Hamlets, organic structures, low-impact living, moneyless living

Collected by Robert Zandstra

 

ECO HAMLETS

Closely-knit communities of dedicated individuals who wish to live and demonstrate/teach very low impact living, like the Lammas project in Wales. (Probably co-housing community).

Visit the Lammas website for design and structure – http://www.lammas.org.uk

The Hockerton Housing Project website (from England) for good examples of classes and workshops: www.hockertonhousingproject.org.uk

 


LOW IMPACT ‘LAMMAS’ COMMUNITY IN WALES

 

There is the possibility of a land grant for those wishing to establish, demonstrate and teach low impact living.

This is a reality in Wales and is under consideration for England. The Lammas ecovillage project won a £350,000 grant to build a centre for the research, education and promotion of low-impact development. The building will form a centrepiece to a new-build project of 9 eco-smallholdings in the Preseli Hills in North Pembrokeshire. The grant is part of a UK government initiative in which 10 community projects from across the UK have been awarded up to £500,000 for pioneering carbon-reduction approaches.

Lammas also provides advice and solidarity to those pursuing low impact living elsewhere.

For details about the project see www.lammas.org.uk

 


LAMMAS: THE ECO-[HAMLET] THAT LIVES OFF THE GRID – VIDEO

Heydon Prowse visits the pioneering off-grid Lammas project in Pembrokeshire [Wales] to learn how they blend green building technology and perma-culture economics to fuel a thriving community

By Heydon Prowse

guardian.co.uk,

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

10′ 16″ video clip:-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gardening-blog/video/2011/mar/22/lammas-eco-village-off-grid-video

 


‘ORGANIC’ STRUCTURES FROM ENGLAND, WALES AND SCOTLAND

 

THE WOODMAN’S COTTAGE IN ENGLAND

Low impact comfort…

 Click here for photo http://www.ben-law.co.uk/

 Click here for 8′ 48″ video clip from UK CH4’s ‘Grand Designs’:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgduN7uNGOY

 

LOW IMPACT WOODLAND HOUSES (CELTIC ROUNDHOUSES) IN WALES

A nice place to chill out….

Click here for photo and detailed info:-

http://www.simondale.net/house/index.htm

http://unusual-architecture.com/low-impact-woodland-house/ wales-uk

‘That Roundhouse’……. [removed due to website failure JL]

 

MEDITATION ROOM AT FINDHORN FOUNDATION IN SCOTLAND

A wonderful place of peace!

Click here for photo:- http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=8281671

 

PS

Unable to access the Findhorn Foundation virtual tour, which may have photos of the meditation room interior.

http://www.findhorn.org/virtual_tour/mm/vtuhall.php

 


HOW TO BUILD SUSTAINABLE HOMES WITHOUT SPENDING A PENNY

From Earthships to underground houses, The Moneyless Man says building low-impact housing for free is theoretically possible

 

GREEN LIVING BLOG

guardian.co.uk

Posted by Mark Boyle

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

 

Access to land is one of the key obstacles in our path towards true sustainability, and without a radical shift in land policies, a moneyless society will remain what it is today – a philosophical one.

 

But if you do want to become communally-sufficient and moneyless, you’ll first need access to a piece of land. While this is not a problem in the Hammersmith of William Morris’s News from Nowhere or Thomas More’s Utopia, within today’s society it usually means the land needs to be bought, even if just as a one-off payment to free a piece of enslaved land from the wage economy. But there are exceptions.

 

In the 1950s, Vinoba Bhave set up a huge movement called

Bhoodan (meaning land-gift) in India, to which ordinary landowners donated 5m acres – an area the size of Wales – to be put back into common ownership so that peasants could live and farm on it. While western culture makes such a movement unlikely, it’s never impossible. For example, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s Landshare project matches those who have land but need help with it with those who can help but have no access to land. And it’s growing rapidly.

