An ecovillage is an intentional, traditional or urban community that is consciously designed through locally owned, participatory processes in all four dimensions of sustainability (social, culture, ecology and economy) to regenerate their social and natural environments.
We believe that the good intentions and creativity of citizens and their willingness to make a difference is one of the most underutilized resources we have today. Ecovillages are a manifestation of that goodwill: the outcome of citizens living out their principals, lowering their environmental impact, and increasing their sense of belonging and purpose.
Ecovillages are rapidly gaining recognition as demonstrations sites of sustainability in practice and as places of inspiration for the wider society. Ecovillage projects show that it is within human capacity and knowledge to consciously enhance and improve the environments in which we live.
Map of European Ecovillages
Intentional Community: A residential group that comes together for some shared purpose or intention … or develops one.
Ecovillage: (Robert and Dianne Gilman’s original definition, 1991) An intentional community, which is human-scaled, full-featured, harmlessly integrated with nature, supports healthy human development and is sustainable. Today within GEN International we use the following definition: An intentional or traditional community (formed by at least 8 persons) that is consciously designed through locally owned, participatory processes to regenerate social and natural environments. The 4 dimensions of sustainability (ecology, economy, the social and the cultural) are all integrated into a holistic approach.
National Network: A network of ecovillages within one country, such as RIVE - the Italian Ecovillage Network. A National Network should have at least 3 ecovillage members meeting the above mentioned criteria.
Bioregions: A formation of several national networks and/or ecovillages sharing the same bioregion, such as the Iberian Ecovillage Network.