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EcoVillage at Ithaca: Pioneering a Sustainable Culture Paperback – May 1, 2005


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EcoVillage at Ithaca: Pioneering a Sustainable Culture + Choosing a Sustainable Future: Ideas and Inspiration from Ithaca, NY + Sustainable Community: Learning from the Cohousing Model
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865715246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865715240
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #634,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Liz Walker co-founded and has directed EcoVillage at Ithaca since its inception in 1991, and has lived there with her family since the first buildings were completed. She has worked on all aspects of the community's development, and has written and lectured widely on the topic.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kris Noel on June 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
I had the privilege of actually staying at this ecovillage and meeting a lot of these people, so I really love this book. It's a great read for anyone interested in sustainability.

-Kris Noel
Lionhead (Volume 1)
The Serenity Compound
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Author Liz Walker (a founder and leader of Ithaca) wrote in the Introduction to this 2005 book, "'Ecovillage at Ithaca' tells the human story of EVI. It is not a comprehensive overview... I write from my own lived experience... the book will not show you how to create an ecovillage or intentional community. Nor will it explore our legal, financial, or organizational strategies... Instead I offer you glimpses into our way of life and stories that illuminate our path... I hope this book will inspire you to make changes in your own life, your own neighborhood, and your own circle of friends."

She states, "Ithaca is committed to reaching mainstream, middle-class Americans and others who are open to positive change. EVI is a living laboratory that draws from the best alternative practices in land use, organic agriculture, community living, green building, and energy conservation. We integrate proven social and environmental systems to provide a glimpse into one possible positive future for the planet." (Pg. 3)

She notes, "At EVI meaningful human contact is the norm and not the exception. I consider myself blessed to live here. I can maintain my privacy when I need to, but also have plenty of opportunity to form and develop connections with my cohousing neighbors. Indeed I think that living in community fills the deep longing for human love and connection that is shared by our whole species." (Pg. 75) Later, she suggests, "It wasn't utopia. But it was a pretty good place to be." (Pg. 102)

She summarizes, "Over the years our shared experiences, shared work, and shared leadership have all helped to bring us closer together as a community. Our reconsideration of the whole EcoVillage vision made us feel like an extended family.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Swaim on July 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent first-hand personal account of the forming, and subsequent trials, tribulations and accomplishments of one of the most famous ecovillages in the US. Liz Walker does a good job describing how the ecovillage at Ithaca began as more of a movement than just a simple community. She details some of the initial aspects of getting the community going, and offers up some vignettes on life in the community as it formed and once it was formed and stable.

The reason I give this 4 stars instead of 5 is that while it's chocked full of anecdotes, it's short on actual advice for those wishing to form duplicate communities elsewhere. The group at Ithaca had some tremendous advantages early on, (such as being offered free land, and enjoying overwhelming support from the local community). Still, it's a good read for anybody interested in intentional communities or ecovillages.

One thing I took to heart from this is that the CSA farmer couple at Ithaca felt like they were getting something of a raw deal, and not enough support from the community. This is a recurring theme in other ICs that have a single person, couple or small group responsible for growing food for the community, with a community that's free to shop elsewhere if they desire. It's a valuable lesson.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marcelo Michelsohn on June 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a very truthful and inspiring story of the development of Ecovillage at Ithaca, with all its successes but also with the challenges and problems faced by the community. If you are thinking about joining or starting your own community I would highly recommend you this book and a visit to the Ecovillage which I did in May 2007. It really helped me to confirm my dream of building an ecovillage myself.
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