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A Practical Guide to Sustainable Communities

January 2012
More details
  • Publisher
    Floris Books
  • Published
    6th January 2012
  • ISBN 9780863154805
  • Language English
  • Pages 288 pp.

The Ecovillages movement is a worldwide network of communities that strive to integrate a supportive social environment with a low-impact lifestyle, including Kibbutz, Camphill communities, and others based on such frameworks as permaculture.

Ecovillages explores the background and history of the Ecovillages movement and provides a comprehensive manual for planning, establishing, and maintaining a sustainable community. Issues discussed include leadership and conflict management; house design; building techniques; farming and food production; water and sewage; energy sources; and alternative economics. In the final chapter, the author brings it all together in a systematic guide.

The book is packed with handy tips, useful insights, and sage advice. Theory is brought to life in a series of striking "Living Example" case-studies from around the world, including Sunrise Farm, Australia; Woodcrest Bruderhof, New York; Camphill Solborg; Kibbutz Lotan; Findhorn, Scotland; Kimberton Hills Camphill, Pennsylvania; ZEGG, Germany; Wilhelmina, Holland; Earthaven Ecovillage, North Carolina; Twin Oaks Community, Virginia; Anghieri, Italy; Kibbutz Ketura; Terre d'Enaille, Belgium; Kibbutz Samar; Lebensgarten, Germany; New Bassaisa, Egypt; and La Paix-Dieu, Belgium.

“Inspiration for seeking out a community of our choice, or creating our own. This is where the book really shines: Bang is able to share his knowledge and observations and present us with a book that is on the one hand a pleasant and informative read, and on the other can be used as a workbook for a nascent or existing community.” —Laurence Dungworth, Star and Furrow, summer 2006

“This well-designed book constitutes a comprehensive review for those who seek to initiate an ecovillage or for those in existing community who seek a transformation to a more sustainable way of life.” —Dr. Michael Livni, International Communal Studies Association Bulletin, Dec. 2005

“The book has a clear and anecdotal style, and the interspersing of details of many of the worldwide communities that make up the Global Ecovillage Network keeps you inspired. Ideal for people interested in setting up a community.” —Lesley Rice, Clean Slate: The Practical Journal of Sustainable Living, summer 2005

“A useful guide if you are considering planning or even joining an ecovillage.” Building for a Future: The Independent Journal for Green Building 

“A comprehensive guide to the principles and practice of sustainable communities [which are] conveyed in a way that could inspire new experiments in the genre.” —Scientific & Medical Network Review, summer 2005

“Part life testimony, part textbook for all kinds of sustainable living, working and organizing yourself and part ‘taking stock.’ What I like about this book is the nonjudgmental inclusion. It is an important snapshot of how community life has evolved since the communes of the 1970s. Life-affirming.” —Vivan Griffiths, Camphill Correspondence, July 2005

“Having myself been involved with founding and building a community, I kept coming across advice and thinking, ‘that would have been useful!’ Jan Bang clearly has hands-on experience. This is a veritable source book.” —Christian Thal-Jantzen, New View, summer 2005

“Peppered with case studies of villages from all over the world, this book weaves together permaculture and ecovillage design as coherent strategies for sustainable living and is full of practical hands-on information as well as inspiration and insight.” —Maddy Harland, Permaculture, summer 2005

Jan Martin Bang

Jan Martin Bang has spent a lifetime working in alternative communities, ranging frm the kibbutz in Israel to his present home in the Solborg Camphill community in Norway. He leads training and development for new ecovillage projects around the world.