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EcoVillage

 

"Healthy human development involves a balanced and integrated development of all aspects of human life--physical, emotional, mental and spiritual."

 

 

An ecovillage is a human-scale full-featured community in which human activities are integrated into the natural world in a way that is supportive of healthy human development and can be successfully continued into the indefinite future.

Human-scale refers to a size in which people are able to know and be known by the others in the community, and where each member of the community feels he or she is able to influence the community's direction.

The idea that human activities be harmlessly integrated into the natural world brings the "eco" into the ecovillage.  One of the most important aspects of this principle is the ideal of equality between humans and other forms of life, so that humans do not attempt to dominate nature but rather find their place within it.

The principle of support for healthy human development recognizes that ecovillages are, after all, human communities, and without genuine human health at the core, these communities are unlikely to be successful.  Healthy human development involves a balanced and integrated development of all aspects of human life--physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  This healthy human development needs to be expressed not just in the lives of individuals, but in the life of the community as a whole.

The sustainability principle--that the community can be successfully continued into the indefinite future--forces a kind of honesty on ecovillagers.  Without it, it would be easy....in the short term to create human scale communities that seem to be harmoniously integrated into nature and to be full-featured, but in fact are....living off the capital accumulated in other parts of the society; or dependent on unsustainable activities elsewhere; or not inclusive of a major aspect of life (such as childhood or old age).  The sustainability principle brings with it a profound commitment to fairness and non-exploitation--toward other parts of today's world, human and non-human, and toward all future life.

(Excerted from: Robert Gilman, Ecovillages and Sustainable Communities, 1991

 

 


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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