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See also Travel

Todo: order and format is a mess, to update and sort. mostly scotland and uk centric so far. contributions welcome.

Some notes on living, covering architectural and social patterns, housing and work collectives and co-ops, and other social ecological considerations.

Further to dreaming; an aim to find like minded folk to organise, dig and build using low-cost and sustainable techniques, to explore and refine living patterns that match traditional and emergent social concerns to built environment, to create somewhere fantastic to live, work, play and grow.

Early inspirations include Homes for Change and Work for Change projects in Hulme, Manchester, and The Forest social centre in Edinburgh, with working group systems and open and progressive philosophies.


See also Organisation#Collaboration / Organisation#Patterns, Politics#Collectivism, Programming#Patterns

Town and Country: Independent regions (1)
 Problem: Metropolitan regions will not come to balance until each one is small and autonomous enough to be an independent region
 Solution: Wherever possible work towards the evolution of independent regions in the world; each with a population between 2 and 10 million; each with its own natural and geographic boundaries; each with its own economy; each one autonomous and self-governing; each with a seat in a world government, without the intervening power of large states or countries.
Town and Country: Regional policies (2)
 Problem: If the population of a region is weighted too far toward small villages, modern civilization can never emerge; but if the population is weighted too far toward big cities, the earth will go to ruin because the population isn't where it needs to be, to take care of it.
 Solution: Encourage a birth and death process for towns within the region, which gradually has these effects:
 1. The population is evenly distributed in terms of different sizes - for example, one town with 1,000,000 people, 10 towns with 100,000 people each, 100 towns with 10,000 people each, and 1,000 towns with 100 people each.
 2. These towns are distributed in space in such a way that within each size category the towns are homogeneously distributed all across the region.
 This process can be implemented by regional zoning policies, land grants, and incentives which encourage industries to locate according to the 
 dictates of the distribution.
  towns of 1,000,000 - 250 miles apart
  towns of 100,000 - 80 miles apart
  towns of 10,000 - 25 miles apart
  towns of 1,000 - 8 miles apart

  • The Structure of Pattern Languages - Abstract. Pattern languages help us to tackle the complexity of a wide variety of systems ranging from computer software, to buildings and cities. Each "pattern" represents a rule governing one working piece of a complex system, and the application of pattern languages can be done systematically. Design that wishes to connect to human beings needs the information contained in a pattern language. This paper describes how to validate existing pattern languages, how to develop them, and how they evolve. The connective geometry of urban interfaces is derived from the architectural patterns of Christopher Alexander.
  • Manifesto 1991 by Christopher Alexander -- excerpts, reading this is strongly recommended for peeragogues, paragogues, makers, leaders.

  • PDF: Pattern Languages for Public Problem-Solving: Cultivating New Seeds for Social Change - The pattern languages perspective for the design and development of the built environment was popularized by Christopher Alexander and his colleagues in the late 1970s. Although many people have adopted the pattern language philosophy and framework in a variety of design / problem domains, there is a small but growing awareness that this orientation could serve a much broader and influential function than it currently does: organizing around and with pattern languages could provide much needed support for addressing complex problems, by supporting direct and indirect distributed collective action with more flexibility and respect for local context. Eleven "seeds" that could help improve our public problem solving capacity with pattern languages are presented. These seeds promote better understanding of our work, enhanced sharing approaches, publicizing the work, and organizing and enhancing our own communitie

  • - an urbanist, architectural theorist, urban philosopher, researcher, educator, and executive director of Sustasis Foundation, based in Portland, Oregon, USA. He is also Senior Research Associate at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and Director of the Future of Places Research Network in Stockholm, Sweden. He is the former Director of Education of The Prince's Foundation for Building Community in London, UK.
  • Announcing a new Pattern Language book - 56 new patterns will address new challenges, including rapid urbanization, declining public space, urban sustainability, new technology, economic tools and strategies, geometric patterns, and more. This draft version will be finalized later in 2019, along with an on-line repository of these and other new patterns, based on Ward Cunningham's new federated wiki. Ward was the inventor of Wiki, and a pioneer of "pattern languages of programming" -- for which he developed the first wiki. His new "federated wiki" has exciting new capabilities which we hope to exploit in the new repository. Ward is a board member of Sustasis Foundation and Sustasis Press.Our goal is to exploit the powerful successes of wikis, pattern languages of programming, and other outgrowths of pattern languages, returning again to the challenges of cities, buildings, and public spaces. We are collaborating with many former students and colleagues of Christopher Alexander, as well as others who have used pattern languages effectively in other domains. We are also working with people in many countries around the world. We want to make a tool that allows people in any part of the world to use, edit, add, revise and develop their own pattern languages for their own projects, contributing at the same time to a growing resource of patterns for others to share.

  • Building the Online Repository - Welcome to one of many exploratory hypertext about the built world. We will excerpt from the Sustasis patterns for growing regions making them the seeds for a web of related work that you will write.

