A major part of Newton’s identity has always been that it’s composed of 13 unique villages. In recent years with the creation of new Area Councils for some of the villages, that village identity has become even stronger.
In recent days a new prism for seeing our town has seemed to suddenly sprung out of nowhere. Across the city small groups of citizens have been banding together and organizing around their hamlets. These little sub-villages, everywhere from East West Newton, to Olde Thompsonville, to Almost Watertown have begun organizing around their micro-neighborhoods. These newly formed hamlets have also been banding together in a new group called the Pan Hamlet Alliance.
The PHA have been recruiting other hamlets to organize as well as talking to their local City Councilors about their hamlet-centric issues. City Hall ears seems to be acutely tuned to this groundswell of hyper-local organizing. There’s already early talk about organizing elected Hamlet Area Councils.
This shift from a village-centric to a hamlet-centric outlook could have far reaching consequences across the city. The Tour de Newton, the annual 13 village bike ride is now trying to come up with a route through all 37 hamlets for this coming year. The Pan Hamlet Alliance has been publishing broadsides against the “villagefication” of Newton.
Even here at Village14 we’re taking heed. We’ve just registered the domain name Hamlet38.com to cover our bets.