After having spent two weeks in New Bassaisa, an eco-desert community on the Sinai-peninsula in Egypt I became interested in the concept of eco-villages. New Bassaisa is a community that uses sustainable energy such as photovoltaics and wind energy and serves as a model village for making the desert habitable. By forming a co-operative this village combines ecological ideas as well as social economic issues while maintaining their traditional Arab culture and improving the living standard of Egyptian families. The author Jan Martin Bang devoted his life to eco-villages. Instead of changing the “old” society, he aims to create a new alternative society. He lived in communities in Israel, England and Norway and visited many communities all over the world and has been teaching perma-culture for an eco-village design in many of the communities he visited all over the world.
The book covers far more than what I was looking for in the first place. Apart from the village I was looking for, the book describes the history of the Global Eco-village Network, the design such as energy sources or alternative economics. It contains lots of hands-on advice on how to design an eco-village and make it a study tool for a group. The “theoretical” part is interspersed by descriptions of characteristics of communities the author visited, describing the history, spiritual or ideological affiliation including photos of the community highlights.
The book benefits from the devoted author, does not miss a sense of irony and gives real life examples of the authors experience and is therefore highly recommended.
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