There seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to optimal size for sustainable communities. On the one hand, there's the impressive efficiency and low carbon footprints of city dwellers. On the other, there's the argument that human-scale developments and ecovillages are the best way to regrow our social fabric and develop truly sustainable communities.
Like most things in the sustainability world, there's little to suggest this has to be an either-or situation. Los Angeles ecovillage, for example, has shown that it is possible to build tight-knit sustainable communities within the larger city—benefitting from both urban density and village economics in the process.But what exactly is it that makes villages such an important model? This is one of the central questions in the latest video from Peak Moment TV, in which Janaia Donaldson sits down with Brandy Gallagher, co-founder of O.U.R. Ecovillage in British Columbia. While the group's work with zero-mile meals, natural building techniques or edible landscaping are all important, it's the rediscovery of village consciousness—namely that one resident's well-being is inherently linked to the well-being of the whole—that is most interesting to me.
Is that something we can also cultivate in larger communities? My instinct tells me we're going to have to try.