Designing Ecological Habitats is the third volume in the Four Keys to Sustainable Communities series and is an important and eloquent exploration of humanity’s limits to growth, addressing the problems arising from climate change, habitat destruction, population growth, and resource depletion.
This is not a book of theoretical ideas but an anthology of solutions, of experience, tried and tested, from experts all over the world. The designs and practices included in this book present a vision for the future, already tested out in ecovillages, sustainable communities, and projects in many countries. These are practical low-carbon solutions that provide significant improvements in the quality of life.
Designing Ecological Habitats is an anthology of work by writers who have created, built, lived in, and thrived in eco-developments, and addresses green building, food resources, appropriate technology, and restoring nature.
“By understanding the process of creating integrated ecological designs, we also make explicit the process of creating integrated social and economic systems. We reconnect with the true meaning of ecology that comes from the Greek word oikos, meaning ‘home’ or ‘a place to live.’ Humanity’s greatest challenge is to ensure that planet Earth can support human life far into future centuries not only by adapting to climate change but also by mitigating it.”—from the Foreword by Mark Richmond, director, Division of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, UNESCO Education Sector.
The Four Keys represent the four dimensions of sustainable design—the Worldview, the Social, the Ecological, and the Economic. This series is endorsed by UNESCO and is an official contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. The other books of the series are Beyond You and Me, Gaian Economics, and The Song of the Earth. The Four Keys to Sustainable Communities series was completed in 2012 and is now available in the U.S. for the first time.
About the Author
E. Christopher Mare discovered a permaculture design course in 1993 and has been a full-time student ever since. A self-designed BA was the world’s first effort at organizing the emerging discipline of ecovillage design into a formal degree. Two master’s degrees later, he is currently preparing for his doctoral dissertation through Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara. In 2002, Christopher set up an educational nonprofit organization—Village Design Institute—which will one day secure a land base for the establishment of 1) a research, training, and demonstration site, 2) an Academy of Village Design, and 3) a community of contemplative scholars. This project most likely will be called an “ecovillage.”
Max O. Lindegger is a teacher in the disciplines of sustainable systems. His dynamic teaching style is born of thirty years of hands-on experience and leadership in the design and implementation of practical, workable solutions to the challenges of sustainability. Max has taught ecovillage design and permaculture courses in more than twenty-four countries. He was the creator, and for many years a director, of the Oceania/Asia secretariat of the Global Ecovillage Network. As a designer, Max was a primary partner in the design and development of the Habitat Award–winning Crystal Waters Permaculture village in Queensland, Australia. He has designed and consulted on numerous community developments including the Spiers Project (South Africa), Gqunubie Green (South Africa), the Living & Learning Centre (Sri Lanka), Vatukarasa Village (Fiji), the Garopaba Project (Brazil), and Malt Farm (Australia).