The goal of a village community: to create a high quality of life for all its residents.
Those who live in the village manage the assets or resources of the community, including key local functions such as food production, generating energy, construction of facilities, and manufacturing of goods. Village residents have access to what they need without being employed outside the village. The need for commuting to work in ever-increasing traffic becomes a thing of the past, significantly reducing the consumption of fossil fuel and its polluting side effects.
A Villaging lifestyle can not only address many of the social injustices of our times, but can actually bring us the quality of life and feeling of safety and connection that we hunger for.
What do we mean by “Villaging”?
“Villaging” means a person or group is taking actions that are at least moving in the direction of the six key elements of a Village. Examples might include growing some of our own food, putting up some solar panels, walking to work or working from home, using public transportation or bicycles instead of automobiles, purchasing goods from local merchants. These actions, while taking place in the context of our current “everyone for themselves” society, are a step in the direction of the Villages we envision.
A village has a geographic perimeter and a scientifically determined capacity for a certain number of residents.
Geographic perimeter- a boundary that defines the edges of the village, in order that all residents and visitors within the boundary have a sense of place & belonging that includes ensuring that the basic needs of each resident are met.
Scientifically determined capacity– the calculated number of persons that a village can support based on a formula that takes into account the village’s surface area, geological features, climate, water table, etc.
The Six Key Characteristics of a Village are:
1. PERIMETER: Has a geographic perimeter and a calculated capacity; looks after all its residents
2. WALKABILITY: Is walkable, without cars and roads except at the perimeter.
3. FOOD: Produces its own food supply within the village with the intention of becoming food self-sufficient
4. ENERGY: Generates its own electricity, heating & cooling, and water using renewable energy sources
5. SELF-GOVERNANCE: Has a self-governing process that includes every resident, and uses a proven model for solving problems
6. WORK (ECONOMIC SYSTEM): Has its own collective/ cooperative/ worker-owned businesses that employ residents and support the village
Localizing Economies for a New Future
“It means becoming more self sufficient, and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back to the community where it belongs.”
Shuman, M. (2000:6) Going Local: creating self-reliant communities in a global age. New York, Routledge.