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Gardening Sustainable Psycommunities

Recognizing the psycho-social integrities of the future (Part #1)


Report on the international conference on 'Eco-villages and Sustainable Communities: models for 21st Century living' (Findhorn, October 1995) organized under the auspices of UNESCO and with the support of the Gaia Trust. Also distributed under the title: Cultivating Sustainable Psycommunities
Background
Confusion of definitions
Conference breakthrough: consistency of process with thematic content
Conference as community
Psycho-social permaculture: identifying the five kingdoms
Reframing 'community glue': the pattern-that- connects
Restrictive understandings of sustainable community
Psycho-social permaculture: gardening a community
Patterning in time
Conference community as a living machine: treating psycho-social sludge
Building a conference community: the architectural challenge
Enriching community ecosystems
Reframing employment, unemployment and psycho-social security
Dematerializing community: emphasizing intangibles
Gardening community
References

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Background

There has long been grassroots interest in the formation of eco-villages and sustainable communities -- partly as a further development of experimentation with intentional communities. Internationally the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) placed an emphasis on 'sustainable communities' and embodied strategies in support of them into Agenda 21 -- now being adapted by local authorities in many countries. There is an international conference series on eco-cities.

In October 1995 some 350 people from over 40 countries gathered at the Findhorn Foundation (Scotland) for a conference to clarify these concerns and explore opportunities for the future. Many participants represented existing communities and eco-villages from around the world. Since its foundation in 1962, the Findhorn Foundation has itself become internationally known for its experimentation with new models for holistic and sustainable living. A specific intention was to provide support for such initiatives through a Global Eco-village Network.

The Findhorn conference was recognized as a preparation for the United Nations Habitat Conference (Istanbul, June 1996).

s recognized as a preparation for the United Nations Habitat Conference (Istanbul, June 1996).


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