29 July 2008
The Urban Ecovillage
We will develop the urban ecovillage as a set of collaborative projects, programs and initiatives with like-minded organizations and stakeholders in the city for the benefit of the local community. This will be an inclusive, as opposed to an exclusive, process. We see our work taking hold in our target area on the West Side of Syracuse (starting with our 717 Otisco Street property) as a vibrant, mixed-use, walkable neighborhood where everything that is needed is produced within the immediate area - with the promise for expansion and the adoption of similar models in other parts of the city and beyond.
A simple flowchart breaks down the impact that even a small-scale, local project can have:
eco-block -> eco-village or neighborhood -> eco-city -> eco-state -> eco-region -> eco-nation -> eco-world.
We see greenspaces and gardens, and all the food we need to eat produced and processed locally. We see fabulous public transportation systems and infrastructure that is designed for pedestrians and bicycles instead of cars. We see waste as a foreign concept. We see arts and culture flourishing. We see small business ventures and cottage industries supplying local storefronts and patrons. We see a local school providing education that focuses on sustainable lifestyles and techniques for survival and self sufficiency, such as natural building and textile production. We see energy being produced and consumed in a regenerative, environmentally and socially responsible manner. We see the toxins being remediated from our environment. We see government working with us and for us. We see our urban ecovillage. We see an eco-city.
The community we envision is one that we dream of, not only for our families, and ourselves, but also for the future generations of people on this planet. And while life on earth will probably never be easy, we have hopes that communities such as the one we envision will help to simplify, enrich, and sustain human life, while healing our souls and the planet we call our home. We envision community members making a commitment to themselves and the community to become stewards of their souls, activating a willingness to work on their personal emotional and spiritual issues. Problematic interpersonal dynamics are usually at the top of the list of reasons for failed projects and initiatives. While many of us have been raised without the skills to cope with working with others in community, people need to be able to work out their issues together and not let quarrels and fears turn into lifelong blockages that keep us apart. A commitment to counseling and healing ourselves and each other in community will be a vital component to our success.
As you will see in our menu, all of our projects and programs fall under the general ecovillage header. This is because everything we do is building the foundation for a holistic, regenerative urban system - starting with a house, expanding to a block, and beyond (see flowchart above)
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