. Pleasant appearance and natural beauty are still goals, but they will be combined with productivity.
- NewVistas will eliminate the grass lawns that are such a standard—and wasteful—feature in today’s suburbs. Doing this will not only free up space for more productive planting, but also will reduce water, fertilizer consumption, and time needed for lawn care, while increasing the community’s biodiversity.
- Maintenance of the greenspaces will be contracted with farmers and other local businesses or to families and individuals living in the community who want their own garden. Individuals who want to do some gardening but aren’t ready to take on the responsibility for managing their own space can choose to work a few paid hours a week for a local farmer.
While residents in each household are responsible for picking up after themselves and pushing buttons to reconfigure living and workspaces over the course of the day, use of the NewVistas janitorial service is built into the lease for households and businesses, with a baseline fee billed automatically.
Additional services can be requested at an additional cost.