 

So it is obviously difficult, if not impossible, to currently talk about building a home for free. There are huge issues concerning planning permission and council tax. For planning, campaigner Simon Fairlie’s Chapter 7 has tons of great free advice, and eco building organisations such as Lammas are a huge source of inspiration. For council tax, work activists such as John Harris and Lawful Rebellion

provide a fascinating resource to draw on. Council tax is effectively a tax on being alive – many countries, such as Ireland, use other more equitable systems.

 

Next, you can then think about building your own low-impact dwelling. Theoretically, this can be done for free using human labour and local materials – like the old thatch, stone and wood cottages of pre-industrialised times – or by utilising the masses of stuff we’ve already produced. Here is a short selection of the many options open to you, some of which can be built without costing any money:

 

EARTHSHIPS:

The brainchild of Michael Reynolds, these are a type of passive solar home, made from recycled and natural local materials. Earthships can be self-sufficient in food, water and energy. They

incorporate fantastic design – glass bottles are even used to create stunning lighting effects – making them visually beautiful to boot.

 

UNDERGROUND HOUSES:

Subterranean homes maximise space in small areas, the excavated materials can be used in the building and they are wind-, fire- and earthquake-resistant. One of the greatest benefits of underground homes is their energy efficiency, as the mass of soil or rock (the geothermal mass) surrounding the house stores heat and insulates the house, keeping it warm in winter and cool in the summer.

 

ROUNDHOUSES:

Circular houses, with a frame of wooden posts covered by wattle-and-daub or cordwood panels finished with cob. Their conical roofs are usually either thatched or have a reciprocal frame green roof.

 

STRAW BALE HOMES:

Houses built using straw bales to form the walls of the building. In the UK, the bales can be made of wheat, rye or oat straw. They are also naturally well insulated.

 

Of course, doing all this completely for free is fairly unrealistic today. But even if you choose the relatively upmarket Earthship on a few acres, it at least means you will only have to spend a fraction of your time in the money economy paying the bank back money.

 

Ultimately, I believe it is a fundamental human right for every person to have the opportunity to live without money if that is their belief, as stated under Article 9: Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion of The

European Convention on Human Rights. That’s why I will soon be campaigning with the Freeconomy Community for the right to live moneyless, allowing people to choose to pay their taxes and National insurance contributions from tithes and labour, or whatever alternative legal tender the government decides to offer. Watch this space.

 

Mark Boyle is the founder of the Freeconomy Community and has lived moneyless for the last 19 months. His book, The Moneyless Man, is out now, published by Oneworld – sales from the book will go to a charitable trust for the Freeconomy Community. This is the last in the Guardian’s Moneyless Man series

 

[For photo and links in original article, click http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/green-living-blog/2010/aug/10/sustainable-housing-environment ]

Australians for Affordable Housing

Sarah Toohey, the campaign manager from Australians for Affordable Housing, was in Lismore recently for the Northern Rivers launch of this national campaign.

If you’re feeling housing affordability stress then jump on their website (http://housingstressed.org.au/) and add your story.

They’re on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/housingstressed and Twitter – @HousingStressed

 

Affordable Eco-Housing Forum – Summary

SASTHA HOUSING FORUM

11 September 2011, Byron Region Community College, Mullumbimby 2-4pm

Organised by the Housing Group, Transition Byron Shire

Facilitated by Sustainable Futures Australia

Thank you to everyone who attended the SASHTA forum  on Sunday 11 Sept in Mullumbimby (and thanks for the many apologies from those who couldn’t make it at that time).  Here is a report on the forum for those who missed it, with some added follow-up information for those of you who attended, along with our plans for the next steps ahead.
Also see attachment for questions that came up and further steps.The forum was a great success with about 60 people attending – including the mayor Jan Barham, deputy mayor Basil Cameron, Councilor Simon Richardson and solicitor Wroth Wall (who is a local expert on collective land ownership and has been our pro bono legal consultant since the steering committee’s conception).  Both Jan Barham and Wroth Wall were also on our panel alongside our steering committee members Gabi, Annie, Tracey and Eva, and our two brilliant facilitators Peter Cuming and Eshana Bragg from ‘Sustainable Futures Australia’.
We would especially like to thank Peter and Eshana who did a superb job of keeping the forum on track throughout its entirety, introducing all the speakers and contributors, chairing the panel and question and answer times, and keeping track of all the suggestions and information that was being shared.
We also had a number of side stalls on hand displaying various forms of sustainable buildings such as domes (marti@wizdomes.com) , yurts (adam@naturalhabitats.com.au), recycled shipping containers (eva.k.petersen@gmail.com) and hemp blocks (Klara Marosszeky, kmarosszeky@gmail.com), as well as information from local company E-Construct.

