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The term "ecovillage" was coined in the early 1990s. Robert Gilman's definition is: "A human scale, full-featured settlement in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world in a way that supports healthy human development, with multiple centres of initiative, that can be successfully continued into the indefinite future."

Ecovillages are small communities of people who strive to lead a sustainable lifestyle in harmony with each other, the earth and other living beings. Their purpose is to combine a supportive, social-cultural environment with a low impact lifestyle. Though in the past ecovillages may sometimes have been seen as rather marginal and idealist settlements, we are gradually witnessing the advent of the 'Mainstream Ecovillage' which integrate ecovillage principles while also fitting in with mainstream lifestyles and expectations.

There are over 300 ecovillages in the world, at least 9 of which are in Canada. Each of these ecovillages has reached its individual level of development and reflects the particular creativity and inspiration of its builders. Ecovillages embody a way of living that is grounded in the deep understanding that all things and all creatures are interconnected and that our thoughts and actions have an impact on our environment.

A downloadable presentation on ecovillages is available.

Development from within, with materials from within, by those within, for those within. (sorry I don't know where I got this from, but if I figure it out, I will post the source) --Carol Wagner

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