At the Global Ecovillage Network’s  European Conference 2018, The Wisdom of Conscious Communities, Integral City was invited and inspired to join conversations about the emergence of Urban Ecovillages (UE).

Definitions & Types

GEN defines an ecovillage as a community that sustains and regenerates its social and natural environments. And Urban Ecovillage is such a community that is located within, adjacent to and/or emergent from an urban setting.

Integral City would probably further refine an Urban Ecovillage, depending on the type of city or urban setting to which an UE is connected. Is it Traditional, Smart, Resilient or Integral? Recognizing this typology would no doubt assist in aligning the purpose of an UE and its Integral City alliance.

Dimensions & Processes

WHAT: As described in an earlier blog, the 4 dimensions of an eco-village, can help discover the 4 dimensions (and the resulting assets and needs) of the ecovillage. Integral City processes that parallel this include the Discovery Process of assessing the city’s 12 Intelligences. Both maps help to reveal the WHAT of an action inquiry (as described in Book 2).

WHO: Integral City would also bring to the table the 4+1 Voices of the city/village: citizens, civic managers, business/innovation and civil society. This would enable the whole system to be in the room when moving beyond WHAT to SO WHAT and NOW WHAT?

WHY: In order, for discussions to be aligned to the highest good for all, Integral City would propose the use of the Master Code – this would align circles and scales of care: The Master Code calls both a village and an urban centre to align: Care for Self, Care for Others, Care Place(s) and Care for Planet. This attention to placecaring is essential for the success of placemaking. It reveals the purpose of the village and the urban centre and aligns them both with caring for the eco-region and the planet. It frames the strategies that emerge from the exploration of SO WHAT and NOW WHAT?

HOW: With an alignment of WHO, WHAT and SO WHAT, the NOW WHAT stage would design a strategy for an Urban Ecovillage. This process would co-locate the GEN mandala on the 5 Maps of Integral City and apply the 5 sets of Integral City Intelligences ((as described in Book 2, Sections VI and VII Designing Sustainable Communities, and Book 3, Chapter 15 Capacity Building at the City Scale) as a framework for designing the next natural steps for designing an Urban Ecovillage.

It is exciting to think that connecting Urban Ecovillages and Integral City Meshworks may open up new opportunities for putting the village back into the city and bringing the whole system framework of Integral City design to enable ecovillage prosperity. We invite anyone whose interests are piqued to connect for further explorations.