Solicitor Wroth Wall also presented his findings after having examined the set-up of the German tenant syndicate and the possibility of us being able to join this existing tenant alliance. Wroth is also very familiar with the Community Land Trust model which exists in America and long term leases. Wroth’s finding was that it would be best off to form our own tenant alliance here in Australia and only be affiliated with the German group due to the different property and financial laws. He is fully supportive of the idea of approaching Council for a long term lease of at least one of their empty properties in order to make affordable housing possible.After the SASHTA – (Sustainble Affordable Secure Housing Tenant Alliance) – concept was explained, the mayor reported on the ‘Byron Shire Affordable Housing strategy’.  This strategy states that Council would consider a partnership with a community developer, which potentially could be SASHTA. The mayor, deputy mayor and Simon Richardson all encouraged our approach.A major part of our concept is to plan an eco affordable housing village from the ‘bottom-up’ with residents all known to each other beforehand.  So with this in mind we distributed a hard copy of our Survey form at the forum to everyone interested, which questions interested parties about their own housing needs and personal interests, how much they would like to be involved in the planning process from the start, what kind of model they prefer, what kind of cottage industry or business they might like to run or be a part of as part of a village, what kind of skills they can bring to the project, and where they stand financially at present.

A large number of attendees filled out the Survey on the day of the forum.  However, now that we have it loaded onto the website, we encourage all those who haven’t filled it in yet  to do so on-line on www.transitionbyronshire.org by the end of October.  Thanks in advance for your participation.As this first forum was a way of testing the waters to see how many people are actually interested in the SASHTA concept, we were happy to find that virtually everybody who attended expressed their active interest in some way. This was confirmation for us to take some more steps forward with actions such as:

* Expanding our steering committee: Some additional people have come forward expressing interest in joining the committee, however more would be better. Let us know.
* Getting incorporated as a ‘not-for-profit’ incorporated association: We need 7 positions filled in order to do this. Anyone volunteering?
* Collating and writing a report on our findings from the Survey: We have already found some volunteers to do this for us.
* Researching funding options to cover the costs of coordinating the project and facilitating the community planning process. Anyone interested?
* Other suggestions? – Please let us know. – Thanks.
* Organizing our next forum: Maybe at the end of November or beginning December?

On the website you’ll also find the SASHTA project description in case anything’s not totally  clear. If you’d like to participate please fill in the survey.

Thank you very much for your interest and participation.Warmest regards,
Eva, Tracey, Anny and Gabi
The SASHTA Committee

Notes from Whiteboards

Questions posed to SASHTA Panel following presentations by Gabi Bohnet and Jan Barham

1. Were the barracks renovated in Germany bought by the tenants alliance? Yes

2. Is there any opportunity of using existing empty units above shops for a SASHTA project?

3. Given the limited number of Council owned sites suitable for affordable housing, would Council be open to the possibility of new multiple occupancies in other locations?

4. How are people selected to participate in a SASHTA project? Need to develop criteria and transparent process, ensure wide diversity, survey could help with this process

5. What structures could be put in place to enable personal investments to be returned? (eg., loans to alliance above rent)

6. How could this work in with existing housing ‘providers’? Need to develop partnerships with Council and other organisations (eg., community housing, low income not-for-profit)

7. How could we develop an ‘umbrella’ organisation with many projects? SASHTA does not have the capacity at the moment to develop this, however we are happy to be part of a wider network of housing providers and projects and like the idea of ‘cross-fertilizing’

8. If people in the community have rural land adjacent to services, how can they offer it as a potential site for a SASHTA project? The land could be leased long term to us or we might join the Waratah community land trust which is currently established in NSW to establish affordable housing. Land can be donated or bequeathed to this trust.

