The Urban Ecovillage Movement

 - May 31, 2008
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This is an excerpt from a research paper I wrote on the ecovillage movement:

Robert and Diane Gilman, in Ecovillages and Sustainable Communities, have defined an ecovillage as “a human-scale, full-featured settlement in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world in a way that is supportive of healthy human development and can be successfully continued into the indefinite future” (qtd. in Joseph and Bates, 22).

An ecovillage is a community of people who work together to live in an ecologically sound manner, and is usually set up in a rural area due to the benefits plots of arable land and green spaces provide for sustainable lifestyles. However, there are a growing number of co-housing projects and "neighborhoods" in urban areas that reflect many of the same practices and beliefs upheld by the ecovillage movement. These have become identified as urban ecovillages. The ecovillage movement has proven itself to be the most promising venue for change and sustainable living. In particular, urban ecovillages should be most effective in bridging the divide between the ecovillage culture and the mainstream lifestyle.