New World Model

Under construction with trees, webs, levels, patterns, and spirit

MODEL This world model is based on a tree structure that maps the planet into human neighborhoods, wild areas, and so on using 12 natural levels. The model provides a framework for many applications, from from delivering mail to collecting taxes. You may recognize various aspects in use around the world today. The model allows me to make sense of the daily news.

( A little about Patterns and Spirit here. )

SCOPE Many issues can be addressed from this model — but many issues cannot be directly addressed. The Scope page tries to distinguish between them.
STATUS Working on Pattern Language elements for the 12 levels, and contemplating how the model could support various applications. I'm exploring its general principles to see what all fits. My plan is to express those things via a pattern language. By sharing those patterns, I can offer my mind exercise to you.

distinct levels

Each level contains a number of the next smaller levels. For example, a region may contain several areas: the Pacific Northwest Region contains the Inland Northwest, the Columbia Basin, Puget Sound, the Okanogan, the Osoyoos, the Frazier River Valley, the Willamette Valley, and other areas so named by settlers or natives. Similarly, a city can contain several towns, and so on.

These distinct levels interact and relate in ways systems theory describes as layered systems.

While the main structure is a tree, a web is formed by connections between the models components and levels.

Notes on Portland, Oregon, and what differs from this model, level-wise


A collection of continents, oceans, and air.




A continent is a geo-mass with fresh water and bio-features. A continent may contain one or more nations. Continental entities handle disasters, track and research diseases in unique animal populations, offer earthquake relief, prevent deforestation, control non-native species, etc.

An ocean the opposite of a continent - a water mass with islands. Marine entities handle rescues, oceanographic research.

Island ... is land? Ocean islands can be any of the sub-continental levels, i.e. an island nation, island region, etc.

[Further compare the duplicity of land and water].


A collection of regions. A nation may consist of or be augmented by a group of islands. Nations are cultural entities with laws that bind their regions together. A nation is not just land, people, and government. The nation might be mono or multi-cultural, political simple or complex. The model may offer some national patterns. Other people (organizations) are developing sustainability and economice patterns.


A collection of areas and and natural systems. A natural system is uninhabited, forest, desert, lakes, mountains, hills, plains, or open ocean.

[bio-geographic aspect; what defines its extent] [cultural aspect] [support aspect; what a region does for its constituent areas]


A distinct area of land -- a rural area, a marine area, or an urban area (metropolitan area, large city), recreational area, industrial area, native reserves, and military reserves. Regional prisons should be in small protection areas.

City (Urban Area)

An urban area is the large-scale built environment, a large city, a metropolitan area, a sprawl of urban development.
A large city may be a constellation of city centers.
A small city may be only a collection of towns.
There are culture landscapes within cities and recreational areas., while other kinds of areas have mostly administrative needs (planning, management, operations).

Country (Rural Area)

A rural area can be agricultural farmland, forest, desert, or any of a number of kinds of natural areas.
Rural towns, rural communities, rural villages, and rural neighborhoods exist without being near a city, but they are contained in a rural area.


The urban (i.e. downtown) and suburban parts of a city. A town can also be a singular rural town (smaller scale geographic & built environment). A town may consist of one or more communities.


A collection of villages with a business district, a post office, larger commons. A giant high-rise, such as the John Hancock Building in Chicago with its own swimming pool and grocery store might be considered a community. Spiritual communities may span space and time.


A collection of neighborhoods with a small commons. A single high-rise in an urban environment could be considered a Village.


A definable geographic neighborhood. The domain of a child on a bicycle. A neighborhood is a distinct collection of dwellings, such as an apartment complex or building, or group of houses, or multiple groups of houses.

Watch Group

A group of dwellings or businesses organized for support and protection. A watch group is a cluster of immediate neighbors such as a floor of a high rise, units of apartments, a moorage dock, a co-housing development, an Oxford House, etc.




A home or dwelling is a collection of rooms for persons (a family perhaps).

A shop is were a small business lives.




Bottom most level of the world model is either a business or a person.

application patterns

Many Applications operate within distinct levels.

global addresses

Perhaps the most visible manifestation of the world model is the global address. Consider the following global address of Time Haven, where I live now.
 PERSON         John Miller
  DWELLING       Time Haven
   WATCH GROUP    North End
    NEIGHBORHOOD   Boone's Ferry Road
     VILLAGE        Collins View
      COMMUNITY      Burlingame
       TOWN           Southwest
        AREA           Portland
         REGION         Pacific Northwest
          NATION         America
           CONTINENT      North America
            PLANET         Earth

Another Time Haven dweller is Cynthia Stowell. Our (inactive) watch group has no official name, but it could be called North End, because we are on the very north end of Boone's Ferry Road, a 50-mile road that runs clear to Salem.

