Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A series suggestion of principles and strategies that could be Essay

A series suggestion of principles and strategies that could be employed to create more urban ecovillages and sustainable urban n - Essay Example The explosion of technologies of the 1700s caused by the unbridled combustion of fossil fuels and a greater than seven fold increase in human numbers has put at risk the very basis of the earth’s social and institutional resiliencies. The beginnings of the perception of the changing natural environment and its repercussions were felt in the early 19th century itself when Henry David Thoreau (1854) published his book Walden. The movement to preserve the environment started in the 1960s in the form of the Green Anarchist movements. Murray Bookchin also in the 1960s put forward the social issues effecting the environment at the time and went on to coin the term social ecology in 1974. His belief was that all environmental problems were rooted in deep- seated social problems. Ecovillage Concept and Sustainability Over the years that followed ecology and conservation gained momentum as the period of industrialisation and economic development in terms of productivity and cost- benef it ratios grew. Urban areas expanded exponentially with little or no concern for the ecological quotient. Concern for the environment brought interest in the study on environmental mapping along with the growing realization that the parameters that determine the quantity of industrial productivity and economics don’t add up to an increased happiness quotient or quality of life for humans and the biodiversity. The realisation that the environment was reaching appoint of no return gave way to the ethos of sustainable development and a quest to achieve sustainability through judicious use of resources. The advent of the ecovillage concept or the sustainable neighbourhood initiative was one such effort to mitigate and arrest the loss of habitat and to take nature as a component in the economics and ecology of human living. Hildur and Ross Jackson the pioneers in this field, set up the Gaia Trust In 1987. Their 20 years experience in cohousing gave a head start to the Danish ecovi llage network. The ecovillage concept continued without any set definition or principles until 1991 when The Gaia Trust entrusted Diane and Robert Gilman to identify and report on the best ecovillages. The report Ecovillages and Sustainable Communities carried the definition of an ecovillage as stated by Gilman as â€Å"a human scale, full-featured settlement, in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world, in a way that is supportive of healthy human development and can be successfully continued into the indefinite future.† In 1993 Gaia Trust also took the initiative to form the Danish Ecovillage Network and in 1995 at the fall conference of the Gaia Trust at Findhorn Where 400 people from ecovillages from across the world participated the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) was launched. This global ecovillage concept has now come to transcend the urban-rural dichotomy and is fast becoming the post industrial way of organizing society at the grassroo ts level. Principles Successful neighbourhood initiatives are being based on certain universal principles of sustainability, self reliance and social integrity. These are broadly classified into four components- the social, ecological, economical and spiritual/cultural components. Hildur Jackson (1998) on the other hand visualized the elements in an ecovillage in the form of 4 dimensions-earth, air, fire and water. In each she placed another set of 4 categories of determinants that would

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