Flagship Eco-development Needs You!

Regular visitors to this site will be familiar with London's Bioregional Development Group, developers of BioRegional Charcoal, Local Paper for London, and the One Planet Living concept. Whilst the organization has experienced some teething problems with their ultra-low emissions housing project BedZed, as reported here, there is no doubt in my mind that they are still at the cutting edge of the sustainability agenda, developing innovative 'bright green' solutions to our environmental crisis. Now, in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, they are preparing to take eco-development to the next level, and they need your help. The group is planning to build five flagship communities on five different continents, each of which will have sustainable ecological footprints yet maintain high standards of living. The idea is to design communities where each resident's ecological impact is reduced to the point where it does not overstep Earth's carrying capacity. According to the group's website, each community will incorporate the following "One Planet Living" principles:

1. Zero carbon
2. Zero waste
3. Sustainable transport
4. Sustainable materials
5. Local and sustainable food
6. Sustainable water
7. Natural habitats and wildlife
8. Culture and heritage
9. Equity and fair trade
10. Health and happiness

The first of these communities is planned in Mata de Sesimbra in Portugal. Currently the area is blighted by pressure for urban development, mass tourism and other associated problems. Under the group's proposals, the area would become home to "the world's first-ever integrated sustainable building, tourism, nature conservation and reforestation program."

Apparently the project already has a partner, investors, and a site. A master plan has been drawn up which would create thousands of homes, restoring degraded woodland and creating 11,000 new jobs for local people. Not bad going for a bunch of environmentalists.

The group has already undertaken an extensive community consultation and the local population are overwhelmingly in favor of the project. Now WWF and BioRegional are asking people around the world to sign a petition to show key decision makers that there is also international support for such a groundbreaking development. So, fellow treehuggers, I am presuming that there are very few readers who would oppose such an ambitious and forward thinking plan, so please take a few minutes to sign the petition here. [Written by: Sami Grover]