Mirador Astronomy Village

David Oesper

This is a discussion group for dark-sky and astronomy-friendly communities in general, but to refer to the specific dark-sky community I am working to establish, I'll be referring to it as "Mirador Astronomy Village".

David Oesper

I just uploaded three documents pertaining to the Mirador Astronomy Village project. Please review at your convenience and I hope you will ask questions and offer suggestions, either here or privately. If you think a section can be better worded, feel free to reword it. If you find any typographical errors, please let me know. If you'd like to add an additional section or expand an existing one, please submit your paragraphs.

Many thanks,

David Oesper

Steve Taylor

I suppose the first question is what sort of scale of scheme are you envisioning ?

David Oesper

That's a very good question, Steve. The research done by British anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar (1947-) would suggest a community size of 100 to 250 should work well, with around 150 people being optimal, perhaps. That 150 number has even been given a name: "Dunbar's number".

Of course, the amount of land available for the project is going to put a limitation on how many people can comfortably live there.

Perhaps enough land should be purchased to accommodate, say, 150 residents and visitors. Is that overly ambitious for an astronomy-oriented community in the desert southwest? I don't know yet.

Ideally, the community would be built all at once. But if there are severe financial constraints, it might have to develop gradually. I think that the astro-tourism part of the community would have to be there early on, in order to provide an income stream for further development.


Steve Taylor

One thing I'd add is a community workshop space.

David Oesper

Excellent idea, Steve! I can't believe I forgot to include the community workshop space. Here's the revised Residential Campus section. Feel free to make/suggest additional changes. I'll periodically upload the latest version of the Mirador specifications document which will include all accumulated changes.

Residential Campus

The residential campus will be located further into the property, a reasonable distance from the visitor campus. This will be a cluster of houses and multi-unit dwellings where the residents of Mirador live. The residential campus should also include a multipurpose community center, a workshop, a coworking center, and an outdoor commons. More than one residential campus could be developed.

The campus approach lends itself well to private residences supplemented by nearby shared facilities and common areas. A key feature of Mirador will be clustered residences rather than the standard rural development approach of widely-separated residences on acreages.

The coworking center will have partitions and cubicles (no open office!), plus at least one meeting room. Another coworking center could be located on the visitor campus.