Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Ecovillage Resources

Ecovillages a free, bimonthly e-newsletter.

Includes getting Ecovillage Zoning

Recordings of presentations are now available for:
the 2007 International Permaculture Convergence
with DAY 2: Declan Kennedy - Architect and Urban Planner
Includes wrap around greenhouse, and energy surplus house with 8 year payback, in his ecovillage

Among the Ecocity 2008 World Summit articles & digital recordings
the Ecovillage category includes:
Sieben Linden, an eco-village in eastern Germany
A look at living in London's BedZED, the UK's first Zero Energy Development (ZED)

Eco-village Developments Increasing

Linking co-housing, eco-villages and permaculture is becoming more common
From: "Charles and Janis"
To:, Thu, 03 Jul 2008
Subject: Utah

Utah Valley Commons, a cohousing community to be located south of
Salt Lake City ... welcomes participation by
individuals and families interested in: co-housing, eco-village
development, permaculture, and sustainable living in general.

....models are Eco-Village at Ithaca (,
Champlain Valley Co-Housing (,
the Wasatch Commons (, and
Earthsong Eco-Neighborhood (

Friday, December 28, 2007

Ecovillage Education:

Preparing for the transition to a comprehensive sustainable culture.

A new curriculum -- Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) -- is now offered in the U.S. (Albuquerque), after being tested in a number of countries including India, Thailand, Argentina and Bolivia.

Its innovative content integrates the worldview component of experience -- giving it equal weight to the conventional social, ecological and economic dimensions. Another difference is that spirituality is infused throughout the curriculum.

Additional comprehensive materials are emerging, with the social key available now.

The materials are available free on the web and have been applied in a variety of programs and formats of different length. A number of universities are discussing creating an academically accredited masters program based on it.

Why Urban Ecovillages?

The concerns, motivations, and visions for the November 9-11 Developing Urban Ecovillages: Toward EcoCities gathering in Chicago included:

Uncertainties and missing opportunities.
Civilizations future is uncertain, facing multiple challenges of climate change, energy constraints, and resource depletion. Recent surprises in these areas have increased our concerns. Proposed solutions usually focus exclusively on changes in laws and technology, ignoring the proven potential of jointly enhancing community and sustainability with ecovillage type developments. The challenges are so daunting that increasing our social synergies is likely to make a significant difference.

The Promise of Ecovillages.
Cohousing residences are often half the size of comparable developments, while supporting a higher quality of life. Carbon emissions of long established ecovillages are comparable to those of the most advanced existing residential developments, such as BEDzed. In the course of their first four years in residence, new members progressively increase their environmental awareness and associated responsible behavior. And most importantly, they can be powerful laboratories, exploring and demonstrating the multiple ways community can extend the known boundaries of sustainability.

Developing Urban Ecovillages.
Start from where you are - the assets of your friends, neighbors and supportive organizations. Build on these to jointly enhance community and sustainability. We presented several examples in the program.

Toward EcoCities: Recognition that many aspects necessary for sustainability are generally illegal.
Cities that support ecovillage type developments with appropriate changes in building codes, zoning and other forms of assistance, are more likely to be successful in dealing with the challenges of the future. Municipalities across the world have moved in this direction. The Recode Portland proposal initiated the process in the
United States. Grassroots backing for these changes will be essential. We will discuss how such groups can be most effective.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

November 9-11 Gathering

Developing Urban Ecovillages:
Towards Ecocities,

November 9-11, 2007
A Gathering …
At Schmitt Academic Center, DePaul University, Room 154, 2320 N. Kenmore, Chicago

Ecovillages here refers to ways of living that enhance both sustainability and community. Their multiple forms range from intentional communities and cohousing, to friends and neighbors deciding to share more, while greening-up their environment and way of life. Ecological neighborhoods (eco-neighborhoods) and ecohoods are among their names.

They are often living laboratories for extending sustainability. In recognition of their value, two municipalities in British Columbia, Canada, created special ecovillage zoning with modified building codes. Some Portland, Oregon council members are among those seeking similar changes there.

