Bruns Eco Village - Brunswick Heads

“From the perspective of well-being, the government’s interest in increased consumerism is largely a Ponzi scheme - it promises increased happiness but doesn’t deliver.”

Matthew D. Lieberman, Social: Why our brains are wired to connect


The definition:

“An ecovillage is an intentional or traditional community using local participatory processes to holistically integrate ecological, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of sustainability in order to regenerate social and natural environments.”

Courtesy of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN)

So what does this mean?

An eco village is a tried and tested model that provides a road map to guide those wishing to live in community.

Traditional villages developed organically over decades or centuries and were places where all of life happened in close quarters. You could walk from your home to your work, your school or to the shops. An eco village aims to create a similar environment, while considering the essential elements that a village and its inhabitants need to thrive:

  • Environmental and ecological sustainability – taking care of and tending our land and its wildlife so that it can also continue to take care of us
  • Economic sustainability – creating a vibrant village economy that circulates money through as many hands in the community as possible, and so creating a robust and thriving commercial system
  • Social sustainability – the vulnerable are often the first to be forgotten in the mainstream system. Eco villages are communities that provide a deep sense of belonging to a group, and where people can feel supported by and responsible to others around them.
  • Cultural sustainability – each person has his or her own unique cultural background, associated beliefs and way of looking at the world. Sharing these unique experiences and ways of being in a respectful, inclusive way creates a rich village culture.

The Global Ecovillage Network

The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) is an umbrella organisation for eco villages, transition towns, intentional communities, and ecologically minded people around the world. It is an ever-expanding network of sustainable communities that bring together different cultures, countries, and continents. Network members can be found in the four corners of the world, from Sri Lanka to Italy to Mexico to Australia.

Successful eco villages

Intentional communities are not a new thing. People have come together throughout the ages with a shared vision to create a communal living environment where they could live out the values inspired by that vision.

Co-housing, emerged in Denmark in 1964, offering self-contained private dwellings with shared common facilities. The first eco villages then evolved from the co-housing model in the early 1980s, with an emphasis on an environmentally and socially sustainable lifestyle.


Findhorn - Scotland

Findhorn Planetary Village

Findhorn eco village is one of the best-known eco villages in the world. It is particularly famous for its ecological buildings, organic gardens, and natural sewage treatment systems. Findhorn was founded in 1962 and by the 1970s had become a centre for education and transformation. Findhorn has successfully created a lifestyle that integrates the ecological, economic, cultural, social and spiritual needs of its residents and the wider community. Findhorn has attracted hundreds of people to the area to be a part of this open community and cooperative culture.



Earthaven – North Carolina, USA


Earthaven is an intentional community focused on sustainable living. While being a single community, it is made up of 14 individually distinguished neighbourhood clusters. Residents have built all kinds of natural buildings on its 320 acres, from earthships to cob houses to rustic cabins. They have built their home in a way that eliminates toxic materials, logged timber and mortgages.

The community is open to anyone who wants to learn more about permaculture, organic gardening and other sustainable topics. Earthaven offers camping and accommodation to visitors and runs a live-work scheme for those wanting to experience community life. Members of the community regularly hold natural building workshops.



Cloughjordan Eco Village – Ireland


Cloughjordan in Ireland is home to over 100 residents living in 129 high-performance energy efficient green homes. The village has planted over 20,000 trees in its lifetime and boasts Ireland’s largest renewable energy district heating system. All the homes are constructed according to an ecological charter and the village itself is designed for resilience.



Crystal Waters – QLD, Australia


Crystal Waters, located in the Sunshine Coast hinterland is the world’s first intentional permaculture village. It is also an eco village and sustainable housing development and has been nominated for various awards, including the World Habitat Awards, as well as being included in the UN’s “World's Best Practices" database.

200 people live in the Crystal Waters village on 83 privately-owned one-acre plots, arranged in small clusters. The community is entirely self-funded. The village has a multitude of businesses and food producing gardens and the village centre is zoned for commerce, light industry, tourism and educational activities.

The people of Crystal Waters strive to live in balance with nature and so design and build in accordance with ecological principles.



The Village Development Program is currently underway. However there will be future opportunities to participate and become a resident. Register your interest and we will keep you informed as the project progresses.