What is an ecovillage?

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.

Ecovillages come in all shapes and sizes, and can be found across the world: from traditional villages using age-old techniques, to modern settlements built with the latest in ecological innovations. Explore our map below to find out if there's an ecovillage near you!

Why ecovillages?

We believe that the good intentions and creativity of human beings are among underutilised resources we have today. Ecovillages are a manifestation of conscious human innovation and creativity: groups of people 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 wider society. Ecovillage projects show that it is entirely possible and practical for us to consciously enhance and improve the environments in which we live.

Map of European Ecovillages

Aspiring members marker

Aspiring members

Full members marker

Full members

Do you have an ecovillage or community project and want to become a part of our network? Please click here


  • 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.