Friday 7-9 pm
<> Overview - The Promise of EcoVillages by Diana Leafe Christian author, Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities (2003), and Finding Community: How to join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community (2007). Editor of Communities magazine from 1993 until the latest issue, Diana is a nationally known speaker, offering presentations workshops and consultations on ecovillages, intentional communities and Peak Oil issues. FREE

Saturday, 9am-4pm;
Morning: 9am -12:00
<> Welcome.
Carol Braford (The MC) , co-founder of Culver Way Cohousing in St. Louis.
<> Sadhu Johnson (Invited) - Assistant to the Mayor for Green Initiatives - on Chicago's plan to become the greenest city in the nation, and the potential place for ecovillage type developments in that vision.
<> Thomas J. Murphy, Professor Emeritus, Chemistry, former director of DePaul's environmental science program - on ‘Peak Everything, or what is recently called the “Global Triple Crisis”, a major motivation for stepping up ecovillage creation.

KEYNOTE: Turning Your Neighborhood into an Ecovillage: The story of Cincinnati’s ecovillage pair. By Jim Schenk, co-founder and Executive Director till 2005 of Imago Earth Center, the organization spearheading the ecovillage creation. He is also the editor of What Does God Look Like in an Expanding Universe (December 2006).

PANEL - Other Approaches to Ecovillages and Eco-neighborhoods

Moderator: Jillian Hovey, Toronto Permaculturalist and Ecovillage designer.
<> Starting from a shared garden. – Julie Peterson, coordinator, Beyond Today’s ecological neighborhood project.
<> Start with your friends. Eco-Coops -- Ted Ernst, of The Hub Cooperative
<> Everyone working together: Cleveland’s Ecovillage
-- Mandy Metcalf, project director.
<> Creating new community the cohousing way – Tom Braford, co-founder of Culver Way Cohousing in St. Louis.


Afternoon 1:00-4pm. Openspace Collaboration - Share your vision and interests using openspace technology.
Main focus: Bringing more ecovillage like developments to fruition here.
PLENARY - Summary. Additional openspace topics for Sunday’s continuation.


Morning: 10-12 am Openspace Continues. PLENARY: Summary. What next?
Afternoon: 1:30 – 2:30 pm. Field trip to Beyond Today’s emerging ecological neighborhood at the Waters Garden. Campbell and Sunnyside (Three blocks from the Rockwell stop of the Ravenswood line.)

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Sponsored by: Chicagoland Urban Permaculture (CUP). Cosponsors include: Urban Ecovillage Network, Beyond Today, Ecovillage Network of the Americas, Global Ecovillage Network, Environmental Research Foundation, Cohousing Association of the United States, DePaul University Institute for Nature and Culture, and 8th Day Center for Justice.

Friday FREE . $45 covers the rest.

Please Preregister at

Information: 773-756-5033,

PARKING: No special provisions/stickers
Limited on-street parking. Public trans recommended
It's one block from the Fullerton Red/Brown line stop.

Two Parking lots. $9 The Ps on the map are:
<> #27 Sheffield, south of Dominicks - Sheffield Parking Garage
<> #6 Clifton Parking deck
just west of McGowan enviro science building, 2350 Clifton #8

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Inspired by Ecovillages...

Would it be an exaggeration to claim that the emergence of the ecovillage movement is the most significant event of the 20th century? I don’t think so. -- Ted Trainer, Sociologist, University of New South Wales, Australia

In my view, ecovillages, and the larger social movements of which they are an integral part, are the most promising and important movement in all of history. -- Robert Rosenthal, Prof. of Philosophy, Hanover College, USA

Ecovillaging Resources

Since the separation between these development categories is losing significance, we list them together. All express the intention to augment the intersection (and synergy) of community and sustainability.

Urban Ecovillage Network
Global Ecovillage Network
Ecovillage Network of the Americas

Cohousing Association of the United States

Creating an Ecohood
“EcoHood”— permaculture retrofit of a mid- to low-income neighborhood with a high
potential for ecological sustainability.