Diagram of a model green community proposed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Contributed by The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.) Graphic Courtest of MCT 2007The Boston Globe recently published a story about an upcoming ecovillage in Newburyport, Massachusetts. This new project is an example of the growing trend of ecovillages popping up across the nation and world. So what exactly is an ecovillage? Ecovillages, as explained by Global EcoVillage Network, are urban or rural communities of people working to integrate a supportive social environment with a low-impact way of life. This end is met by incorporating aspects of ecological design, permaculture, ecological building, green production, alternative energy, community building practices, etc.

The residents of Odonata Ecovillage in Newburyport are planning on constructing their homes within close proximity. Acheiving such an “intentional village,” the new residents will be creating a “common house” to provide a venue for potlucks, concerts, lectures and workshops.  Sharing of resources is a backbone of this community. Resident Peter Engel said:

“This is a matter of building a community that in a way is a throwback to villages of old, where everyone knew each other and all the generations interacted, and we’re hoping to create that kind of feeling in our community.”

Odonate Ecovillage hopes create a positive example by using modern building architecture and green technology to  reduce their energy consumption. At the same time, the design of the community is geared towards creating more afforadable housingTom Szabo, a resident said:

“The people that would like to live in this community would feel the purpose is that they would be interconnected and help to, not just save the planet, but show that it is possible to live together in a harmonious way which is low on [consumption of] energy and resources but also fun.”

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