  • - the taxonomic classification of (usually physical) characteristics commonly found in buildings and urban places, according to their association with different categories, such as intensity of development (from natural or rural to highly urban), degrees of formality, and school of thought (for example, modernist or traditional). Individual characteristics form patterns. Patterns relate elements hierarchically across physical scales (from small details to large systems). An emphasis on typology is characteristic of New Urbanism. New Urbanists believe it is important to match the physical development characteristics of a place within the appropriate typology for that place, as determined by local preferences taken in context with urban patterns as evidenced throughout history. Modernists, in keeping with their general disinclination to keep within the constraints of tradition and hierarchies of patterns, are less likely to focus on identifying the correct typology of a site.
  • - encompasses a set of theories and techniques for the analysis of spatial configurations. It was conceived by Bill Hillier, Julienne Hanson and colleagues at The Bartlett, University College London in the late 1970s to early 1980s as a tool to help urban planners simulate the likely social effects of their designs.
  • - or connectivity describes the extent to which urban forms permit (or restrict) movement of people or vehicles in different directions. The terms are often used interchangeably, although differentiated definitions also exist (see below). Permeability is generally considered a positive attribute of an urban design, as it permits ease of movement and avoids severing neighbourhoods. Urban forms which lack permeability, e.g. those severed by arterial roads, or with many long culs-de-sac, are considered to discourage movement on foot and encourage longer journeys by car. There is some empirical research evidence to support this view.

  • - was an American counterculture magazine and product catalog published by Stewart Brand several times a year between 1968 and 1972, and occasionally thereafter, until 1998. The magazine featured essays and articles, but was primarily focused on product reviews. The editorial focus was on self-sufficiency, ecology, alternative education, "do it yourself" (DIY), and holism, and featured the slogan "access to tools". While WEC listed and reviewed a wide range of products (clothing, books, tools, machines, seeds, etc.), it did not sell any of the products directly. Instead, the vendor's contact information was listed alongside the item and its review. This is why, while not a regularly published periodical, numerous editions and updates were required to keep price and availability information up to date.Steve Jobs compared The Whole Earth Catalog to Internet search engine Google in his June 2005 Stanford University commencement speech. When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation ... It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along. It was idealistic and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.


  • - place-based community is a community of people who are bound together because of where they reside, work, visit or otherwise spend a continuous portion of their time. Such a community can be a neighborhood, town, coffeehouse, workplace, gathering place, public space or any other geographically specific place that a number of people share, have in common or visit frequently. A community offers many appealing features of a broader social relationship: Safety, familiarity, support and loyalties as well as appreciation. Appreciation that is founded on efforts and contribution to the community, rather than the efforts, rank or status of an individual.

  • - a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They typically share responsibilities and resources. Intentional communities include collective households, cohousing communities, ecovillages, communes, survivalist retreats, kibbutzim, ashrams, and housing cooperatives. New members of an intentional community are generally selected by the community's existing membership, rather than by real-estate agents or land owners (if the land is not owned collectively by the community).
  • Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC) is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting cooperative culture. We believe that intentional communities are pioneers in sustainable living, personal and cultural transformation, and peaceful social evolution. “Intentional communities” include ecovillages, cohousing, residential land trusts, income-sharing communes, student co-ops, spiritual communities, and other projects where people live together on the basis of explicit common values.

  • - a field of practices directed toward the creation or enhancement of community among individuals within a regional area (such as a neighborhood) or with a common interest. It is sometimes encompassed under the field of community development.
  • - (the French word appearing in the 12th century from Medieval Latin communia, meaning a large gathering of people sharing a common life; from Latin communis, things held in common) is an intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests, property, possessions, resources, and, in some communes, work and income. In addition to the communal economy, consensus decision-making, non-hierarchical structures and ecological living have become important core principles for many communes.

  • Helen Jarvis: Experiments in Community: Overview - "Since July 2008 I have visited a large number of intentional communities; many of them cohousing schemes, some of them eco-villages, some identified primarily as housing cooperatives, and a smaller number of communes. Small-scale ethnographic studies have been conducted in both urban and accessible rural community settings; in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, and the USA (states of Washington, Oregon and Virginia). The next leg of my journey of international comparison takes me to Australia (Tasmania, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria)."

  • Skye and Lochalsh Council for Voluntary Organisations: Community Toolkit resource - Just getting started or already involved in running a community group or project? The Community Toolkit gives you all the essential information for success.

  • - a lifestyle of self-sufficiency, characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of foodstuffs, and it may or may not also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale. Pursued in different ways around the world — and in different historical eras — homesteading is generally differentiated from rural village or commune living by isolation (either socially or physically) of the homestead. Modern homesteaders often use renewable energy options including solar electricity and wind power and some even invent DIY cars. Many also choose to plant and grow heirloom vegetables and to raise heritage livestock. Homesteading is not defined by where someone lives, such as the city or the country, but by the lifestyle choices they make.

  • - the ownership of means of production by all members of a group for the benefit of all its members. The breadth or narrowness of the group can range from a whole society to a set of coworkers in a particular enterprise (such as one collective farm). In the latter (narrower) sense the term is distinguished from common ownership and the commons, which implies open-access, the holding of assets in common, and the negation of ownership.

  • - a term coined by Harvard Law School professor Yochai Benkler. It describes a new model of socioeconomic production in which large numbers of people work cooperatively (usually over the Internet). Commons-based projects generally have less rigid hierarchical structures than those under more traditional business models. Often—but not always—commons-based projects are designed without a need for financial compensation for contributors. For example, sharing of STL (file format) design files for objects freely on the internet enables anyone with a 3-D printer to digitally replicate (distributed manufacture) the object[2][3] saving the prosumer significant money. The term is often used interchangeably with the term social production.


