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Ecovillages: A Practical Guide to Sustainable Communities Paperback – September 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865715386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865715387
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'Inspiration for seeking out a community of our choice, or creating our own. This is where the book really shines: Bang is able to share his knowledge and observations and present us with a book that is on the one hand a pleasant and informative read, and on the other can be used as a workbook for a nascent or existing community.' -- Laurence Dungworth, Star and Furrow, Summer 2006 'This well designed book constitutes a comprehensive review for those who seek to initiate an ecovillage or for those in existing community who seek a transformation to a more sustainable way of life.' -- Dr Michael Livni, International Communal Studies Association Bulletin, December 2005 'The book has a clear and anecdotal style, and the interspersing of details of many of the worldwide communities that make up the Global Ecovillage Network keeps you inspired. Ideal for people interested in setting up a community.' -- Lesley Rice, Clean Slate: The Practical Journal of Sustainable Living, Summer 2005 'A useful guide if you are considering planning or even joining an ecovillage.' -- Building for a Future: The Independent Journal for Green Building 'A comprehensive guide to the principles and practice of sustainable communities [which are] conveyed in a way that could inspire new experiments in the genre.' -- Scientific and Medical Network Review, Summer 2005 'Part life testimony, part textbook for all kinds of sustainable living, working and organising yourself and part 'taking stock'. What I like about this book is the non-judgemental inclusion. It is an important snapshot of how community life has evolved since the communes of the 1970s. Life-affirming.' -- Vivan Griffiths, Camphill Correspondence, July 2005 'Having myself been involved with founding and building a community, I kept coming across advice and thinking, "that would have been useful!". Jan Bang clearly has hands-on experience. This is a veritable source book.' -- Christian Thal-Jantzen, New View, Summer 2005 'Peppered with case studies of villages from all over the world, this book weaves together permaculture and ecovillage design as coherent strategies for sustainable living and is full of practical hands-on information as well as inspiration and insight.' -- Maddy Harland, Permaculture, Summer 2005 'Both these books by Jan Martin Bang [also 'Sustaining Eco-Communities'] a long time member of the kibutzes and alternative communities are therefore very welcome for anyone interested in the concept, but has no practical experience with which to decide whether or not it's for them. Both books are basic in a good way: a readable overview of the essential physical considerations -- food, energy, transport for successful community living -- uncluttered by details that you don't need to know unless/until you actually decide to take this path.' -- Les Wallace, New Leaf News, Autumn 09 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jan Martin Bang has spent a lifetime working in alternative communities ranging from the kibbutz in Israel to his present home in the Camphill community of Solborg in Norway. He leads training and development for new ecovillage projects around the world.

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By José Ignacio Castro on June 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Although this is a very interesting book that cointains info that may be very valuable for some people, it is not what it promises to be. It says "A Practical Guide to Sustainable Communities", but, as the author explains in the foreword, the initial idea for the book changed on the way while he was writing it.

If you are somebody who whats to build an Ecovillage, who wants practical advice about others experience, get Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities instead.

If you just want a nice magazine-style book for a tour visiting many of the more succesfull ecovillage experiences in the world, this is a great book.

I just give 2 stars because the subtitle "practical guide" is misleading. If it not were for it, I would give it 3 and a half.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
There's long been a movement towards living in community with others as an alternative to the nuclear family model, but in modern times 'ecovillages' have emerged around the world, adding attention to sustainability and social interactions to the model. Ecovillages explores these developments, opening with a history of the movement and progressing to include a practical manual for planning and maintaining a sustainable community using permaculture as a foundation. From house design and building options to farming and handling sewage and energy sources, Ecovillages is packed with practical applications; not just theory.
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9 of 33 people found the following review helpful By El Jefe on March 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book offered nothing new or enlightening about sustainable living. However, if you are looking for a book on hippie communes (i.e. communal living), than this is the book for you. That about covers it.
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