9. What relevant examples are currently occurring in Byron Shire?

 

Where to from here? Suggestions and Questions

 

1. Another forum in 2-3 months for update

2. People need to join the steering committee / working group if things are to progress further

– current tasks include seeking funding / grant opportunities; help analyzing survey

3. How do we stay in contact?

– blog/discussions on www.transitionbyronshire.org

– emails to housing@transitionbyronshire.org

4. Encourage others to fill out survey online by end of September

5. Form smaller working groups based on results of survey

6. Link in with Lismore Housing Forum on 19th September (talk with Margaret)

7. Create a collection point – online or offline – for gathering information and materials (then create packages for showing to other people)

8. Start dialogue with Council now about new technologies in building materials (Council regulations lag behind).

9. Explore possibilities and forms of partnerships with other organisations (eg., with Sustainability Research Institute for one project)

10. Keep Councillors, not only Council staff, in the loop.

11. Consider education and training opportunities that could be associated with SASHTA (eg., building techniques)

12. Investigate Crown Land and rural land as potential SASHTA sites.

11. Prior to next forum, SASHTA needs to:

– define/propose a short-list of alternative structures for SASHTA

– develop/propose a clear definition of ‘sustainable’ housing, eg.,

– inclusion of food-growing as part of design

– bioregional sources of raw materials for building

– on-site opportunities for income generation, education and research

– protecting the land / biodiversity / environment / natural capital

In the news: Local initiative for affordable housing

Published in The Byron Shire EchoAugust 30, 2011, Page 15
In Articles by Eva St John

Of the many social issues being passionately discussed in the local community in recent years, few could be more pressing and urgent than the need for more affordable housing for the region’s ever-growing permanent population.

The Byron Shire is not alone in this dilemma, of course. Australia-wide, and indeed world-wide, the need for not only affordable housing, but eco-sustainable and securetenure housing, has been recognised by thousands of lateral thinkers and forward planners over the past three decades who have sought to come up with solutions to this ever- growing problem.

(image shown with caption ‘Shipping containers recycled as housing in London.’)

Land trusts
In America, for instance, a growing number of Community Land Trusts have been established for the management of properties which have been donated or bequeathed in order to create perpetual affordable housing collectives. Whether the tenants buy in to the communities or rent long term, the founding goal is to provide permanent, guaranteed secure tenure for people who would otherwise be left in severe long-term housing stress.

With this same goal in mind, in Germany a Tenant Syndicate was birthed in the late 1980s which sought to collectively purchase land and buildings that could be removed permanently from the speculation market in order to create tenant-organised affordable housing communities in perpetuity.

Together with the Syndicate, future tenants of an afford- able housing project establish a ‘limited liability’ company (Ltd) which then collectively buys a property, or acquires a long-term lease of government or private land. As a company the tenant collective can also secure loans – preferably from private ethical sources as opposed to banking institutions – to help finance their community building project. The tenants then pay rent to the company, but are simultaneously responsible for all aspects of running the company, including overseeing the development of the property and the building of their individual dwellings.

In this way affordable housing has been created and protected from future exploitation by real estate speculators. The German Tenant Syndicate has successfully implemented 33 tangible projects thus far, with dozens more in the works throughout Europe. In August 2009 the Syndicate made the decision to link up with, and support, other equivalent projects world-wide.

In response to this, local German-born resident Gabi Bonnet, who has a background in architecture, town planning and sustainable design, began researching and regularly giving talks on comparable ways a local tenant’s syndicate could be formed to establish small, affordable, low-impact eco communities here in the Shire. As a result, a steering commit- tee has been formed to look at ways to take these ideals through to actual implementation.

Shared interests
‘Tenant communities,’ says Gabi, ‘can be designed and focused around shared interests such as art, music, spiritual val- ues, gardening, permaculture or retirement, with the potential of becoming self-sustaining and even developing commercial opportunities for the ten- ants through on-site cottage industries. Tenants with disabilities or who are studying can be located close to services and public transport. Some collectives may also find innovative ways to utilise and encourage rehabilitation of the unused rail corridor.’

