Old Industrial Cities Give Rise to Urban Ecovillages




Maybe we have finally found a positive result of urban sprawl. When population flight left the urban cores of many mid-sized U.S. cities empty, good housing stock, central location, and access to jobs and transportation remained in these old urban communities. Thankfully, a trend is in place to not only bring people back to these areas, but to do it with urban sustainability in mind - urban ecovillages. Now, we have covered ecovillage concepts before (read more here and here), but these ecovillages are usually in more rural or even suburban landscapes. Urban ecovillages are able to focus these same eco-principals into city neighborhoods to bring like-minded urbanists together. Here in Ohio, urban ecovillages in Cleveland and Cincinnati, cities notoriously affected by sprawl, are leading the way. The Cleveland EcoVillage project is located about 3.5 miles west of downtown Cleveland. The aim here is to use green design and a revitalized mass transit center to create an local ecovillage with all the benefits of living in an urban area.

The Cleveland EcoVillage is a great place to live. It is a diverse neighborhood that is pedestrian-friendly and community-oriented. Residents are within walking distance of the Rapid Transit Station and the Zone Recreation Center. The area has older and newer homes, including some of the city's finest examples of green building. The area also includes numerous schools, historic churches, and communtiy gardens. Residents can participate in block clubs, recreation groups, annual workshops, and celebrations.

Cincinnati's urban ecovillage, The Enright Ridge Urban Ecovillage, is located about 4 miles west of downtown Cincinnati.

The community's active members work mainly through the four committees that residents created. These committees focus on various relevant issues, from how to renovate and resell homes to the best ways to install solar water heating and provide organic produce. The Enright Ridge Urban Eco-Village is always looking for people interested in moving to the neighborhood as well as organizations interested in assisting us in our goals. Specifically, we are looking for those willing to join a group of caring, energetic people and help to:

* deepen a sense of community
* build a neighborhood of choice
* model a new experience in urban living
* explore alternative energy technologies
* form a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
* Experience oneness with nature in the heart of the city

The best part about these urban ecovillages? They are situated in real neighborhoods with a plethora of services at hand at a price that not just the wealthy among us can afford.

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