With grass-roots ecovillages pioneering sustainable living, the mainstream wants in on the action. The Guardian reports that the government in the United Kingdom has plans to build 10 carbon neutral ecotowns by 2020. The towns will have up to 5000-20,0000 homes, 10-100 times the size of most ecovillages, but will share a focus on ecological living.
Most important, the whole town has to be carbon neutral. This means the amount of energy taken from the national grid to run the town is less than or equal to the amount put back through renewable power.
There are also groups working on helping ecotowns be car free but its not clear who will be helping the government develop the social sustainability aspects of the “three-legged stool” they mention on their ecotown website:
It is appropriate to start with an understanding of sustainability as a “three legged stool”: in addition to environmental considerations there are the less well understood but no less important aspects of social and economic sustainable development to consider.
Perhaps they will be able to learn from the rich tradition of ecovillages and intentional communities in the UK on how to create opportunities for community and create a spirit of cooperation towards their ecological goals.
If only the US government were investing in sustainability at this level…