• Aarushi

1. Introducing Final Major Project

Updated: Jan 21


The first week of the Final major Project was about settling on an idea, and planning out the timeline of the project.


My interest is in studying circular economy and various possible ways of achieving it. In order to do that I firstly started the project by looking at the Utopian way of attaining a sustainable lifestyle by living in an eco-village. Hence, my research question for the final major project at this stage is "Can eco-villages be an answer to environmental challenges?"


Why?


Our planet is urbanising rapidly, globally integrated cities are becoming home for vast majority of human population. In this haste to settle down in a metropolitan city, we are losing out on our villages. That is the reason why now is the time for self sustainable communities to lead the way. In modern era, we are equipped with strong networks, relentless innovation, creative experiments and progressive technology to help build self sustaining eco-village that harbour traditional wisdom, respect heritage and nurture old craft (Ergas, 2015). It’s time we reevaluate our habits of endless resources consumption, start reflecting on our actions towards our communities and experience distinctly about social resilience and true wellbeing. Humans have shaken the ecological balance by causing complex problem such as climate change with environmental, economic, social, political and moral ramifications, the solution will require efforts on community level such as - a self sustaining eco-village (Lockyer, 2013).


Project Aim


The aim is to build a system that produces least possible negative impact on the environment through intentional eco friendly and sustainable behaviour choices by residents, for example, an eco village system that is socially, culturally, economically and ecologically sustainable. My objective is to strengthen communities by opting sustainable solutions, influencing policy-makers, and educating people in general, to accelerate the transition to sustainable living.


Initial Research on self-sustaining communities


ReGen Villages: It is estimated that by 2050 earth will have a population of 10 billion (and growing) which will warrant an urgent need for regenerative housing and that’s where ReGen Villages step in as the ‘game changer’ for urban agriculture and self-sustainable living, with a view of causing as little destruction as possible to residents’ current lifestyles. Desirable off-grid neighbourhoods will be comprised of ‘power positive homes, renewable energy, water management, and waste-to-resource systems that are based upon on-going resiliency research – for thriving families and reduced burdens on local and national governments (Regenvillages, 2020).

Image: ReGen Village Proposal, Netherland


Auroville: Auroville was established in 1968 in India, it was founded with the spiritual objective of embodying the ideal of human unity. With this philosophy of seeing our biophysical reality as an evolutionary expression of Spirit, the Auroville eco village has become a world-class leader in its compressed-earth building methods, harvesting of rainwater, plant-based sewage treatment and solar & wind energy (Sol, 2018).

Image: Auroville, Pondicherry, India (Credit: Shutterstock)


Tinker Bubble: Tinker Bubble is a small off-grid community living a highly sustainable way of life, using environmentally sound methods of working the land without the use of fossil fuels (LifeSaver, 2019).

Image: Tinker Bubble, England (Credit: Shutterstock)


Timeline:

Plan for next 5 months


Feedback

While researching on self sustaining communities and after talking to Al and John I am quite certain I need to narrow down on the research question. I plan to look at more concentrated communities from a fresh perspective.


Takeaways

Initially, I intend to do more wider research on alternative ways of living and self sustainaing communities and after being certain about a specific direction I would like to do a deeper research in order to narrow down the research question.


References

Ergas, C., 2015. A Model Of Sustainable Living: Collective Identity In An Urban Ecovillage - Christina Ergas, 2015. [online] SAGE Journals. Available at: <https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1086026609360324> [Accessed 24 June 2020].

LifeSaver. 2019. 5 Most Sustainable Off-Grid Living Communities | Lifesaver. [online] Available at: <https://iconlifesaver.com/news/5-most-sustainable-off-grid-communities/> [Accessed 25 June 2020].

Lockyer, J., 2013. Environmental Anthropology Engaging Ecotopia. New York, NY: Berghahn Books, pp.251-266.


Regenvillages.com. 2020. Regenvillages. [online] Available at: <https://www.regenvillages.com/#> [Accessed 22 July 2020].

Sol, M., 2020. The Modern Eco Village: 10 Eye-Opening Sustainable Communities Lonerwolf. [online] LonerWolf. Available at: <https://lonerwolf.com/eco-village/> [Accessed 15 June 2020]. Sevier, L., Henderson, M. and Naidu, N., 2018. Ecovillages: A Model Life?. [online] The Ecologist. [Accessed 26 June 2020].

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