EcoVillage at Ithaca

This book, lent to me by a friend, tells the story of the creation and first ten years of the Eco Village at Ithaca, New York.  EVI was the first eco-village on the east coast of the U.S. (only the third in the entire U.S.) and is still going strong in 2016. An eco-village is an intentional community which combines sustainable design with co-housing. The concept originated in Denmark and there are many different models used in eco-villages worldwide. The one in Ithaca is a 175 acre community with 60 households residing in two clustered neighborhoods (as of 2005); the majority of the land is used for organic farming and open space. EVI is especially strong in the community aspect of an eco-village, with residents eating regular meals together and participating actively in community governance and events.  Although some houses use solar panels, EVI is still on the grid and uses town water and sewer systems. With the proximity of both Cornell University and Ithaca College, educating the wider community about sustainability and co-housing plays a significant role in the life of EVI. Liz Walker, founder and director of EVI, tells its story fairly without glossing over negatives like financial issues and interpersonal conflicts. Even so, this is an inspirational book.

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Filed under Environment, Urban planning

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