Sustainable Living in the City
On December 2015, heads of states from all over the world got together at United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris where they agreed that climate change is not only an unprecedented challenge for humanity but that it requires urgent global agreement for action. Urbanization is particularly relevant to the implementation of the Paris Agreement as of 2007 the majority of world’s population lives in urban areas. In 2016, the world’s cities occupied just 3% of the Earth’s land, but accounted for 60–80% of energy consumption and 75% of carbon emissions. While on one hand the rapid urbanization is exerting pressure on the living environment and public health, on the other hand high density of cities can bring efficiency gains in solving those problems.
Ecovillages are intentional communities whose members holistically integrate ecological, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of sustainability. An urban ecovillage situated in the heart of a Western metropolis is taken as a case study to present how its members strive to lead more sustainable lives in the city by altering their consumption practices and adopting more sustainable ones. Specific examples of more sustainable solutions are given to some consumption practices that can be implemented in an urban setting.
KeywordsEcovillages Intentional communities Sustainability City
- About Los Angeles Eco-Village. (n.d.). https://laecovillage.wordpress.com/about/. Accessed 12 May 2017.
- Bang, J. (2005). Ecovillages: A practical guide to sustainable communities. Boston: New Society Publishers.Google Scholar
- Breton, P. E. (2009a). Organizing for sustainability at a small scale. A case study of an ecovillage. Master’s thesis, Heritage Branch: University of Northern British Columbia, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, Ottawa.Google Scholar
- Breton, P. E. (2009b). Ecovillages: How ecological are you? Communities, 143, 22–24.Google Scholar
- Chitewere, T. (2006). Constructing a green lifestyle: Consumption and environmentalism in an ecovillage. Ph.D. dissertation, New York.Google Scholar
- Chitewere, T., & Taylor, D. E. (2010). Sustainable living and community building in Ecovillage at Ithaca: The challenges of incorporating social justice concerns into the practices of an ecological cohousing community. In D. E. Taylor (Ed.), Environment and social justice: An international perspective, Research in social problems and public policy (Vol. 18, pp. 141–176). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cunningham, P. A., & Wearing, S. L. (2013). The politics of consensus: An exploration of the Cloughjordan ecovillage, Ireland. Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Journal, 5(2), 1–28.Google Scholar
- Dawson, J. (2006). Ecovillages: New frontiers for sustainability. Devon: Green Books.Google Scholar
- EU Science Hub. (2015, November 30). Urban air pollution – What are the main sources across the world? Joint Research Center. https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/what-are-main-sources-urban-air-pollution. Accessed 10 May 2017.
- Expatistan Cost of Living Index. (2016). https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/index/north-america. Accessed 10 May 2017.
- Gesota, B. (2008). Ecovillages as models for sustainable development: A case study approach. Master’s thesis, Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat, Freiburg.Google Scholar
- Gilman, R. (1991). The eco-village challenge. In Context: A Quarterly of Humane Sustainable Culture, 29. http://www.context.org/iclib/ic29/gilman1/. Accessed 18 Nov 2017.
- Global Ecovillage Network (GEN). (n.d.). What is an ecovillage? http://gen.ecovillage.org/en/article/what-ecovillage. Accessed 10 May 2017.
- Holleman, M. (2011). Individuality in community at the EVI. Master’s thesis, Vrije Universitet, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
- Kirby, A. (2004). Domestic protest: The ecovillage movement as a space of resistance. Bad Subjects, 65.Google Scholar
- Kunze, I., & Avelino, F. (2017). Research literature on ecovillages. https://ecovillage.org/sites/default/files/files/Literature-onecovillages_2017_03_13_IK_FA.pdf?x52178. Accessed 18 Nov 2017.
- Litfin, K. (2009). Reinventing the future: The global ecovillage movement as a holistic knowledge community. In G. Kütting & R. Lipschutz (Eds.), Environmental governance: Knowledge and power in a local-global world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Litfin, K. (2014). Ecovillages: Lessons for sustainable community. Cambridge, UK: Polity.Google Scholar
- Meijering, L. (2012). Ideals and practices of European ecovillages. In Realizing utopia: Ecovillage endeavors and academic approaches (pp. 31–41). Munich: RCC Perspectives.Google Scholar
- Permaculture Design Principles. (n.d.) https://permacultureprinciples.com/principles/ Accessed 18 Nov 2017.
- Seeds for Change. (n.d.). Consensus decision making. http://www.seedsforchange.org.uk/consensus. Accessed 12 May 2017.
- Sherry, J. (2014). Community supported sustainability: How ecovillages model more sustainable community. Ph.D. dissertation in Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick.Google Scholar
- Standen, S. (2014). Re-examining “community” in the modern world: The role of boundaries in the intentional community construction of “community” at an ecovillage in Ithaca. Social Anthropology B.A. dissertation, Queen’s University, Belfast.Google Scholar
- Texas A&M Transportation Institute. (2011). 2011 Congested Corridors Report. https://mobility.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/ccr-all-table-rankings.pdf#page=36. Accessed 10 May 2017.
- The American Lung Association. (2016). State of the Air 2016 Report. http://www.lung.org/assets/documents/healthy-air/state-of-the-air/sota-2016-full.pdf. Accessed 10 May 2017.
- The Economist. (2016, August 24). American house prices: Realty check. http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2016/08/daily-chart-20. Accessed 10 May 2017.
- United Nations. (2014). World’s population increasingly urban with more than half living in urban areas. http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/world-urbanization-prospects-2014.html. Accessed 10 May 2017.
- United Nations. (2015). Sustainable development goals. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs. Accessed 10 May 2017.
- Unites Nations-Habitat. (2016). Sustainable Urbanization in the Paris Agreement Comparative review for urban content in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). https://unhabitat.org/books/sustainable-urbanization-in-the-paris-agreement/. Accessed 10 May 2017.
- Van Schyndel Kasper, D. (2008). Redefining community in the ecovillage. Human Ecology Review, 15(1), 12–24.Google Scholar
- Whitfield, J. (2001). Understanding the barriers encountered by residents of ecovillages. Master’s thesis, School of Planning, University of Waterloo, Ontario.Google Scholar
- Winston, N. (2012). Sustainable housing: A case study of the Cloughjordan eco-village. In N. Winston (Ed.), Enterprising communities: Grassroots sustainability innovations. Bingley: Emerald.Google Scholar
- World Bank. (2009). World development report 2009: Reshaping economic geography. World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/5991. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.