See also Organising#Collaboration - for facilitation and consensus

  • YouTube: Co-Operative Education - playlist, a co-production of Co-operatives Victoria, the SouthEast Housing Co-operative Ltd and the UK Co-operative College. One of a series of films about Co-operation in Practice presented by the Principal and Chief Executive of the UK Co-operative College, Mervyn Wilson. Filmed by Trade Creative.

  • International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) - a non-profit international association established in 1895 to advance the co-operative social enterprise model. The Alliance provides a global voice and forum for knowledge, expertise and coordinated action for and about co-operatives. The Alliance is the apex organisation for co-operatives worldwide, representing 272 co-operative federations and organisations across 100 countries (figures of January 2014). Operating from a global office in Brussels, Belgium, the Alliance is organised with four Regional Offices (Europe, Africa, Americas, and Asia-Pacific), and eight Sectoral Organisations (Banking, Agriculture, Fisheries, Insurance, Health, Housing, Consumer Co-operatives, and Worker Co-operatives).

  • Co‑operatives UK - The network for Britain's thousands of co-operatives, Co‑operatives UK works to promote, develop and unite member-owned businesses worth £36 billion to the economy.
    • The Hive - a business support programme from Co-operatives UK and The Co-operative Bank, for people wanting to start or grow co-operative or community enterprises. Our mix of online resources, advice and training can help you build a better co-operative business.
  • Cultivate.Coop - an online hub for pooling knowledge and resources on cooperatives. It is a space to collect free information for those interested in cooperatives and where people can build useful educational tools for the co-op community.

  • Co-op News - Connecting, championing and challenging co-operatives

  • Radical Routes - a network of housing and worker co-ops and Social centres whose members are actively working for social change in the UK

  • CDS Co-operatives - the largest co-operative housing service agency in England dedicated to promoting, developing, and servicing housing co-operatives controlled by the people who live in them.
  • CASE - delivers capacity building, advice, training and support to people wanting to set up co-operatives and social enterprises in Leicester, Leicestershire and the East Midlands.

  • Community Shares refers to the sale of shares in enterprises serving a community purpose. This type of investment has been used to finance shops, pubs, community buildings, renewable energy initiatives, local food schemes, along with a host of other community based ventures.
  • PDF: ÉLAN - Equity-Linked Affinity Network. Interpersonal Process, Financial Structures and Legal Designs for Landed, Spirited, Joyous Urban Community. Allen ButcherJune, 2005


  • - a type of intentional community composed of private homes supplemented by shared facilities. The community is planned, owned and managed by the residents – who also share activities which may include cooking, dining, child care, gardening, and governance of the community. Common facilities may include a kitchen, dining room, laundry, child care facilities, offices, internet access, guest rooms, and recreational features.
  • The UK Cohousing Network is the UK’s umbrella organisation for established and forming cohousing groups. The Network was established following the UK’s first Cohousing conference held in Lancaster in 2007. The aims of the Network are to; Develop as a resource point for new and forming cohousing groups, Provide an advice point for planners, registered social landlords, and other professionals, Seek ways of making cohousing as financially accessible as possible, Develop and maintain the cohousing website

Promote & signpost workshops for individuals and forming cohousing groups, Promote cohousing via the media, Raise awareness of cohousing, Undertake lobbying & policy development with government ministers and alongside other housing professionals

"... The article describes several attempts, mostly in New York, to commodify the group living experience, in one case by a single landlord but in others by corporations. The whole thing strikes me as a quixotic recuperative attempt by capitalism.

"The whole idea presented in this article reminds me of a management handbook I once read. It began by explaining how study after study and anecdote after anecdote showed that morale was better, productivity was higher, absenteeism was rarer, and creativity and effort flowed in abundance when workers on a project felt like equal partners, felt like they had real agency and freedom, basically when they felt empowered. It then went on to suggest ways to trick your employees into thinking they were equal empowered partners without actually changing any of the fundamental power dynamics in the corporation.

"The idea of a cooperative community of equals is an incomprehensible absurdity to capitalism because it exists outside of the profit-seeking and individualist paradigm. There is no way to understand it within those paradigms. To attempt to privatize, systematize, and commodify such a thing is to destroy it. They are doomed."


  • - a style of work that involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is also the social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with like-minded talented people in the same space.

Office and workshop spaces available for hire by resident and local entrepreneurs wishing to run a cooperative business. Public market style fronts for some, shared and private spaces also on offer.


See also Organising#Collaboration, Politics#Collectivism, social ecology/communalism

  • - encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally, meaning in this case not artificial. The term is most often applied to the Earth or some parts of Earth. This environment encompasses the interaction of all living species, climate, weather, and natural resources that affect human survival and economic activity.
  • - refers to the human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from buildings and parks or green space to neighborhoods and cities that can often include their supporting infrastructure, such as water supply, or energy networks. The built environment is a material, spatial and cultural product of human labor that combines physical elements and energy in forms for living, working and playing. It has been defined as “the human-made space in which people live, work, and recreate on a day-to-day basis”.
  • - refers to the immediate physical and social setting in which people live or in which something happens or develops. It includes the culture that the individual was educated or lives in, and the people and institutions with whom they interact.
  • - a community of people who are bound together because of where they reside, work, visit or otherwise spend a continuous portion of their time. Such a community can be a neighborhood, town, coffeehouse, workplace, gathering place, public space or any other geographically specific place that a number of people share, have in common or visit frequently.

