Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages — by Serena Aurora May 7, 2013
Somewhere in Mexico lives a small community few have heard of. Only by word of mouth can you hear about it. This community has 17 members and has opened its doors to others. They grow their own food, and try to live sustainably using great concepts and bio-construction. This community working together has resulted in a place of creativity and knowledge. It is so versatile and such an exciting place to be, with music, art, pottery, building, and projects within the local community. Within the community they make natural soaps, herbal remedies, hand crafted jewellery and organic coffee.
This film was created so I could share my experience of what it is like to live within a community. I was really inspired by this alternative way to live and feel there is much I have taken from this experience that I will incorporate within my own life.
I was fortunate enough to hear about this place through word of mouth by another fellow traveller in Guatemala. I stayed nearly three weeks and found it very difficult to leave. There are many positive aspects to this way of life, which I hope this film captures.Comments (4)
Community Projects, Eco-Villages, Village Development — by Dimitri Devyatkin January 30, 2013
Lebensgarten — Garden of Life — is a community located in Lower Saxony, Germany. Built on the site of a former Nazi arms factory, the community has 62 houses. Lebensgarten has a large permaculture park, in which agriculture and human settlements are modeled after nature. This video features interviews with Declan Kennedy, Roland Wolf and others. The video is by Dimitri Devyatkin, 29 minutes, in English.Comments (0)
Building, Eco-Villages, Energy Systems, Land, Retrofitting, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Marcin Gerwin
Marcin Gerwin: In many cities there are problems with traffic jams. The streets are clogged with cars and as a response mayors build new roads or widen the streets. Old buildings are demolished to make way for new lanes so that a highway running through the middle of the city could be built. Would you say that this is the right way forward?Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Ethical Investment, Financial Management, Village Development — by Andy Homer January 10, 2013
Imagine if we could help someone change their life for the better permanently, in under three years. Or imagine being in direct contact with the people on the ground, turning their semi-desert home back to an abundant food forest using permaculture, perhaps even going over and helping out…. Imagine being able to offer advice and expertise, or just encouragement and support, while a family solves their problems. No middlemen, no expenses taken out, no bureaucracy. If only!Comments (8)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Development & Property Trusts, Eco-Villages, Economics, Education Centres, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 9, 2013
You’ll enjoy this little video, a nice collage of thoughts and scenery and developing community integration. This is Kotare Village in the North Island of New Zealand, where PRI New Zealand (Koanga Institute) is making excellent headway into creating a model community where freedom of individual expression is combined with cohesion of collective purpose.
And, to help put Kotare village into some kind of historical context, I thought I’d juxtapose it against the video below — where you see the kind of life ‘the system’ gives us instead…. The reality of the constant struggle in the ‘daily grind’, with little to no feeling of personal satisfaction, and little hope, should make one appreciate the fantasic opportunity places like Kotare Village offer — a life with meaning, developing resilience and security, and health of body and mind. Places like Kotare Village can serve as templates to emulate as we make the long-overdue shift towards relocalising our supply lines and putting life back into our lives.Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Food Shortages, Village Development — by Oliver Lovell December 21, 2012
This article was originally published on the Post Growth Institute Website.
Farmers planting nitrogen fixing trees on their farms
As a group challenging the growth paradigm, one of the most common questions that we hear is, ‘But don’t we need economic growth to lift the poor out of poverty?’. While growth has been successful to this end in certain ways, there are also some unwelcome consequences of growth. We prefer to ask other questions, like ‘Do we need to target economic growth to help those in need?’ and even better, ‘How are people currently breaking the poverty cycle in sustainable and inspiring ways?’. This piece demonstrates how a group of incredible people are doing just that.Comments (1)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Eco-Villages, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 14, 2012
Alternatives to Political Systems, Community Projects, Eco-Villages, Markets & Outlets, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 30, 2012
This is a fun and very inspiring talk by Incredible Edible Todmorden champion, Pam Warhurst, on the great work her town is doing in northern England and its growing influence around the world. One of the many encouraging things I take from this talk is hearing how local businesses in Todmorden are, with the renewed interest to support them, being able to diversify their offering, and hence make Todmorden more self-reliant and thus resilient.
The standing ovation at the end of the video says it all….Comments (0)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Community Projects, Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Food Shortages, People Systems, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development, peak oil — by Anthea Hudson October 23, 2012
Our local areas and community are likely to play a much bigger role in our future resilience, so it makes sense to begin to include active community participation in our children’s lives. Children often enjoy having a sense of being an important part of something that matters and even young children can develop a feeling of ‘ownership’ in their particular part of a project. When children feel vitally involved they will take much more of an interest and be open to taking on board new ideas and skills that will be invaluable to them in the future.
There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Community is a really great educational vehicle — after all, it’s the way young people learned their life skills in past times. We can once again make it a part of the way we prepare our children for times to come.
Below are some ideas for ways children can begin to get involved with developing greater community spirit in their neighbourhood.Comments (5)
Building, Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Land, Population, Retrofitting, Society, Village Development, peak oil — by David Holmgren July 31, 2012
Introduction by Samuel Alexander of the Simplicity Institute: I’m pleased to announce that David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept, has just published a Simplicity Institute Report, entitled "Retrofitting the Suburbs for the Energy Descent Future."
