Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Nice City ISO Shut-Ins for LTR, Maybe More

This is an older article from Business Week (I'm on a spree with that magazine, lately), but it nicely demonstrates the idea of towns chasing the telecommuters. In this case, it's my town, well part of it anyway. While I loathe the idea of more McMansions being built in the fragile desert, I heartily endorse the idea of a place working hard to attract knowledge workers.

McMansions aside, it sounds like some of it is going to be some nice urban planning:

"Business centers strewn throughout the community -- all within a short walk
or electric-cart ride -- will offer rent-by-the-hour support staff plus
state-of-the-art meeting rooms and seamless videoconference hookups to China and
India. With the Albuquerque airport only six minutes and one stoplight away, a
former regular of the big-city airport crush can leave for meetings in other
cities after breakfast and still be home for dinner."

They have an elegant master plan available on their site, although it's hard to tell what progress they've made. Much of the recent news about Mesa Del Sol seems to focus on the film studio they're building out there, but the concept of a telecommuter-focused community is so appealing.

I find that many existing communities already have many of the amenities they list. Okay, state-of-the-art meeting rooms, not so much, but in my much older, established community I have a Starbucks (not that I go there, but I could), a grocery store, several restaurants and shops all within easy walking distance, and virtually no McMansions. More importantly, I have non-crowded and excellent elementary, middle, and high school within very easy walking distance. So many newly-built housing conglomerations result in overcrowded schools, and I'd hate to see that happening to all the intelligentsia that Mesa Del Sol is luring to its halcyon streets.

Give me an old house in a neighborhood that isn't going to have a hundred new people moving in a week any day. But more power to all the knowledge workers who'll soon be flocking to the Land of Enchantment.

Look me up when you get here -- we can have monthly meet-ups or something.

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