  • - a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people's health, happiness, and well being. It is political due to the nature of place identity. Placemaking is both a process and a philosophy.
  • The Community Knows Best
  • Places, Not Designs
  • Placemaking is a Group Effort
  • Make and Act on Observations
  • Requires a Vision
  • Requires Patience
  • Triangulate
  • Ignore Naysayers
  • Form Supports Function
  • Money Should Not Be an Issue
  • Placemaking is an Ongoing Process

  • Appropedia is for collaborative solutions in sustainability, appropriate technology and poverty reduction.

  • Place Standard - How Good Is Our Place? The Place Standard tool is a way of assessing places. Whether the place is well-established, undergoing change, or is still being planned, the tool can help you.
    • Health Scotland: The Place Standard - tool providing a simple framework to structure conversations about place and community. Its questionnaire format allows you to think about and assess. The physical environment - the buildings, streets, public spaces and natural spaces that make up a place. The social environment - the relationships, social contact and support networks that make up a community. The tool is available online and can be downloaded to print out.
  • moving around
  • public transport
  • traffic and parking
  • streets and spaces
  • natural space
  • play and recreation
  • facilities and amenities
  • work and local economy
  • housing and community
  • social interaction
  • identity and belonging
  • feeling safe
  • care and maintenance
  • influence and sense of control.

Land management

  • - There are two distinct definitions of a land trust: a private, nonprofit organization that, as all or part of its mission, actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land or conservation easement acquisition, or by its stewardship of such land or easements; or an agreement whereby one party (the trustee) agrees to hold ownership of a piece of real property for the benefit of another party (the beneficiary).
  • - is a nonprofit corporation that develops and stewards affordable housing, community gardens, civic buildings, commercial spaces and other community assets on behalf of a community. “CLTs” balance the needs of individuals to access land and maintain security of tenure with a community’s need to maintain affordability, economic diversity and local access to essential services.

"What is a CLT? A Community Land Trust is a mechanism for the democratic ownership of land by the local community. Land is taken out of the market and separated from its productive use so that the impact of land appreciation is removed,therefore enabling long-term affordable and sustainable local development. The value of public investment, philanthropic gifts, charitable endowments, legacies or development gain is thus captured in perpetuity, underpinning the sustainable development of a defined locality or community. Through CLTs, local residents and businesses participate in and take responsibility for planning and delivering redevelopment schemes.

What do CLTs do? Activities include:

  1. Developing affordable housing to rent or buy for members of thecommunity;
  2. Enabling residents on lower incomes to acquire an economicinterest in the success of their community;
  3. Developing land for affordable workspace and retail units;
  4. Providing and maintaining community facilities for social and publicservices;
  5. Managing green spaces, conservation areas and providingaccessfor new entrants to farming;
  6. Promoting resident involvement, local democracy and activecitizenship.

"CLTs allow for local people to democratically ‘manage the commons’. Compared to private and public ownership of land, ‘commons land’ and ‘waste land’ in the UK is under 8 per cent. Its extension and prudent management is possible through CLTs."

  • Community Land Scotland was established in 2010 as a response to the need for a collective voice for community landowners in Scotland. It is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status. Our current membership includes Scottish community landowners – owning and managing approx. 500,000 acres between them – and aspiring community landowners of varying shapes and sizes throughout Scotland. We represent these existing and aspiring community landowners to reflect their views in promoting changes to legislation to empower communities, while acting as a point of contact for any communities in Scotland who wish to find out more about community land ownership.
  • The National CLT Network promotes and supports the work of CLTs and its Members across England and Wales. The National CLT Network is the official charity for Community Land Trusts in England and Wales. We work to provide resources, training and advice for CLTs, and advocate on behalf of the CLT movement to Government, local authorities, funders, lenders and others to create the right conditions for CLTs to grow and flourish.

  • Highland Perthshire Communities Land Trust - HPCLT, was formed in 2002 and in May that year announced the successful purchase of Dùn Coillich. Dùn Coillich is approximately 1,100 acres of hill ground situated between the Tay and Tummel straths, east of Schiehallion, about six miles north-west of Aberfeldy, in Highland Perthshire, Scotland. See location and directions. The purchase of Dùn Coillich represents the first ever successful community land purchase in the Perthshire Highlands. The purchase was made possible entirely by generous contributions, both large and small, from the community. The local community has now undertaken to manage this land for the benefit of all in Highland Perthshire and beyond. With this initiative, interested communities and groups are coming together and working in partnership, creating a resource that will help improve the quality of life - educationally, environmentally, socially and economically. As a result of this community venture, Dùn Coillich now belongs to everyone in the area.
  • Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust - HSCHT aim to provide information about our services, our projects both new and old, and our plots and houses available to buy or rent. The site will be growing over the next while, incorporating a lot of new content. Be sure to keep coming back to see what HSCHT is working on, and how we can possibly help you or your community.

  • Community Right to Buy - allows communities throughout Scotland to apply to register an interest in land and the opportunity to buy that land when it comes up for sale. The guidance book contains information on how to form a Community Body compliant with the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and how to apply to register your interest. Please also see our webpage Forming a Community Body where you will find our model templates and further guidance.

  • The Land Is Ours - TLIO campaigns peacefully for access to the land, its resources, and the decision-making processes affecting them, for everyone, irrespective of race, gender or age.

