Proposed Changes to LA ..

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Shep
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Proposed Changes to LA ..

Post by Shep »

Firstly, the notification we all recieved from Trebor ...

“Peabody, here.” Everybody remember the late 1950s and early 1960s television animated series Rocky and Bullwinkle and Mister Peabody, the genius dog and “his boy” Sherman? Peabody and Sherman would travel in their WABAC (pronounced “wayback”) machine to various times in the past. Today we’re going to travel back to September/October 2011 when Alexia Carnell, owner of the Time Machine, introduced the idea of remodeling Locus Amoenus. Over the weekend Fern Leissa brought to my attention that we have a number of vacant parcels in LA and that maybe I could explore the possibility of remodeling once again.

Alexia had made contact with Lef Leven, a citizen of ours and a very accomplished Roman planner and builder. I have set up Lef’s examples at the landmark included below as well as the note card he made for the plans.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/L ... 211/92/551

One thing I don’t see though is smaller parcels; all the parcels are the same size as they are now; 512sqm and 1,024sqm. My suggestion would be to take the North parcels 4 through 12 and split them right down the middle, forming 18/256sqm parcels.

I would not have the extra waterfront Lef suggests and I would have the 9 parcels on the waterfront facing outwards and the 9 parcels adjacent to the road facing the road. I think one question would be if we split that row should we form a small alley or dirt trail in-between the 1st row and 2nd row or just have the buildings butted up against each other?

So when you get a chance read Lef’s Plan for Locus Amoenus and go visit the two displays and provide some feedback. Also keep in mind that if this is something all of us can come to an agreement on we would still have to work out the details with the few citizens who would be directly affected by this and we would also need to find people to do the actual work.

Thank you,

Trebor Warcliffe

PLAN FOR LOCUS AMOENUS
by Lef Leven, October 21, 2011

I hereby present my plan for changes in LA.

This note described the plan and is also to understand the models better.

GENERAL IDEA
The goal of my plan is to create a place where people would like to gather, shop and live, discover nice looking streets and builds, hangout, have fun, fall in love and become part of a lively city.

LAYOUT
Looking at the present LA layout I see an open place that lacks some structure. Although it's meant to have a countryside-feel, the lacking of 'streets and alleys' makes it hard for visitors to 'read' the sim: where do paths lead, what is road and what is not.....

So, as a basic improvement I suggest to make paths where paths are. They could be simple cobblestone paths in the grass.... or solid rustic streets/alleys, as long as they mark the routes and make clear where to go.

PUBLIC SPACE
I created a central square and more roads leading there. Automatic drawbridges open up the widened river for boats to enter. Trees, grasses etc, spread around the sim give the sim a certain 'look-and-feel', recognizable and making it look more coherent.

PARCELS
With 2 parcels less than now (26 and 27 will not exist anymore), and with some parcel layout changes, I think LA will look more clear. The northern road remains the same, but houses north of that are clearer organized, making it possible to make a northern shore too (lower the land to water level), so residents have water in their backyard there.

RENTAL HOUSES
South of the main road (and possibly a part south of the river) will be an area where LA can create a consistent look-and-feel by using similar looking houses that can be rented out. This can be a 'city' look-and-feel or a more rural one (hence the two versions of the model i made). The rental houses can come in various types of course, but with a similar style.

SQUARE
The central square functions as shopping area, place for events, gathering place. Flowers, monuments maybe, a central fountain... as long as the atmosphere is kept in style this can be a fun place to hangout. A row of columns and some trees make the square feel a little secluded, so people do not get lost in the vast space. 'Cosy' places could attract people: it should have fine (couple) benches, subtle hug and cuddle seats, places to 'be' and 'feel good', be romantic and enjoy the scenery with friends and loved ones.

SOUTH
South of the river and south road, the bigger residential parcels remain for owners to build their roman houses/villas.
--
So far my general plans for the sim.

As creator and seller of Roman buildings I can offer to further advise on some details, but my demanding RL prevents me from making the changes themselves (build/landscape etc).

Once the sim is changed, I believe a good marketing campaign could lead to more visitors and residents. Maybe a magazine, spread around the ancient worlds can help there: gorgeous photos, some atrractive stories from residents... you get the idea ;)

Greetings!

Lef Leven

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Re: Proposed Changes to LA ..