Under the interim name ‘Transition Byron Shire’ (www.transitionbyronshire.org) the steering committee has begun consulting with the Byron Shire Council in light of the Council’s own suggested affordable housing strategies (see http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/ affordable-housing), and are looking in particular at two council properties which have been earmarked for small affordable housing projects in Suffolk Park and in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate.

Economical and low-impact modes of building such as rammed earth, mud brick, bamboo and straw bale are also being scrutinised, along with the possibility of relocating older houses and recycling attractively-renovated shipping containers which are already weather-proof and structurally strong.

With the support of the Byron Shire Council, Transition Byron Shire will be holding a public meeting on Sustain- able House Day and is inviting everyone who is interested in becoming involved in a local ‘affordable housing eco community’ to come along and hear presentations and participate in the discussion. The meeting will be facilitated by Peter and Eshana of Sustain- able Futures Australia and will be held at the Mullumbimby Community College on Sun- day September 11, beginning at 2pm sharp. Enquiries can be directed to Gabi Bonet at housing@transitionbyronshire.org.

[gview file=”http://www.transitionbyronshire.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/echo26-12-p15_localhousinginitiative.pdf”]

Local Initiative for Low-Impact, Affordable, Resident-Planned Eco Housing

My name is Gabi Bohnet and I am currently heading a local initiative in the Byron Shire to address the severe shortage of affordable housing in our region. My background is in green architecture, town planning and sustainable design, and over the past few years I have been researching and regularly giving talks on ways a local tenants’ alliance could be formed to establish small, affordable, low-impact community planned neighbourhoods here in the Shire.  As a result, a steering committee has been formed to look at ways to take these ideals through to actual implementation.

The aim of our project is to re-unite what should have never been separated in the first place – nature and humanity, the eco-system of a particular terrain and those dwelling in its environment.  In the world today a mass shift of awareness is occurring and we are gaining greater insight into the fact that our sustainable existence as a species depends wholly on a healthy, functioning environment – on the ‘microcosmic’ scale (individual properties), a bio-regional scale, and on a global scale.  We are realizing that we must be firmly connected to the earth to make wise decisions and become solidly empowered to practice responsibility for our precious environment.

Our vision is to create an initial prototype process to design an affordable, low-impact and (if possible) ‘zero carbon’ village-style neighbourhood here in the Byron Shire. If we the residents – as aware, eco-sensitive individuals – are involved in the planning of our village neighbourhood right from the start, we can collectively co-create a unique authentic space that is innovative, imaginative, caring and environmentally responsible.

There are many successfully established ‘eco settlements’ in the world already, of which some also provide affordable housing. In Germany, for example, a Tenant Syndicate was birthed in the late 1980’s which sought to collectively purchase land and buildings that could be removed permanently from the speculation market in order to create tenant-organized affordable housing communities in perpetuity. The Tenant Syndicate then became a platform supporting the wider political struggle for affordable housing, with an ever growing number of individual tenant-organized projects linked up under its organizational structure.  (See: http://www.transitionbyronshire.org/housing/living-space-for-everybody/ )

Together with the Syndicate, the future tenants of an affordable housing project establish a ‘limited liability’ company (Ltd) which then collectively buys a property, or acquires a long term lease of government or private land.  The tenant collective will source their financing mainly through private direct loans from people who are interested in investing in socially ethical projects. To access such investors, the project promotion will be continuous and wide spread, generating the general concept on a worldwide scale. On the level of tenant contributions, the tenants pay rent to the company, but are simultaneously responsible for all aspects of running the company, overseeing the development of the property and the building of their individual dwellings.

This is how affordable housing has been created and protected from future exploitation by real estate speculation in other parts of the world thus far. The German Tenant Syndicate has successfully implemented 33 tangible projects thus far, with dozens more in the works throughout Europe.  In August 2009 the Syndicate made the decision to link up with, and support, other equivalent projects world-wide. Our local steering committee has recently formed in response to this potential opportunity.