Development trust

  • Development Trust reviews - ​Education Scotland, in partnership with Development Trust Association Scotland (DTAS), undertook three reviews of Development Trusts in early 2016. Development Trusts are community owned and led organisations that deliver services to local communities across Scotland. There are over 400 Development Trusts in existence.

  • DTA Scotland - established in 2003 following feasibility work carried out by Senscot and the Association of Small Towns in Scotland (ASTIS), and with the support of the DTA. (now Locality). DTA Scotland's vision is to have a successful development trust in every community that wants one. To achieve this DTA Scotland will address itself to four key areas of activity: Encouraging the growth of new development trusts, Support and strengthening established development trusts, Promoting and representing the interests of development trusts, Reflecting the democratic wishes and aspirations of our membership and running our own organisation efficiently and transparently.

  • Locality - a national network of inspiring, ambitious and dedicated community-led organisations and associate members. View the interactive map. Locality, the trading name of Locality (UK), was formed in April 2011 by the merger of bassac and the Development Trusts Association, two leading networks of community owned and led organisations.
  • Community Ownership Support Service - COSS, has been funded by the Scottish Government to support community based groups in Scotland take a stake in or ownership of previously publicly owned land or buildings. This adviser based service is being delivered Scotland wide and aims to provide individual community groups and public bodies with a bespoke support service. It is likely that our support will include a combination of - Expert advice on all aspects of asset transfer, Training courses on the asset transfer and asset development process, Sign-posting to other support agencies, Web access to information on good practice, toolkits and case studies. Communities will also be able to link into the Development Trusts Association Scotland’s wider network to explore the wide range of business models being adopted by other communities throughout Scotland and across the UK.

  • Scottish Community Alliance - leading the campaign for a strong and independent community sector in Scotland. It was initiated in Jan 2007 by an informal coalition of four national networks: Development Trust Association Scotland, Community Woodlands Association, Community Recycling Network Scotland and Senscot. When this informal gathering of networks came together we used the 'wrapper' of Local People Leading to give us a collective identity. Each of these organisations serves community based memberships and together they share a vision of an empowered and independent community sector. Since 2007, Local People Leading was joined by more and more networks with community based memberships. Towards the end of 2010, these networks agreed to formalise this loose arrangement by adopting a constitution and renaming itself - The Scottish Community Alliance.

  • LAR Housing Trust - Our aim is to provide quality homes at affordable rents. Over the next five years we will work in partnership with house-builders and developers to create 1,000 new homes across Scotland.

  • Scottish Community Development Centre - SCDC supports best practice in community development and is recognised by the Scottish Government as the national lead body for community development. The organisation works across sectors and with a wide range of professions to support community engagement and community capacity building in any context and at strategic and practice level.


  • Scottish Crofting Federation is the only member-led organisation dedicated to promoting crofting and it is the largest association of small scale food producers in the UK. Our mission is to safeguard and promote the rights, livelihoods and culture of crofters and their communities.


"A hut: A simple building used intermittently as recreational accommodation (i.e. not a principal residence); having an internal floor area of no more than 30m2; constructed from low impact materials; generally not connected to mains water, electricity or sewerage; and built in such a way that it is removable with little or no trace at the end of its life. Huts may be built singly or in groups." From the glossary of Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) 2014

"The Scottish Executive’s report on ‘Huts’ and ‘Hutters’ in Scotland,11 published in 1999, excluded ‘fishing huts, climbing huts, bothies etc. since they seem to fall into a different category of use.’ At the 2014 Hutters’ Gathering there was general consensus that other buildings and structures which should not be considered as huts include shipping containers, caravans, portacabins, and buildings made of materials with high ecological and visual impact, such as breeze blocks. Huts (within the SPP definition) should also not be confused with holiday chalets (like those often seen on caravan parks), which share some physical similarities with huts but tend to be used solely as holiday lets and are often fully serviced."


See also Politics

  • Community Planning in Scotland - "Community Planning is … a process ... whereby public services in the area of the local authority are planned and provided after consultation and (on-going) co-operation … among all public bodies ... and with community bodies" -Local Government in Scotland Act 2003
  • Creating Places is the Scottish Government's policy statement on architecture and place. This website is an important element of the policy and it is designed to be a resource for everyone with an interest in the built and natural environment. The site contains resources from across Scotland and beyond, intended to stimulate discussion, share good practice and inspire excellence. We are interested in sharing a wide range of knowledge and lessons and this site will be updated regularly to help develop a comprehensive resource on built and natural environment issues.

  • Self Build Guide for Scotland - This guide is for anyone who is thinking of getting involved in 'self build', but has never built their own home before. We use the term ' self build' in this guide to cover anyone not buying their home second-hand or from a housebuilder in the standard way. But in most cases taking on a self build does not mean you have to do all, or even any, of the building work yourself so you do not have to have construction skills in order to self build. The process for most self builders can be more accurately described as procuring your own home because the household is involved in the design of their home and engaging contractors, but if they employ someone to project manage the build themselves then they may not need to have much involvement in the build project.



  • - an SI accepted metric system unit of area equal to 100 ares (10,000 m2). An acre is about 0.405 hectare and one hectare contains about 2.47 acres.

