We think that efficient and affordable designs and their construction by academics and business folk is the only path by which the option of a Self-Reliant Neighborhood could become available to those who require it most. The oft-stated goal of affordability within the Ecovillage community is only meaningful if it means affordable by the marginalized.
Absent the conscious effort of architects, builders and growers to design, build and market affordable, self-reliant neighborhoods, this lifeway option, will remain beyond the reach of the many. When we arrived at this conclusion, we began to assemble the pieces of this website.
At “200 SRNO’s RESPONSE to CHALLENGES”, we detail the folks who might maximally benefit from life in Self-Reliant Neighborhoods. If you find yourself in agreement, then consider using your skills to make this model a real-world option.
The writers of this website have personally experienced the extra expenses inherent in creating a member-driven, unique neighborhood—even while aspiring for affordability. Such costs accrue from having to achieve consensus on designs to satisfy the tastes of all stakeholders. Based on that experience, we concluded that if academics and business folk don’t create off-the-shelf, replicable prototypes, this lifeway will remain the exclusive preserve of the well off.
Folks of low and modest income certainly don’t have the capital and usually don’t have the time to build communities from the ground up. But given the option of moving into and working within affordable models of such neighborhoods, any family willing to share work and some assets with others, would prosper. The military offers an obvious example of how neighborhood-sized units can integrate individuals with little or no resources into meaningful lifeways. The difference between Battalions and SRNs would be that the latter would serve Social and Environmental Defense and would have no budget costs after its reservations were built.
This site will be continually searching for the least expensive technical components that, along with a proven set of community routines, can provide a self-reliant refuge for folks challenged by nature, nurture or political neglect. Combining these components into credible prototypes of Social and Environmental Defense requires professionals like you.
We feel it would be disingenuous to suggest that current ecovillage lifeway models are open to all. Currently, they are not. We strongly hold that only designers, builders and growers in academia and business can close an affordability gap in the otherwise admirable global Ecovillage Archipelago.