Sometimes well-meaning ‘green’ people like to imagine that the eco-cities of the future are going to look either like some techno-utopia — like the Jetsons’ , perhaps, except environmentally friendly — or some agrarian village, where everyone is living in cob houses that they built themselves. The fact is, however, that over the next few critical decades, most people are going to find themselves in an urban environment that already exists — suburbia. In other words, the houses that already exist are, in most cases, going to be the very houses that ordinary people will be living in over the next few decades (in the developed regions of the world, at least). So while it is important to explore what role technology could play in building new houses in more resource and energy efficient ways, and while there is certainly a place for cob houses, etc., for those who have such alternatives as an option, the suburbs are still going to be here for the foreseeable future. We’re hardly going to knock them all down and start again. It is important to recognise this reality, and not get too carried away with eco fairy tales about some distant future (although there is still a place for such visions). Rather than dreaming of a radically new urban infrastructure, a more important and urgent task is to figure out how to make the best of the existing infrastructure — and that is precisely what David Holmgren does in his Simplicity Institute Report, entitled "Retrofitting the Suburbs for the Energy Descent Future." David has been at the forefront of the environmental movement for several decades now, both in Australia and worldwide, and this essay is another example of how he constantly pushes at the edge of the sustainability debate. He is a penetrating thinker that deserves our most serious attention.
Retrofitting the Suburbs for the Energy Descent Future
(Simplicity Institute Report 12i, 2012)
1. Suburbia as Default Human HabitatComments (6)
Eco-Villages, Village Development — by Samuel Alexander July 21, 2012
The ‘Transition Town’ movement burst onto the scene merely six years ago in Ireland, and yet already there are almost two thousand Transition Towns around the world. There are dozens right here in Australia. Given that some people are saying this is one of the most promising and important social movements on the planet at present, it is timely to ask ourselves: what exactly is a Transition Town?
In order to understand the concept of transition, one first needs to understand that the transition movement is a response to a certain set of social, ecological, and economic problems. Over the last two centuries, industrial societies have experienced unprecedented economic growth, fuelled by a cheap and abundant supply of coal, gas, and most importantly, oil. While this brought with it many benefits, industrialisation also has an ominous dark side that today threatens to overwhelm those benefits.Comments (4)
Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Economics, Education, General, Society, Village Development, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 20, 2012
We’ve mentioned the re-ruralisation movement happening in debt-ridden Greece before, and here’s a video by German TV on the topic.
For decades people, worldwide, have been flowing from the countryside in to the cities.Comments (9)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Community Projects, Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development, peak oil — by George Monbiot July 17, 2012
This is the fate of young people today: excluded, but forbidden to opt out.
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.
Hounded by police and bailiffs, evicted wherever they stopped, they did not mean to settle here. They had walked out of London to occupy disused farmland on the Queen’s estates surrounding Windsor Castle. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that didn’t work out very well. But after several days of pursuit, they landed two fields away from the place where modern democracy is commonly supposed to have been born.Comments (7)
Community Projects, Eco-Villages, Seeds, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 10, 2012
Current evidence indicates that New Zealand may well be "the youngest country on earth". Possible fellow competitors for this claim are Greenland, Iceland and Madagascar. All of these landscapes were so isolated they managed to avoid human settlement until relatively recent times. But these entrants in the competition look to be a couple of centuries behind — all being settled prior to 1000AD, unlike New Zealand, which is believed to have had no human presence prior to 1200AD.
With campaigns and videos like the one at top, New Zealand has managed to generate a kind of green aura around itself. Stunning Lord of the Rings landscapes, pristine snow-capped mountain ranges, dripping forests, clean rivers and an outdoor lifestyle to kill for, all spring to mind amongst millions of people worldwide who have never been there, but dream of going. It is a gorgeous country, to be sure, but that’s not the whole story….Comments (3)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Community Projects, Conferences, Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Economics, People Systems, Population, Presentations/Demonstrations, Society, Village Development, peak oil — by Albert Bates June 21, 2012
It is the start of Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, and the Global Ecovillage Network has a strong contingent here from all over the world. We have erected a dome at the People’s Summit in Cupala dos Povos (Flamingo Park) and are providing a “Speaker’s Corner” for ecovillages, Transition Towns, Occupy, and others to strut their stuff. So what is it that ecovillages and permaculture bring to this discussion?
The late philosopher Ivan Illich, in his 1974 book, Energy and Equity, observed that conventional wisdom would have it that “the well-being of a society can be measured by the number of years its members have gone to school and by the number of energy slaves they have thereby learned to command.” This conventional wisdom would seem to be now widely shared by both non-governmental organizations and UN intergovernmental agencies working on issues such as education, the rights of women and minorities, and indigenous peoples. Illich challenged it.
“The energy crisis focuses concern on the scarcity of fodder for these slaves,” he said. “I prefer to ask whether free men need them.”Comments (3)