People & process
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The founders of Earthsong were committed from the very beginning, in 1995, to building a neighbourhood that was as socially and environmentally sustainable as possible, with a vision statement which began:
Our vision is to establish a cohousing neighbourhood based on the principles of permaculture, that will serve as a model of a socially and environmentally sustainable community.
We continue to implement the aims included in our vision statement:
- Design and construct a cohesive neighbourhood whose layout, buildings and services demonstrate the highest practical standards of sustainable human settlement
- Develop and foster a living environment which uses clear communication, decision-making and conflict resolution guidelines that promote tolerance, safety, respect and co-operation
- Assist in education and public awareness of sustainability by demonstrating and promoting innovative community design and environmentally responsible construction.
In response to this vision statement, Graham Meltzer kindly wrote:
"Of all the communities included in this series of case studies, Earthsong Eco-Neighbourhood has perhaps the most ambitious vision. The simple, pithy statement above encompasses ... a hugely rich and complex social and environmental agenda. ....The environmentally sustainable technologies of this project are amongst the most comprehensive in cohousing and undoubtedly the best documented."
(From: Sustainable Community: Learning from the Cohousing Model, 2005, Trafford Publishing, Cheshire, p.85)