New Gaia was the second of the Cradle Worlds to be colonized, in the transition phase between the final stages of occupying Utopia Colony and the EAA conducted parallel colonization of the remaining Cradle Worlds. As a result the world ended up with the smallest colonial population, and also the least regimented social structure of any of the Cradle Worlds. The EAA reacted by encouraging this trend, and using the world as humanities pressure release for dissident groups, anarchists, and incompatible political factions. New Gaia became a center for art and philosophy, with a primarily agricultural economic base.
New Gaia is sharply divided between large metropolises, sparsely populated rural regions, and virgin wilderness. The metropolises are little different to standard EAA cities, but the smaller communities vary wildly with sociological and political experimentalism running rampant. Typically towns at most with surrounding territories all being operated by the residents and their chosen social and political models. This allows one place in Human Space where a citizen can literally vote with their feet and choose a model of government and of community to suit their tastes.