What is an EcoVillage?
“The EcoVillage is a
prototype of future sustainable living communities with a goal of implementing alternative social and ecological standards. In 1991, Robert Gilman set out a definition of an ecovillage that was to become a standard. Gilman defined an ecovillage as a human-scale full-featured settlement in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world in a way that is supportive of healthy human development, and can be successfully continued into the indefinite future. Gilman’s definition gives a basic idea – yet what does one look like and how do the people in the community live and interact with the world around them? In order to answer these questions we need to look at a little history…Before our modern societies were fashioned in the way they were people lived in small village type communities. It took centuries to bring about the huge cities and neighborhoods that we are familiar with. During the late 60’s and 70’s there was a “back to the land” or “commune” movement that had varying degrees of success and significant failures that contributed to the collective data base we can now tap into when asking the above questions. Many of those communities had a magnetic leader that promised to lead the way to utopia. Due to the well publicized accounts of the failures of these communes many people in our society have developed what can be called a “3C” association – Community=Commune=Cult equation when they hear about intentional communities. What we hope to bring forward is more information that will hopefully help dispel of this negative image/stereotypes and bring us all up to speed about the actual evolution that has occurred from learning from past mistakes.” ~ from ‘EcoVillage’ Interdependent Project
And what is an urban EcoVillage?
The urban EcoVillage is an emerging community phenomena that is sometimes planned but mostly an organic coming together of people in urban neighborhoods and densely populated areas.
The LA EcoVillage is a project where urban EcoVillagers demonstrate the processes for creating a healthy neighborhood ecologically, socially, and economically. The strategy is to reduce environmental impacts while raising the quality of neighborhood life.
Ecocity Builders is an organization working to reshape cities for the long-term health of human and natural systems They develop and implement policy, design and educational tools and strategies to build thriving urban centers based on “access by proximity” and to reverse patterns of sprawl and excessive consumption.Ecocity Builders and associates’ definition of “ecocity” is conditional upon a healthy relationship of the city’s parts and functions, similar to the relationship of organs in living complex organism. They are concerned with city design, planning, building, and operations in an integral way and in relation to the surrounding environment and natural resources of the region, utilizing organic, ecological and whole-systems lessons to actually reverse the negative impacts of climate change, species extinction and the destruction of the biosphere.Ecocity Builders believe the form of the city matters, that it is within our ability, and indeed crucial, to reshape and restructure cities to address global environmental challenges.