Ecovillages have arisen around the world in response to the social fragmentation of modern life and its alienation from nature. They provide a variety of ways of living in community with others and with nature and are linked worldwide through the Global Ecovillage Network. While interest in this approach to sustainable living is rapidly increasing, there is relatively little literature on the topic and none that brings the design principles of permaculture to bear on the successful design of these communities.
Ecovillages explores the new departures in personal, social, and ecological living represented by this phenomenon. This book explores the background and history to the ecovillages movement and provides a comprehensive manual for planning, establishing, and maintaining a sustainable community using a permaculture approach. Aspects discussed include:
• Tools for social design
• Leadership and conflict management
• House design and building techniques
• Gardening, farming, and food production
• Water and sewage
• Energy and heat sources
• Alternative economics
Featured throughout the book are full-color case studies—or “living examples”—of successful ecovillages ranging from kibbutz to camphill communities and from as far afield as Australia, Israel, Europe, and the United States. Each example includes data on its location, date of founding, number of residents, and spiritual or ideological affiliation, the photographs bringing to life the special characteristics of the particular community.
Packed with tips, useful insights, sage advice, and a compendium of resources, Ecovillages will appeal to a broad range of people interested in living in community—or planning to do so.
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.