  • - the name given to the element of Scotland's system of town and country planning, through which national government, local government and national park authorities (the 'Planning Authority') regulate land-use and development. In its simplest form, development management constitutes the assessing and determining of applications for planning permission; however on a more strategic level, it is involved in the spatial planning and development of communities and land. At present, it relies on a "plan-led system", whereby Development Plans (formerly Structure and Local but Strategic Development Plans and Local Development Plans inder the 2006 Act) are formed following public consultation. Planning applications are then granted or refused with reference to the Development Plan as a material consideration.
  • - an aspect of town and country planning in the United Kingdom comprising a set of documents that set out the local authority's policies and proposals for the development and use of land in their area. The development plan guides and shapes day-to-day decisions as to whether or not planning permission should be granted, under the system known as development control or development management in Scotland. In order to ensure that these decisions are rational and consistent, they must be considered against the development plan adopted by the authority, after public consultation and having proper regard for other material factors.


Various possibilities for this. Grants and loans are also available from certain organisations.

  • - There are many uses of the term "Equity Sharing" in the UK. Often applied to different forms of Low Cost Home Ownership schemes. These include equity loans, sometimes referred to as Equity Sharing Loans and some forms of Shared Ownership (part buy/part let) leasehold schemes being referred to as an Equity Sharing Lease. Some local authorities may also refer to resale price restrictions under planning documentation as being Equity Sharing arrangements.

  • - "The Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP) is a Government programme in the United Kingdom administered by BERR (formerly the DTI). It offers grants towards the cost of installing domestic microgeneration technologies and larger scale distributed generation installations for public buildings and businesses, provided energy conservation standards are also met."

  • rootstock? Arts groups for arts areas (gallery, theatre, etc)?

  • Responsible Finance - the new name of the Community Development Finance Association (CDFA). We are the voice of the Responsible Finance industry. We support a strong network of responsible finance providers who are increasing access to fair finance across the UK. At our heart is the idea of bringing social and economic benefits to people, places and businesses.
  • Finding Finance - a service provided by Responsible Finance. If you are looking for a simple, affordable loan and the bank can’t help, try a responsible lender.

The term 'community shares' refers to withdrawable share capital; a form of share capital unique to co-operative and community benefit society legislation. This type of share capital can only be issued by co-operative societies, community benefit societies and charitable community benefit societies.

  • Community Shares Directory - contains all the key information for enterprises considering or launching a community share offer, along with data on their ongoing financial performance after completing their offer.


  • Use of patterns, permaculture, social ecology, open architecture.
  • Close proximity to public transport routes.
  • Social centre, shared community spaces and facility.
  • Communal support, education, DIY, tech, arts and crafts.
  • Focus on sustainable uses of resources and energy.

  • - sub-discipline of systems engineering that emphasizes dependability in the lifecycle management of a product. Dependability, or reliability, describes the ability of a system or component to function under stated conditions for a specified period of time.


  • - an ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular species of animal, plant, or other type of organism. The term typically refers to the zone in which the organism lives and where it can find food, shelter, protection and mates for reproduction. It is the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the physical environment that surrounds a species population. Habitat types include polar, temperate, subtropical and tropical. The terrestrial vegetation type may be forest, steppe, grassland, semi-arid or desert. Fresh water habitats include marshes, streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and estuaries, and marine habitats include salt marshes, the coast, the intertidal zone, reefs, bays, the open sea, the sea bed, deep water and submarine vents.

  • Rural Housing Scotland - helps rural communities to take practical action to address local housing needs and build sustainable rural communities. We provide expert support to communities from initial feasibility – helping communities identify the need and develop a solution – through to the construction of affordable homes. We help communities secure affordable housing through community trusts and to work in partnership with government, landowners, and housing associations to deliver more affordable housing options.

  • Land for Sale in Scotland - UK Land Directory was launched in September 2002. The web site developed at an astonishing rate and soon became bigger than anyone had initially expected. Through word of mouth and the online community, UK Land Directory was soon attracting interest from estate agents, land agents, land developers, land investors, private purchasers and self builders from all over the UK. Using its affiliate network, UK Land Directory was one of the first web sites to offer private land sellers and estate agents an opportunity to advertise their land on the Internet at no cost.

  • H&H Land & Property - one of the North's leading Chartered Surveyors, Agricultural Land Agents and Valuers across the North of England and Southern Scotland.

  • Abandoned Villages in Spain - project started in 2007 with the idea of ​​uploading updated information on the thousands of abandoned or repopulated towns in Spain.
  • EcoProperty Canada - listings of eco-friendly homes, farms and properties, for sale or rent. From eco-homes, to organic farms, green businesses, nature retreats...


See also Architecture

  • - a movement (and its manifestations) encompassing technological choice and application that is small-scale, decentralized, labor-intensive, energy-efficient, environmentally sound, and locally autonomous.[1] It was originally articulated as intermediate technology by the economist Dr. Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher in his work Small is Beautiful. Both Schumacher and many modern-day proponents of appropriate technology also emphasize the technology as people-centered.[2]

Appropriate technology has been used to address issues in a wide range of fields. Well-known examples of appropriate technology applications include: bike- and hand-powered water pumps (and other self-powered equipment), the universal nut sheller, self-contained solar lamps and streetlights, and passive solar building designs. Today appropriate technology is often developed using open source principles, which have led to open-source appropriate technology (OSAT) and thus many of the plans of the technology can be freely found on the Internet.[3][4] OSAT has been proposed as a new model of enabling innovation for sustainable development.