Post by Shep »

Secondly ... As Edward has yet to join the forum he requested I paste his message on his behalf .. :)

In regards to the proposed changes to LA, I have the following suggestion:
As a professional, Lef Leven, suggested that the land be divided into 512 and 1024prim parcels, I move that this suggestion be applied unchanged. Any parcels that don't sell can later be divided into the customary postage stamps and sold as 256prims.
I would also retain his suggestion for the added waterfront, as it makes a place where people can congregate for events without having to travel in time to other sims.
Cramming the greatest number of parcels into a sim allows no room for anything great to exist and will attract only people who want the cheapest possible land with the cheapest possible place to login. The will also be the quickest to depart once their involvement in sl increases and they find themselves stuck in a place without the ability to expand.
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Re: Proposed Changes to LA ..

Post by Shep »

Thirdly lol .. I'm in agreement with Ed .. I don't think we need to be a community of rabbit hutches (my phrase) .. but what concerned me from the proposal is the indication that some of the properties are to be rental? we have just passed a law that states you are only a citizen if you buy land and are up to date on tier .. so how does rental work or benefit anyone?

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Re: Proposed Changes to LA ..

Post by Timo Gufler »

It's always nice to see, that people like to develop and improve existing land. Still, I'm bit concerned about impact of the proposal. If this means, that our citizens must leave their homes in front of bulldozers, I really can't see, how the plan would help to support the community the government was elected to serve.

We are planning to add a new sim soon. Wouldn't it be a good place for creative people to build something new?

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Re: Proposed Changes to LA ..

Post by Sudane Erato »

Well... I'm in a funny position!

I worked with Moon and Symo on the existing LA design and arrangement. It was very well thought out, but as we have discovered, it has revealed some problems. There are some parcels on it that have NEVER sold. So the idea of looking at it with a fresh eye... that is very welcome.

I went up to visit the models and have a look. I like a lot of what I see. I also share some of Shep's and Timo's concerns.

I LIKE the central square idea, with its passage to the beach. I LIKE the widened river, to allow more uses on the river. And the bridges which would allow larger boats, even though it might mean replacing my own arch bridge that I'm very proud of (created when the 10m prim limit was still in place!). I "somewhat like" the northern shore idea, although it CANNOT go all the way to the edge of CN, for reasons we can discuss (i.e. what if we add a sim to the north of CN?... Creating a natural terraform would be difficult).

But clearly the controversy lies around splitting the parcels to smaller units. I agree with Shep... making rentals is a step backwards to confused citizenship. Let's NOT do rentals.

But I see an argument that smaller parcels makes for more transient citizens... cheaper parcels mean they come and go faster. The small parcels would be defined as 256 sqm, half of the current 512 parcels. But consider... the parcels within the walls of NFS are mostly about 144 sqm, and there are even one or two which are 132! While there is a fairly good amount of turnover in NFS, there are always few parcels available. It is clearly very popular.

What's the difference?

Well, I don't think it's simply the small size that encourages transients. I think its the context... the environment. And I think that the parcel divisions which are proposed do not alter the environment sufficiently to change the way people feel about their small house. The parcels and their homes might be smaller, but they are still "tract houses", and they simply don't have the spirit, or the mood, the intrigue... that NFS does. I think that if we want to make a fundamental change to LA, we have to modify the plan more drastically. Otherwise we're in serious danger of falling backwards.

NFS has narrow winding streets taking the shape of the terrain. LA was conceived of as a "Roman-designed" orderly layout. NFS was a nightmare to parcel, and its homes are a nightmare to set things up in, cause nothing adheres to the grid. But I think its that "organic" quality which makes NFS so popular.

In RL I live in New York, which is the product of "orderly planning" superimposed over an "organically grown" jumble. (At least in southern Manhattan). Streets run this way and that (4th Street crosses 10th Street), and through them all vast swaths have been cut out (7th Avenue) leaving bizarre building shapes and parcels. Maybe that's a model we can use for the land north of the river. We have a number of occupied parcels... let's assume that their owners block eminent domain (the seizing of their parcels). We have the main road from the west gate of CN down to the quay. What if... among those immovable objects, we created the imagined pre-existing environment? A warren of curvy streets and little plazas. Odd shaped parcels, like in NFS. But keep the main road, and allow the existing owners to keep their parcels.

