Successful sustainable community planning can be divided into two categories: physical sustainability and social sustainability. Information on the prior (physical sustainability) is easily available but what about the equally important social aspects of building an off the grid? After energy self-sustainability, food self-sustainability, and construction self-sustainability (home construction ) is covered, how can you assure the people in your area are going to want to remain, and new people will want to combine, each of which is foundations of sustainable community development?
I’ve identified 6 key elements to the social sustainability element of community building: decentralized government, individual liberty, diversion, entrepreneurial design for financial independence, group living activities, and an outreach program. It must be noted that A) these are all equally important and B) the value of all these increases the more community is highlighted on your eco-village; meaning individuals living together and coexisting rather than simply living in exactly the identical location and existing.
The definitive work I’ve read on this stage and recommended for anyone beginning a community would be M. Scott Peck’s book, “The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace.” An overview of why the decentralized government, and more especially decision-making consensus, is significant is three-fold: it builds a community of leaders, it encourages equality and equity assuring everyone a part of big decision-making, and it requires communication website and thoughtful interaction.
Each of these three factors is significant to the long-term social sustainability of a community because all of them empower people and keep communication lines open. Deficiency of communication and people feeling’lost in the shuffle’ or insignificant to the development are arguably the two biggest undermining variables of community building and not only sustainable communities No one likes to feel like their perspectives and desires are going unheard and nobody likes to feel as though they are not important; the remedy is governing by consensus and a decentralized power structure that I will pay more in detail in a future article.
Individual Freedom Is Vital to the growth and sustainability of a community. This seems obvious but my personal view is that society as a whole is truly missing the boat in this department and the number one reason for people to want to begin a new life in an off the grid, even more, significant than all of the ethical reasons for sustainability, should be liberty. Individual freedom means being able to dress, think, say, and do what you want as long as it does not harm anyone else. If people wish to cross-dress, meditate in their mind, smoke pot, and worship the Chicken God that they ought to be able to do this in the privacy of their own home without worrying about repercussions OR JUDGMENT.
Begin your community with this amount of freedom in your mind and a consensus governing structure will keep it that way and help expand the paradigm of everybody involved. Your neighborhood could be the most off the grid self-sustainable living environment on Earth, but if it’s a dull place to be who would like to live or see it? The remedy is constructing recreation into your everyday living structure and involving the whole community. Things like live music, movie nights, meditation or yoga classes, community building projects, food production, etc. can all serve as recreational activities that help bring people together and keep them together.
Truly sustainable development of your community comes from making it a place people want to be all the time. If everyone living in your community would like to get away to have fun then you’ve failed in your mission to create a really sustainable environment and you ought to sit down with all your members and talk about how to fix it. Success in this area won’t just guarantee people will want to remain in your community but it is also going to keep friends, family, and new members coming to By”entrepreneurial design” and”independence” I don’t mean a community version but an INDIVIDUAL MODEL.
A self-sustainable community is by definition financially independent but a single model for monetary independence should also be available to those members who want more than simply’retiring’ to a The way we’re doing this is by pooling the resources of our community and creating businesses (see also Outreach Program below). Whenever a new person has been considered for community membership we assess potential business opportunities they may bring and work with that individual, if they’re interested, to make residual income flows that benefit both the individual and the community.