Ecovillages are a manifestation of conscious human innovation and creativity: groups of people living out their principles, regenerating their environment, and increasing their sense of belonging and purpose as a community.
An ecovillage is an intentional, traditional or urban community that is consciously designed through locally owned, participatory processes in all four areas of regeneration (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 to find out if there’s an ecovillage near you!
…and what isn’t an ecovillage?Each ecovillage is unique and there is no one strict definition of an ecovillage. However, there are some groups that are not ecovillages, including…
- Families living together: family may often feel like community – but the intentional process of ecovillage creation goes beyond the nuclear family.
- Religious groups: an ecovillage might have different religious beliefs, but this is not what defines them as an ecovillage.
- Sects or cults: a cult may have charismatic and unaccountable leadership and be based around coercive practices. In contrast to this, participation and shared leadership are defining elements of ecovillages.
Statement of Tolerance
GEN Europe promotes community life and the four dimensions of sustainability, in line with our vision and mission. Through our membership process, we welcome member ecovillages whose values align with ours.
Our values are important to us. We are aware that there may be organisations or groups of people that interpret parts of our texts, publications, the name and definition of an ecovillage, or our website and use them for the promotion of ideas or actions that are not in line with GEN Europe’s vision, mission and values. These are not members of GEN Europe and not considered part of the network.
We are tolerant of the diversity of viewpoints within our movement; however, we condemn and distance ourselves from any group or individual that (un)intentionally harms, or promotes harm to, other individuals or groups. Examples of initiatives we actively distance ourselves from are:
- Far right and extremist political groups/movements
- Individuals or groups that practice or espouse discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexuality or gender identity
- Individuals or groups that engage in anti-democratic practices