One option we are considering is the possibility of securing a long-term lease of either council or private land which could be utilized for the building of our first neighbourhood.

As part of ‘Transition Byron Shire’ (www.transitionbyronshire.org), the ‘housing’ steering committee has begun consulting with the Byron Shire Council in light of the Council’s own suggested affordable housing strategies (see http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/affordable-housing), and are looking in particular at two council properties which have been earmarked for small affordable housing projects in Suffolk Park and in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate.

Economical and low-impact modes of building, such as rammed earth, mud brick, bamboo, hemp, straw bale – and semi-permanent dwellings such as domes, yurts and state of the art retro-fitted shipping containers – are also being scrutinized, along with the possibility of ‘recycling’ old buildings.  I am personally really interested in getting one or more green roofs built in this project.  I’d also like to invite inventors from the ABC Inventors program to showcase their inventions, such as a test building for ‘solar paint’. (See: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/newinventors/txt/s3008638.htm).

The envisioned eco-neighbourhood will be open to a variety of living styles, from shared/extended houses (4-5 or more bedrooms), apartments (in townhouse style), row houses, and co-housing in a permanent or semi- permanent set-up with communal facilities – (kitchen, living spaces, bathrooms and laundry), etc.  Housing will be nestled amongst food producing native and permaculture gardens. Roads and parking will be kept to a minimum, and (where possible) away from the living spaces, especially if the project is close to existing town infrastructure.  The residents will be encouraged to car pool or share, rather than everyone owning/using their own vehicles.

We recognize that the main ingredient of the German Tenant Syndicate recipe for success has been to include the future residents in the planning process. This is quite different to any housing development planning processes undertaken in Australia thus far.  In his book The Future of Sustainability, chief UN- habitat researcher Marco Keiner emphasizes that sustainable outcomes imply the participation of the people, just as reading of a book implies a reader. “The concept of planning for the people has changed to become planning with the people, or sometimes even planning by the people.  Only if the people agree and are serious about sustainability will it be achieved”.  In the UK this process has been named ‘planning for real’. There have been a significant number of affordable housing options within German eco settlements which have adopted this planning method.

If you are ready for this paradigm shift, then involvement in this project is for you.

Minutes of Meeting 4 April 2011

Affordable Sustainable Housing Meeting Minutes
Monday 4th April 2011 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Meeting held at Byron Community Centre theatre

Moderator: Gabi Bohnet


1.
Introduction
Gabi Bohnet (architect and town planner) presented the concept of Affordable Housing linked to Sustainable Housing, and the importance of involving the future occupants in the planning process.

Housing would be structured for sustainability (solar passive design, renewable energy for zero consumption or even plus energy by producing more than is used) localisation incorporating community gardens and transport. Housing models could include shared kitchen, bathroom, laundry, tool/workshop facilities. Economic sustainability could be cafes restaurants, op-shops, etc.

2. Models from around the world

  • German Trust Syndicate (see https://www.transitionbyronshire.org/sustainable-and-affordable-housing/living-space-for-everybody/) has 33 housing projects of various types. Set up as a Limited Liability company with 2 representatives (one from the project and one from the syndicate) so that a housing project can never be sold on the speculative market.Rent continues to be paid into a Solidarity Fund to finance future projects. 


    Housing projects predominantly borrow from ethical investors and try not to borrow from    banks .

3. Wroth Wall – Solicitor

Gabi has been speaking to Wroth Wall, solicitor from Mullumbimby, who has been involved with setting up land trusts in NSW. He is offering our group his services for free.

4. Legal Structure

Wroth Wall advised our group to approach Council or Government for a long term lease of a Council owned property or Crown land and to set ourselves up as a not-for-profit incorporated association to act as a community housing developer. We the community developer would also manage the affordable housing project for the Council.

Council land is classified as either Community (no longer than 5 year lease possible) or Operational (can be sold). It is possible for land to be rezoned.

In the discussion the option to set up a trust to develop land was mentioned. A trust can obtain charitable status that allows for tax deductible gift contributions. This option may need further exploration.

