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What is an Ecovillage?
Robert Gilman, in his book, Ecovillages and Sustainable Communities (1991), offers this definition and explanation:

An ecovillage is 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.

With the aim of creating and presenting to the world outstanding examples of what it means in live in harmony with nature in a sustainable way, GEN promotes and facilitates communities--whether rural or urban--which develop and implement technologies and practices such that human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world.

The Global Ecovillage Network is developing the concept of sustainability auditing to provide measuring rods for individuals and for existing villages and communities to compare their current status with ideal goals for ecological, social, and spiritual sustainability. In addition, these tools are learning instruments - pointing out actions aspiring individuals and communities can take to become more sustainable.
Global Ecovillage Network

With the large and growing interest in urban sustainability, an URBAN ECOVILLAGE NETWORK is now forming! See -

Ecovillage Network of the Americas

Global Ecovillage Network Oceania
& Asia (GENOA)
Communities Directory
published by the
Fellowship for Intentional Community
Rutledge, Missouri, USA
Shipped with annual updates included.
456 pages; paperbound;
ISBN: 0-9602714-8-1
Journal of Cooperative Living

Creating a Life Together:
Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities

by Diana Leafe Christian
previously editor of Communities Magazine
foreword by Patch Adams.

2003 New Society Publishers, 272 pp.

Creating a Life Together is an overview of the process of forming new ecovillages and intentional communities, gleaned from founders of dozens of successful communities in North America formed since the early '90s. This is what they did, and what you can do, to create your community dream. It attempts to distill their hard experience into solid advice on getting started as a group, creating vision documents, decision-making and governance, agreements and policies, buying and financing land, communication and process, and selecting people to join you. It's what works, what doesn't work, and how not to reinvent the wheel. This information is not only for people forming new communities - whether or not you already own your land. It can also be valuable for those of you thinking about joining community one day - since you, too, will need to know what works. And it's also for those of you already living in community, since you can only benefit from knowing what others have done in similar circumstances.

"Wow! The newest, most comprehensive bible for builders of intentional communities. Covers every aspect with vital information and hundreds of examples of how successful communities faced the challenges and created their shared lives out of their visions. The cautionary tales of sadder experiences and how communities fail, will help in avoiding the pitfalls. Not since I wrote the Foreword to Ingrid Komar's Living the Dream (1983), which documented the Twin Oaks community, have I seen a more useful and inspiring book." --Hazel Henderson, author, Creating Alternative Futures, and Politics of the Solar Age.

"A great deal of research and trial-and-error has been assembled here, and every potential ecovillager should read it. This book will be an essential guide and msanual for the many Permaculture graduates who live in communities or design for them." --Bill Mollison, co-originator of the Permaculture concept, author of The Permaculture Designers Manual, Ferment and Human Nutrition.

"A really valuable resource for anyone thinking about intentional community. I wish I had it years ago." -- Starhawk, author of Webs of Power, The Spiral Dance, and The Fifth Sacred Thing -- and committed communitarian.

The Ecovillage Training Center

We are a whole systems immersion experience of ecovillage living, together with classes of instruction, access to information, tools and resources, and on-site and off-site consulting and outreach experiences. ETC has hosted courses in permaculture, organic certification professions, herbalology, installing solar electricity and water heating, and yurt, bamboo, cob, earthbag, roundpole, and strawbale construction, biofuels, midwifery, an annual children's camp, and ongoing demonstrations in alternate energy, hybrid vehicles, constructed wetlands and sustainable farming. We inaugurated a student exchange program with Israeli kibbutz, Russian and Brazilian ecovillagers and a social justice program for training disadvantaged populations. We have ongoing projects in Palestine, Mexico, and Brazil that our graduates can become directly involved with.

The Ecovillage Training Center assists transition towards a sustainable society by instruction in meeting basic needs for food, shelter, energy, fuel, gainful employment, and community process and progress. It comes around to understanding the needs of Earth's natural systems and the human role in healing and helping.

Ecovillages: A Practical Guide to Sustainable Communities by Jan Martin Bang
2005, 288 pages, $25

Explores the background and the history of the Ecovillage movement, and provides a comprehensive manual for planning, establishing, and maintaining a sustainable community in both urban and rural environments. Includes discussions on design, conflict management, food production, energy, economics, and more.

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