Excerpt from the book "Arqka Biological Architecture and Sacred Geometry" by Arturo Ponce de León, Ninón Fregoso and Michael Rice Acquire it here
®All rights reserved. Author of the document: Arturo Ponce de León for Arqka Mexico. Collaboration: Ninón Fregoso. The reproduction of the material contained in this site is authorized provided that the source is cited and the integrity of the text is respected.
To think and design a village, at least four general items are taken into account: the social dimension, the economic dimension, the ecological dimension and the world view. Robert Gilman (1991) defines an ecovillage as “a holistic settlement in which human activities are integrated into the natural environment in such a way that it can be sustainable towards the future.” They seek to reduce environmental degradation, improve their quality of life, Strengthen your economy, provide health and safety and be a good place to live. Some of the Ecovillages in progress are Lebensgarten (Germany, created in 1985), Findhorn (Scotland), The Farm (USA), Huehuecoyotl (Mexico), Sasardí (Colombia), Crystal Waters (Australia) and Ecovilla Gaia (Argentina) ), among other. In 1994, the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) was created with the aim of promoting the development of sustainable human settlements, promoting the exchange of information among settlements and disseminating the Ecovillage concept worldwide.
All ecovillas present different stages of evolution and have not yet achieved the “ideal” state proposed by the concept. The list of centers of community coexistence and learning centers is abundant: Instituto Latinoamericano de Permacultura, Bolivia; The Farm Ecovillage Training Center, USA; International Society for Ecology and Culture, Ladakh, Kashmir; Center for Alternative Technology in Wales, United Kingdom; Integral Reserve Sasardi, Colombia; Thlolego, South Africa; Lebensgarten, Germany; Zegg, Germany; Damanhur, Italy; Tamera, Portugal; Kibbutz Lotan, Israel; Auroville, India; Cochabamba, Bolivia; Huehuecoytl, Mexico; Moonshadow, USA; Sirius. USA; Barus, Brazil; Tanamalwila, Sri Lanka; Yoff, Senegal; Crystal Waters, Australia; Gaia Association, Argentina.
To initiate a project of this nature seven stages are proposed: the written development of the vision and the objectives; the communication process and group decision making; the meeting of the money necessary to begin; the definition of the legal structure; the internal and external laws that govern the community; the management As explained by Ricalde (2008), regarding the possibilities of legal establishment of the settlement can be considered: civil association, cooperative society, trust, condominium, social enterprise, ejido association, to name a few examples. With respect to the sources of pre-financing, there are some options: seed capital, equity capital, loans, debts, gifts, grants and donations. With respect to the sources of capital financing to maintain and grow the settlement we have the contribution in time and / or money of the members, supporters, institutions, organizations, government, international organizations. On the social organization one can think of three options: source tree that consists of an owner of the land that is associated with other people who provide abundance; the subsidy that implies the support of the government, the donations of companies, or the community donation; and the community where all the members put the same amount of resources. In this option you can divide human resources from financial resources.
The spirit that moves an ecovillage is usually that it is made up of people who seek to consume less than what they produce; they tend to conserve a large part of their land for wild, agricultural and natural areas; they are pedestrian space, they seek to walk rather than move in cars; they give support to work and commerce in the community; they promote daily coexistence and conflict resolution and are passionate about improving the world through example and other peaceful means.
On the way of organization and social cohesion of the community movement has several focuses or axes of rotation. In the community focus we find the ecovillages, intentional communities, the shared house, the indigenous peoples. In the urban focus we can observe initiatives in transition, eco-neighborhoods and eco-villages. Regarding the focus of organizations we have options in non-governmental organizations, civil associations, cooperatives, foundations, networks, institutions, enterprises.