City life has its drawbacks: noise, lack of access to nature, and high cost of living. Maine is full of affordable properties in beautiful areas, but they are often far from critical mass of people, group activities, and intellectual stimulating work environments.
To create a Cotown, an organizing group would work with locals to choose a small town to be the creative economy engine for the area. The town should be less than two hours from a major airport, have amny vacant properties, and adjacent natural areas. Locals would have to be enthusiatic about bringing 50-200 new residents to the town. The project would work with the town to get access to)some buildings and some land, and to do local asset mapping, and create a dream list of all the types of people and skills the reinvigorated town would have. Then, create an international competition to bring people with those skills to the town. It would be frames as a 2-3 year fellowship with a grant of live-work space for the duration. Locals would review the applications and make decisions. The new residents would be required to give some number of hours per month in community service- volunteering their skills and energy to the local schools, town, parks, and developing good relationships with locals in the process. There would be at least one full-time person who would manage the process, coordinate volunteers etc. After the three years, hopefully many new residents would choose to stay on and attract widening circles of friends and family.