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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.

Publisher: Transition Byron Shire on Apr 6, 2011