There are two million people who know sign language (not necessarily deaf), and there is a visionary development group in South Dakota that believes 2500 of them will move to a new town designed specifically for them, by them.
While it’s not exactly a cooltown, it does follow the principles of new urbanism; walkable, mixed-use, a diversity of housing types, front porches and alleys, live/works and a town center.
What is entirely significant about this community is that it’s customer-made, also known as mass customized, and to be designed as a beta community – the underlying nature of a cooltown.
Some of the benefits of such a customer-driven place? They get to collectively do whatever they want, and for instance, that means building the ‘world’s first integrated ASL public school system, serving both hearing, deaf and CODA children’, among hundreds of other unique design features like signage and video phones. Why they’re seeking McD’s and Subway as their first commercial tenants is beyond my scope, I doubt the beta-community-to-be would come to that conclusion.
Btw, it’s a sign-oriented community – so you can move there if you want to learn, like being around signers, or perhaps prefer a quieter place to live?