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Rural Mediterranean Telecommunity


This is an idea to create a telecommunity in a favorable location in the rural Mediterranean. I define “telecommunity” as a group of at least 15-20 people living in a small town, village, or rural area who work together in a single telecenter building, but live in separate housing nearby. The occupations of these people could vary greatly. A telecommunity could include journalists, computer programmers, consultants, accountants, artists, designers, etc - anybody who can work regardless of location. A telecommunity is more than a business services center. A major feature of a telecommunity is to attract a critical mass of people who would provide each other support and a dynamic social and cultural environment. It is hoped that the individuals would organize community events and bring diverse perspectives to the rural setting.

The rationale of the telecommunity concept is to help people live a high quality of life. In my view, the rural Mediterranean in (Spain, Italy, Portugal, or Southern France) is the optimal place to live, however it might seem impractical for an urban professional to move there. For example, there are few career opportunities. However, with technology it is possible to reduce the disadvantage of living in a particular place and bring the advantage of living somewhere else. If a person works with data or information, then that person could use e-mail fax, telephone, the Internet, etc., to locate anywhere. Technology may also offer the possibility to bring attractive urban elements such as culture, media, ideas, etc. to a rural setting.

I chose the Mediterranean because it has good weather most of the year, the food is excellent, the approach to work is low-pressure, scenery, recreation, and cultural opportunities are plentiful. Health services and educational opportunities are good. The Mediterranean is also relatively close to major business centers in Europe and North America (unlike Australia, Chile, or South Africa which also have Mediterranean climates). I suggest a rural area because of the following urban problems: crime, pollution, congestion, noise, anonymity, hyper-competitiveness, constraints/demands on time. Rural areas are attractive because they offer a more leisurely pace of life, clean environment, natural surroundings, and are inexpensive. It is hoped that by bringing such desirable urban elements as cultural activities, diversity, and dynamism of ideas that rural drawbacks scuh as isolation, homogeneity, lack of intellectual and cultural stimulation can be overcome.

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