5. Housing providers Other housing providers in this area who were at the Echo’s Affordable Housing Forum are: TheNorth Coast Community Housing Co        Ltd http://www.ncchc.org.au/ and ko:ho http://koho.com.au/)

6. Byron Shire Council – Affordable Housing Strategy
The strategy was produced in 2002
http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/affordable-housing
Judith Stubbs produced background report in 2008 (see links on website above) and an affordable housing development on Station St in Mullumbimby was put forward in Feb 2009.
Councillor Patrick Morrisey is currently pushing for campground areas on public land.

7. Volunteers to Contact Council / Media / Steering Group

  1. Annie Reid – Town planner, analyst, transport and housing experience
  2. Eva Peterson – Media liaison, advocacy, journalist
  3. Matt Cook – Sustainable Community Developer, scholarship to Findhorn Foundation, Design degree in Permaculture.
  4. Michelle Grant was mentioned as a good grant writer

8. Dudley Leggett – Sustainability Research Institute http://www.livingtogethernetwork.net/
Dudley has been working on this project for 40 some years and set up a Natural Capital Protection Trust some years back. The research institute (construction, waste management, housing, social relationships, Caring for country – no damage to land. etc.) has been approved by CSIRO and is eligible for government funding.

9.  Website and Ning Site

Jason Lasky (www.hubway.com) worked with Tracey to update the Transition Byron Shire’s websitewww.transitionbyronshire.org so it can be easily used by the Affordable Housing Group for posting information and keeping in touch. The website is linked to transitionbyronshire.ning.com (for forum and member profiles) for the time being. Erin Knowles (www.ptoingmedia.com) has also offered her graphic design and website skills.

Meeting closed shortly after 8:00pm

Village Homes, Eco Villages and Village Towns

VILLAGE HOMES

The eco-suburb in Davis, California, a groundbreaking subdivision in west Davis, was established from the mid 1970s through the 1980s. The completed development includes 225 homes and 20 apartment units.

Although many valuable features were incorporated, this development has a number of shortcomings, and the reference ‘village’ certainly does not fit as it has no core facilities, like a shop, which make a village.

For more info see websites www.villagehomesdavis.org and www.lgc.org/villagehomes
Two significant books which look at what worked and what didn’t at ‘Village Homes’ are:

“VILLAGE HOMES, A Community by Design”
Case Study in Land and Community Design by Mark Francis
Island Press, 2003 – ISBN 1-55963-111-2

“DESIGNING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES: Learning from Village Homes”
By Judy & Michael Corbett [project designers of Village Homes]
Island Press – ISBN 1-55963-686-6

ECO VILLAGES

In Australia we have ‘The Ecovillage’ (www.theecovillage.com.au) in Currumbin, south-east Queensland.

VILLAGE TOWNS

A delightful town surrounded by a cluster of villages, and a way of living where the basic necessities of food, water, energy, clothing, furniture etc are produced locally, putting an end to our vulnerable existence.
Have a look at Claude Lewenz’s excellent book ‘How to Build a Village’ which appears to have most of the answers to a happier way of living AND a much-reduced footprint in a large ‘village’ of 5,000 – 10,000 inhabitants. For more details check out the Village Forum.

Australian Village Town Projects:

Sydney – The Sydney project anticipates a 10,000 population VillageTown within 2 hours of Sydney Airport. Presently indicators suggest looking north of the city, perhaps in the vineyard districts. Craig West is actively working on this project and at present is focusing on securing stage one financing. With a regional population of over 4 million, it can expect to draw a significant number of future citizens from the region. There is a reported housing shortage in Australia, thus making VillageTown developments more attractive due to their lower public infrastructure costs and lower demand for motor vehicle transport.

Melbourne – Melbourne is a project being driven by Brian Fitzpatrick and like Sydney it is looking toward the north of the city, and also perhaps in the vineyard region. Brian is focusing on attracting future citizens, enrolling them to form the first of the twenty villages that creates a 10,000 population VillageTown. This approach suggests that if a village of 500 people (about 200 homes) is identified, representing about $50 million in purchasing power, the money and political attention, and the 19 additional villages that form the VillageTown will follow.