  • - appropriate technology designed in the same fashion as free and open-source software. OSAT refers to, on the one hand, technology designed with special consideration to the environmental, ethical, cultural, social, political, and economic aspects of the community it is intended for. On the other hand, OSAT is developed in the open and licensed in such a way as to allow their designs to be used, modified and distributed freely.

  • - a building designed to be operated independently from infrastructural support services such as the electric power grid, gas grid, municipal water systems, sewage treatment systems, storm drains, communication services, and in some cases, public roads.


  • - refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities, and people with disabilities

  • Each building including stairs and ramp access to all levels for accessibility.

  • Dementia Villages - The Concept: Around the common and familiar building blocks lifestyles are built from a social approach. Look at day to day life and create conditions for the residents so that they are challenged by recognizable incentives to remain active in daily, precious life. In the nursing home groups residents with shared interests and backgrounds live together in a lifestyle-group. The design and decoration of the homes and surroundings is tailored to the lifestyles.
  • Communities for All Ages - a national initiative that helps communities address critical issues from a multi-generational perspective and promote the well-being of all age groups.

Open architecture

R. Binnekamp, "Open Design, a Stakeholder-oriented Approach in Architecture, Urban Planning, and Project Management, Vol. 1"

  • "The Open Architecture Network is an online, open source community dedicated to improving living conditions through innovative and sustainable design. Here designers of all persuasions can: Share their ideas, designs and plans, View and review designs posted by others, Collaborate with each other, people in other professions and community leaders to address specific design challenges, Manage design projects from concept to implementation, Communicate easily amongst team members, Protect their intellectual property rights using the Creative Commons "some rights reserved" licensing system and be shielded from unwarranted liability, Build a more sustainable future."

  • domus: Open Source Architecture (OSArc) - A proposition for a different approach to designing space to succeed the single-author model includes tools from disparate sources to create new paradigms for thinking and building.

  • Urban Versioning System 1.0 - a pamphlet written in the form of a quasi-license by Matthew Fuller and Usman Haque, published by the Architectural League of New York as part of the Situated Technologies Pamphlet Series edited by Omar Khan, Trebor Scholz and Mark Shepard on what lessons can architecture learn from software development, and more specifically, from the Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) movement.

  • Ross Chapin Architects - Plans - a collection of small cottage plans, cabin plans, small house plans, garages, live-aboves, toolsheds, and commons buildings


See also Materials

  • Alnet (Pty) Ltd - established in 1963 and is proud to be a South African manufacturer who operates in diverse markets. Alnet has become one of the largest manufacturers of synthetic textiles, netting and cordage, providing a wide range of products tailor-made for the Retail, Building & Construction, Fishing, Aquaculture, Agricultural and Industrial sectors.


See also Making





  • Shelter Systems offers a wide range of lightweight, portable, and waterproof yurts, domes, tents, and shelters with a wide range of uses, including: family living spaces, guest rooms and temporary housing, disaster relief shelters, art studios and art installations, circus, fair and exhibition pavilions, camping and expeditions tents, archeological excavation coverings, research tents, ski huts, party and wedding pavilions, storage, bike, and car sheds, pool and jacuzzi covers, and more. Shelter Systems makes all of its structures with a superstrong, tough, UV-resistant, ripstop fabric and its own non-puncturing tarp fastener, the Grip Clip.





Tiny houses, etc.

  • $300 House was first described in a Harvard Business Review blog post by Vijay Govindarajan and Christian Sarkar. Initially, we just wanted to put the concept out there, but now, due to the tremendous response, we've decided to see how far we can go toward making this idea a reality.
  • Hermit Houses - a unique building method and software package that allows us to design small houses in numerous varieties and quickly make them into reality. With this 'mass-customization' way of producing we can suit local constraints and serve the specific needs of clients without a lot of extra costs.

  • Cabin Porn - Inspiration for your quiet place somewhere.

Earth house


  • YouTube: Earthships: self-sustaining homes for a post-apocalyptic US? - The Greater World Earthship Community, about 70 passive solar homes built from earth and trash on 633 acres, had a rough start; they were shut down as an illegal subdivision in 1997 and it took them 7 years to come to compliance. Though today, the county fully cooperates with Reynolds and his Earthship Biotecture operation to turn trash (tires, cans, glass bottles) into shelters and has even given them 2 acres to experiment with housing in anyway they like (they also provide their recycling). n this video, Tom takes us on a tour of his home, his original “Earthship survival pod”, the “nest” ($50,000 studio apartment), the “Simple Survival Earthship” (aimed mainly at the developing world), a custom home designed to feed a family of four (including a tilapia pond in the greenhouse) and the “BMW of Earthships”, the “Global" (aimed at the typical American family).


Shipping container

3D printed

Spaces and resources

  • - in real estate or real property law, the "area which is available for use by more than one person..." The common areas are those that are available for common use by all tenants, (or) groups of tenants and their invitees. [2] [3] In Texas and other parts of the United States, it is "An area inside a housing development that is owned by all residents or by an overall management structure which charges each tenant for maintenance and upkeep.


