Thursday, May 26, 2005

A tale of one city

I just found out that the planned community of Laurent, South Dakota, has a very comprehensive website.

I note that although Laurent has been covered in the news repeatedly as a "town for the deaf", the website emphasizes that it is in fact planned to be a "town for signers". They're working quite hard to stress inclusion of hearing people.

As I've said before, I wish them well - especially if they are able to stay true to their stated values of diversity and inclusion (read: hearing people genuinely welcome and included). I still have some serious reservations about the economic feasibility, which have been eased somewhat by reading the faq and learning that one option open to residents will be to commute to Sioux Falls or Mitchell, SD, both around a half-hour's drive away. They're also planning on tapping into the local agricultural economy and encourage value-added agri-business for the town. (Value-added agri-business means, for example, turning local organic strawberries into locally-made gourmet organic jam or cauliflower and snowpeas into frozen pasta entrées, that kind of thing - brings in much better profits than selling the raw ingredients.)

It will be really, really interesting to see if this dream can be made a reality.



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