The potential of ecovillages
The ecovillage global movement spawned in the early days of permaculture and has since become an area of specialization in its own right.
Ecovillages are models of innovative and regenerative future living, designed with a whole systems approach around economic, cultural, social and ecological sustainability. They range from small traditional ecovillages to rural intentional communities to large urban projects all across world. All ecovillages share features and principles which benefit the world as the climate grows more variable and severe, and as the world population grows.
GEN, the Global Ecovillage Network, is applying the ecovillage model to displaced communities in refugee camps through its EmerGENcies program. It models a world of empowered citizens and communities designing and implementing their own pathways to a sustainable future.
GEN envisions a world of empowered citizens and communities, designing and implementing pathways to a regenerative future, while building bridges of hope and international solidarity. The network provides specialist training so that refugees are either able to remain, equipped to self-manage; move to new locations, able to build settlements and sustainable relationships; or return home, well equipped to share and experience an improved living standard.
Here is a short video about ecovillages
Basic Ecovillage Design Principles
- Cultural – design based on cultural context and sensitivities while incorporating trauma informed understanding of the displacement or loss.
- Economic – design regenerative livelihood that restore human dignity and regenerates social and natural systems.
- Ecological – plan for sustainable sourcing of needs using appropriate technologies that regenerate ecosystems for the long term.
- Social – ensure inclusive and consultative decision making in the design process that engage the needs of all sectors as a whole.