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G Magazine - The village people

With their exceptional green building practices and focus on community living, ecovillages are a model of sustainability and they’re coming soon to a city near you.

Ecovillages are intentional communities in which residents strive to minimise their impact on the environment, and maximise their connection to community. The ecovillage movement first surfaced in the 1980s in Europe and spread across the world. In recent years, climate change pressure has invigorated the ecovillage movement as people seek a way to live more sustainably. At the same time, many are looking to address the increasing disconnection they feel in an individualistic world. 

The defining characteristics of an ecovillage are: it is small enough for everyone in the community to be involved and feel heard; residents live lightly on the land and make use of renewable resources; it has enough services and resources so people can live, work and play close to home; and it provides a rich and fulfilling lifestyle, which can be successfully continued into the indefinite future. 

The individual features of ecovillages vary, but in most cases they boast energy and water efficiency, sustainably built housing based on passive solar design, a small ratio of residential to communal land, community facilities and lots of opportunities for people to contribute and get involved. It’s this community focus that makes an ecovillage more than just a sustainably built housing development.

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