Small places in neat orderly rows are boring. But even tiny places in intriguing, imaginative environments can be popular.

Thoughts?

Sudane.............................

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Re: Proposed Changes to LA ..

Post by Callipygian »

Lef, thank you for putting in the time and effort to create something tangible to get the process started/considered.

People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote -- a very different thing.

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Re: Proposed Changes to LA ..

Post by FernLeissa »

I did a quick walk-around of LA this morning to see who owned property and who would be affected by a the proposed change(s) to the layout of the land.
It looks like the following people own plots whose size and orientation would not change and therefore they would not be affected except in terms of use designation (ie. owning a home in a zone being suggested for shops...):

Pip (plots 2 & 3)
Alexia (plots 28 & 29)
Insky (plot 42)
Tor ( plots 39 & 41)
Mikelo (plots 37 & 40)
Avenge (plot 1)
Shadowgirlsk (plot 31)
Mizou (plots 32, 34 & 36)
Eblin (plot 33)

The following people are sitting on land that would be modified by these plans:

Anna ( 2 plots)
Lady Celestaisl ( 2 plots)
Deningunparte ( 1 plot)
MaryElizabeth (1 plot)
Lef (1 plot)
Danton (2 plots)
Tor (1 plot)

I agree with I think everyone, in suggesting that we modify the plan to allow these landowners to keep their property as is. As Sudane has suggested this may in fact be to our gain, by giving the sim a more organic feel.

Other than than I very much like the general layout of the new plan(s), esp. the widened river and the central plaza.

As far as rental properties, what I remember was that having at least some rental properties was suggested for 1) people who were new or just wanted to check out the community before joining us and 2) for merchants, many of whom are not interested in owning land. I do think I'd like to limit the number of rental properties to 3 or 4 plots.

I like the idea of pre-built sections of town, with similar style buildings. I think, like what has been done in NFS that people could either move in to the existing structure or replace with a similar/appropriate one.

I'm also wondering if we shouldn't leave a little land for "prim" plots? Probably not as necessary w/ a double-prim sim, but still..

Fern

Last edited by FernLeissa on Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Proposed Changes to LA ..

Post by Patroklus Murakami »

I like the new plans, especially the more urban than rustic ones. I like the way this unifies the look and feel of a significant part of LA and gives it more coherence as a sim.

I agree with others who have said we should work around existing property owners rather than assimilating them (like the Borg!) into the overall master plan.

Let's not call them 'rentals' though. That's a whole world of pain we can do without given that we have just (re)defined citizenship to involve land ownership. Let's see the plots with provided houses as just that - they are plots you own (like the other plots in the CDS) and you pay tier on them just like anyone else. The only difference is that the Covenant states you cannot change the structure i.e. you have to go with the provided structure to maintain the look and feel of this quarter of LA. We might need to make them cheaper as a result though. It's a significant imposition not to be able to change the home you are purchasing so lower purchase price and/or tier rates would seem appropriate.

I'm not sure about making them smaller though. Do people really want to live on small plots? I have had a tiny one in NFS for years but it's not very practical as a home. Even with additional prims from a prim lot it has barely any furniture and I've usually maintained another home somewhere else either in CDS or on the mainland to have somewhere a decent size to go to. The small lots in NFS come from the Founders' design for a dense, urban build which was pretty unique in SL at the time. It also works well with the 'fachwerk' which are built within the city walls in NFS. I'm not sure this really translates into LA. Happy to contemplate the change but not if we just get rabbit hutches for the sake of it. As Sudane points out, a lot of the charm comes from the organic feel of NFS which is quite tough to replicate.

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Re: Proposed Changes to LA ..

Post by Bagheera »

Back when Trebor first proposed the Insulae down near the waterfront, I had created a mockup which I showed him. One change I realized needed to be made was that the proposed 256m parcel (as 16m square) would not work because it would make some parcels landlocked. I created a design using 12x20 (240 meters) which is the next possible size down from 256m, with the option of appending a 16m land block to get back to the desired prim allocation. There was some communication foul-up and so I didn't know if this proposal was still alive or dead. Nevertheless, I did want to share the benefit of what I learned through actually building (when one is apt to discover good ideas on paper don't really work in world). I temporarily rezzed my build where it was to be located and took snapshots which can be seen here:

http://bagheera.tv/insulae/index.php/In ... us-Amoenus

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