An ecovillage is a human-scale settlement consciously designed through community participation to secure long-term sustainability in all four aspects: the economic, ecological, social, and cultural. These four are mutually reinforcing, in that each one is important for holistic and healthy community development. The design of the ecovillage integrates various aspects of ecological design, permaculture, ecological building, green production, alternative energy, community-building practices, and much more. Ecovillages are living models of sustainability.
The creation of the ecovillage makes use of the commonly untapped resource of the good intentions and creativity of citizens to make a positive difference. Ecovillages are the citizens’ way of lowering their carbon footprints while increasing their sense of belonging and purpose.
Here are Jonathan Dawson’s Five Principles of Ecovillages:
- Ecovillages are private citizens’ initiatives. They are grassroots.
- Ecovillagers value community living.
- They are not overly dependent on the government, corporate, or other centralized sources for water, food, shelter, power, or other basic necessities.
- Ecovillagers have a strong sense of shared values, often characterized in spiritual terms.
- They often serve as research and demonstration sites. Many offer educational experiences for others.