The heart of a Community
The intention to empower communities takes shape in the distribution of tax revenues to the lowest possible layer and the seizing of the opportunity to support their own society by local populations. These two aspects of the implementation of the Standards of LIFE, and BASE in particular, find the natural expression of their practical achievement in the development and establishment of the Community Center.
A Community Center is as much a concept and intention as it is a physical building. It is the base of operations for the provision of services to the community at the same time that it is a haven, a refuge and a meeting point for the community.
As part of the initial changes implemented in the early years of a LIFE government, the Community Center also provides a focal point and real exhibition of the change of practice behind the philosophy of the Standards of LIFE. The development of a Community Center embodies the aspirations of the society and emphasises the practical nature of social services.
The actual, physical design of a Community Center in any given Community will be determined by the Community itself. Where it should be located, whether reusing existing buildings or starting from scratch, what colour, shape or size are all factors that need to be appropriate to the specific Community.
There are, however, elements of a Community Center that can be appropriately specified based on expected uses and design experience. To provide a head start to Communities in their deliberations about the establishment of their own Community Center, the following suggestions and considerations are offered. Also, given that most Community Centers will be funded with revenues drawn from a population wider than the Community it is appropriate that there should be standards (see below) that need to be met.
A substantial portion of the design will be determined by the functions that the Community Center must provide (see Functions below).
|Kitchen||Meals prepared for those in need, including for delivery to disabled, house-bound and the sick.At least one cooked meal per day, using as much local produce as practical. Part of delivering the BASE Shelter service.||Culinary training.|
|Dining||Dining facilities for the able bodied to consume meals prepared in the Kitchen.||Space can be joined to create a larger Meeting & Education space.|
|Meeting & Education||Hosting community meetings and providing facilities for the general educational needs of the residents, such as for presentations by local and visiting experts, authors, artists.||Space can be joined with Dining and Library to create a larger Meeting & Education space.|
|Library & Information||In additional to providing general internet access services, secure public access terminals (SPAT) are available for information access and research. SPATs here can provide the high VQ necessary to enable citizens to review and edit their xID.||Community xID certificate store (needs secure facility).
Space can be joined to create a larger Meeting & Education space.
|Citizens’ Advice||Staffed facility for providing citizen’s with advice on issues ranging from legal rights to financial planning.|
|Community Services||Coordinating center for information about services available to Community residents, including local BASE housing. Guides to local facilities, commerce, attractions and local events.||Community policing center.|
|ReUse & Recycling||Donation, reuse and recycling center staffed by local residents. This facility can service the clothing element of the Shelter requirements under BASE.|
|Transport||Local public transport coordination and management center. See Lifeville model for examples of transport management. Delivery services for the Kitchen.||Adjoining local public transport hub|
The following standards apply to Community Centers:
- sufficiently integrated and physically condensed to provide for shared and mixed use of the facilities
- suitably sized for the Community
- as energy efficient as possible
- easily accessible and very close to, or actually, the center of local public transport services
- built with local materials
- built with local labour