Home Page Editorial
This year has seen some great academic research completed. Graham
Meltzer from Brisbane has finished his PhD
on cohousing and sustainability. This work provides a significantly
new and important raison d'etre for groups of people to make changes
in their settlement patterns. He documents a key connection between
the formation of community and positive environmental outcomes.
The Permaculture tenets of caring for people and caring for the
earth coevolve. Also recently completed is a research
project by myself on lessons and opportunities inherent in developing
The eco-village sustainable land development handbook project is
well underway now with Doug Craig, the EVCNZ rep, attending 2 meetings
so far in Wellington. The draft handbook will shortly go out to
local government consultation stage. This is essential to get council
ownership, as the handbook will be of the design guideline format
and will only be incorporated into council district plans voluntarily.
Areas we felt needed tidying have now been addressed and the whole
project is gaining momentum and wider acceptance. Parts of the Handbook
on energy were work-shopped at the recent SEF (Sustainable Energy
Forum) conference in Dunedin, and met a good response from energy
researchers there. Other aspects of the document may also be workshopped.
Expert reviewers have also been contacted, and the process of consultation,
esp with tangata whenua is being addressed. The next draft is due
out end of September. Any thoughts on useful case studies, or examples
for waste water reuse please send to Doug
St Benedicts Community Garden at Basque Park in Auckland has been
threatened with closure and letters of support are welcomed. The
Hobson Community Board met on 18 July and narrowly passed a motion
to give the Community Gardeners 12 months to remove themselves from
Basque Park. We think this is extremely short-sighted and unsustainable
in the long term. The Community Gardeners are holding a rally at
Basque Park Sunday 30 July 12 noon. All welcome- bring a poem, ribbon
or something to mark the occasion. Ideas on how to overturn the
Council's decision would be welcome.
Two new eco-village/cohousing projects in Australia are welcomed.
Merri Cohousing has
been a gestating project in Melbourne but has come to life. The
other one is Rosneath Farm
which is quite a largescale eco-village project. Rosneath Farm is
located 3 hours south of perth in Western Australia.
Crystal Waters are hosting the the 3rd annual Communities Conference
"Creating Vibrant Culture", 23-26 November this year.
The key themes will be Community culture Eco-community and design
Community economics. Contact email@example.com
With Robin McCurdy back in NZ there is quite a bit happening at
Earthcare Education in Nelson.
They are holding among other things a three week long advanced course
in Design for Sustainable Community, early in 2001 in Golden Bay.
The course gives attention to balancing and integrating cultural/social/economic
design with environmental/physical design. It aims to equip practitioners
with the skills and knowledge to work effectively with neighbourhood-community,
CO-housing, ecovillage and bioregional design.
A few final tidbits from my e-travels. For a break from the fastpace
try WWOOFing . For the latest
locally compiled international news on the water/wastewater scene
try Water Magazine courtesy
of Joel Cayford. Also his companion Eco-City
Magazine...let your fingers do the walking.
have a comprehensive housing links page, and the Australian National
Community Housing Forum is a wealth of info about local non-profit
housing. The Co-operative
Housing Federation of Canada too. Scandavia, home of cohousing,
has an advanced coop housing sector. Swedish
Co-op housing as a tenure group represents about 25% of housing.
The MfE has a huge range
of web resources now. For instance the entire 1997 State
of the Environment report is online. Also we can now get NZ
statute online at Knowledgebasket-
a welcome relief. Or for zany creative ideas, how about the Globalideasbank.
Eco-villages or not, we arent going to make it without some radical
changes to the ways we do business and economics. Hawken/Lovin's
great recent book Natural
Capitalism is online.
And finally dont forget GEN
Oceania which produce a very readable quarterly newsletter on
Eco-village news down under.
Peter Scott :-)