Collins View is an association of smaller neighborhoods. The Boone's Ferry Road Neighborhood is one of a number named in the CVNA bylaws.

The Portland urban area has no agreed upon name. Metro is the name of the regional government for the area, but not the name of the area. Some refer to Willamette County as the union of several urban counties. This area has also been called Portcouver (ugh).

The Pacific Northwest region (loosely) has also been called Cascadia and the United Northwest.

Details about global addresses.











health care

Small centers in the community, Medium size hospitals in every town, Large Hospitals in every city. Regional, national, and even global centers for specialized treatment, disease control, research, prevention, etc.

People are free to go anywhere in their (nation? region?) for health care as needed or convenient. They may have general providers in their own community while having special providers in other places. I.e., they are not constrained to the particular health centers in their global address .

[All Basic Facilities may need to be publicly held? How much privatization? These are facilities, Health Care Plans are another matter!]


What about all that stuff you get in the mail from the 100's of bureaus, companies, agencies, etc? And more.




How about a neighborhood node for your regional library system? Each city, town, community, and village should have an appropriately sized branch, integrated into civic centers.

police, fire, medical, and rescue

911. Community policing, neighborhood watch groups, city police handle special events, regional forces finding were the bad guys hide out. Regional rescue of lost climbers, boaters, ... Help!


laws and ethics

Neighborhood Law and Ethics, Regional Laws, ..., Global Laws.


Cases handled at the appropriate level, including neighborhood disputes. Appeals to the next higher level. Jurisprudence based on the 12-levels just like anything else. World Court.


Regional Detention Facilties, Rehabilitation Communities, Town Treatment Centers?


Gas and Electricity could be divided by communities, and smaller, but they would not be retrofit in existing grids. In new contruction, utilities could be distributed accoring to the model, except for sewer, which may make more sense to handle area-by area because of gravity. See water management section. Community-based co-generation facilities.

water management

This includes drinking water, sewage, surface water management, groundwater management, etc. (REF: Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis, and Management, Delft University of Technology,

Water and Sewage lines need to follow gravity more than anything so they are best handled at the area level.

other emergency services

Each village should have a volunteer Emergency Response Team to help out after a storm, earthquake, etc.. There should be a stash of supplies and various tools. Training, preparation, and some supplies would be provided by the area and region.

Combined resources should be available to all, for example there should be continental disaster recovery forces for earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, tornados, etc. Regional resources could available to continental deployment on a contract basis.

other public services

Waste collection, recycling, ... Villages should have right to contract own garbage hauler, ...


layered systems

This is the theory section with the abstractions and basis for generating the patterns. These are the fundamentals, the axioms.

object-oriented approach

(No link as yet) Object-Oriented programming is the art of defining certain basic objects and instances of them that inherit the basic characteristics and then add their own. These modules make up a system and communicate with other modules via messages. They have given inputs and outputs, and define what to do in response to expected messages. Some one may want to use this approach to elucidate and thereby simulate the world model. I think this can be more easily done after a pattern language has been written, not before.

pattern language

These descriptions will enumerate the built environment, services, functions, and sets of input-outputs for each level, and add what is unique about each level.

fractal cities (NOT)

I used to refer to finite fractal, to describe this world model. By that I meant the pattern is not infinitely recursive -- only in mathematics is there infinite regression. Since the world model levels are not self-similar recursively, I do not preach fractality.

But it was inevitable that others would jump on the notion that A City is a Fractal, see bibliography below. In fact, Alexander wrote that A City is not a Tree, which bummed me when I saw that (because I am a tree nut) but it's true - a city is a richer structure than a tree, or bunch of cul de sacs, it's a web of interconnections.


Bibliographic References.


Links outside the New World Model — the universe and beyond.


This background/history page tells how I got started into this World Model. In 1977, fractal geometry was not yet articulated, but some recursive geometric structures were, namely I think, the Serpinski sponge, when we were diving into the General System Theory course at Lewis & Clark College.
We've got to get ourselves back to the garden.
(some semblance of a garden.)
Joni Mitchell
Paradise is exactly like where you are right now, only  much,  much,  better.
Laurie Anderson
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