In a world marred by failing economic systems and plights of terrorism, sustainable communities have become an oasis of love in a troubled world. For those living in a sustainable village, it represents a safe haven shared by people who value healthy living, environmental conservation and financial savviness. Often the hallmark of sustainable villages is the emphasis on a sense of community in a world where many feel alone and alienated.
The sense of community does not only spell warmth and belonging, but is also an effective way of dealing with the UK’s housing crisis and promote sustainable living. With only a fraction of housing developments in the major cities meeting the UK’s affordable housing targets, many families are left vulnerable to exorbitant house rentals. No wonder families are opting to move away from crowded urban dwellings and rather explore cohabiting alternatives.
Sustainable villages are described as ecological housing developments with about 5 to 40 households that are each self-sufficient while still having an intimate sense of community. Each housing unit is self-contained with its own sense of privacy, but unlike most urban developments, the residents are usually more socially integrated, and often team up to manage their community facilities, share activities and regularly eat together.
Typically, a sustainable village will have the following features:
Use of Renewable Energy
Most of the energy requirements are sourced from renewable energy, such as solar power, wind, hydropower and wood fuel. This not only reduces dependences on the national energy supplier, but plays a role in financial saving and contributes to generating income by selling excess energy back to the national electric grid.
Water management is a key element of flourishing sustainable villages. It’s common for villages to receive a large portion of its water supply from harvesting rainwater. The village may also design parking lots and roadways in such a way that allows water to be absorbed back into the ground. Typically, wastewater and sewage will be treated on-site.
Maximum Land Usage
Making the most out of that land is key to the success of a sustainable village. Residents will often be involved in the agricultural development of the village by growing fruits and vegetables. In some villages the land can be used for farming and breeding livestock.
Brings People Together
Social integration and personal development is an important feature of sustainable villages. The residents usually socialise around community organised activities, such as sharing meals, sports and recreational activities. This element of lively communities helps enhances care, and support combating the feeling of seclusion often experienced in the cities.
Affordable Housing Solution
Amidst sky-high rental prices, these villages embraces affordable options for cohabiting. In larger developments, residents will likely have private ownership of their home whilst more intimate setups could involve mutual ownership.
Different types of villages may promote particular ways of providing home financing, and may require residents to contribute towards shared facilities. Furthermore, the village drives its own local economy, offering employment opportunities, shopping outlets and possibilities for communal savings.
In conclusion, for families that are striving to live more sustainably and embrace the nobility of community, sustainable villages are an attractive alternative to the fast paced and often isolated urban lifestyle. The cost saving go a long way in the midst of the current economic crisis. But more so, because a home is more than roof over one’s head, but a place of retreat and solace, these villages will continue to rise in popularity due to their oasis of sustainable love.