  • Housing / homes
    • Bunk house
    • Camping
    • Treehouse
    • Live-in vehicle
    • Temporary shelters
    • Legal build
  • Gardens! Etc.
  • Deaf people near party people


  • Social kitchens

Utility space

  • Washing
  • Drying

Social areas

  • - the social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home ("first place") and the office ("second place"). Examples of third places would be environments such as cafes, clubs, public libraries, or parks. In his influential book The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg (1989, 1991) argues that third places are important for civil society, democracy, civic engagement, and establishing feelings of a sense of place.

  • Chill

  • Music spaces
    • Performance
    • Practice

Free shop

Leave what you don't want and you'll think someone might want.

Meeting spaces

Somewhere to fit a lot of people for comfortable chats, planning and such.


See also Learning

  • - also known as scholars' commons, information commons or digital commons, are learning spaces, similar to libraries and classrooms that share space for information technology, remote or online education, tutoring, collaboration, content creation, meetings and reading or study. Learning commons are increasingly popular in academic and research libraries, and some public and school libraries have now adopted the model. Architecture, furnishings and physical organization are particularly important to the character of a learning commons, as spaces are often designed to be rearranged by users according to their needs. Learning commons may also have tools, equipment, makerspaces, and/or publishing services available for borrowing or use. Along with the so-called "bookstore model," which is focused on customer service, bookless or digital libraries, the learning commons or digital commons is frequently cited as a model for the "library of the future."


  • Radical Librarians Collective - aims to offer a space to challenge, to provoke, to improve and develop the communications between like-minded radicals, to galvanise our collective solidarity against the marketisation of libraries and the removal of our agency to our working worlds and beyond.

  • - an area and/or service that offers library patrons an opportunity to create intellectual and physical materials using resources such as computers, 3-D printers, audio and video capture and editing tools, and traditional arts and crafts supplies. In the field of library science, makerspaces are classified as a type of library service offered by librarians to patrons.


See also Making

Spaces for crafting fabrics, wood, metal, etc.

  • - a contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture that intersects with hacker culture (which is less concerned with physical objects as it focuses on software) and revels in the creation of new devices as well as tinkering with existing ones. The maker culture in general supports open-source hardware. Typical interests enjoyed by the maker culture include engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronics, robotics, 3-D printing, and the use of Computer Numeric Control tools, as well as more traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking, and, mainly, its predecessor, the traditional arts and crafts. The subculture stresses a cut-and-paste approach to standardized hobbyist technologies, and encourages cookbook re-use of designs published on websites and maker-oriented publications. There is a strong focus on using and learning practical skills and applying them to reference designs.

  • - a room, rooms or building which provides both the area and tools (or machinery) that may be required for the manufacture or repair of manufactured goods. Workshops were the only places of production until the advent of industrialization and the development of larger factories. In the 20th and 21st century, many Western homes contain a workshop in the garage, basement, or an external shed. Home workshops typically contain a workbench, hand tools, power tools and other hardware. Along with their practical applications for repair goods or do small manufacturing runs, workshops are used to tinker and make prototypes.

  • - allow patrons to check out or borrow tools, equipment and "how-to" instructional materials, functioning either as a rental shop, with a charge for borrowing the tools, or more commonly free of charge as a form of community sharing.[1] A tool library performs the following main tasks: Lending: all kinds of tools for use in volunteer projects, facility maintenance and improvement projects, community improvement events, and special events. Advocacy: for the complete and timely return of all borrowed tools, to guarantee the long-term sustainability of available inventory. Staff also seeks compensation for lost tools and tools returned late. Maintenance: performing routine maintenance and repairs on all equipment to ensure good condition and to extend the lifespan of the inventory. This function is typically performed by volunteers and community service workers.
  • Edinburgh Tool Library - the UK’s first tool library, promoting sharing as a way of reducing our environmental impact. We lend our members tools for DIY, gardening, decorating and machine repair, so that they don’t need to own them. Not only does this collaborative approach make sense environmentally, it also helps our members financially. The average power drill is used a total of 13 minutes in it’s lifetime – we don’t all need to own one. The average UK household spends £110 a year on tools (Office of National Statistics, 2014) – annual membership to the tool library costs £20 (or less if you’re skint!). Being a member of ETL gives you access to over 500 tools without the need to store them, maintain them, or buy them in the first place
  • Local Tools - software to make it easy to setup and manage rental shops, tool libraries, as well as, lending libraries for tools, kitchen goods, sporting goods, or just about anything. You can manage inventory and members using a web-based system. Create community, save time, and help provide access to the things people need.
  • Library of Things - a community business, we make accessing Things more affordable, less wasteful and more friendly. We have a large wish list of items that members want us to stock. We'd love to work with forward-thinking companies who want to get involved in their community.

  • - also referred to as a hacklab or hackspace) is a community-operated, often "Not For Profit" (501(c)(3) in the United States), work space where people with common interests, often in computers, machining, technology, science, digital art or electronic art, can meet, socialize and collaborate. Hackerspaces are comparable to other community-operated spaces with similar aims and mechanisms such as Fab Lab, men's sheds, and commercial "for-profit" companies such as TechShop.
  • Wiki - Hackerspaces are community-operated physical places, where people can meet and work on their projects. This website is for Anyone and Everyone who wants to share their hackerspace stories and questions with the global hackerspaces community.

  • Hive13 - a place in Cincinnati to learn, work, teach, and collaborate on technologies, art, music, and community.

  • - a small-scale workshop offering (personal) digital fabrication. A fab lab is generally equipped with an array of flexible computer-controlled tools that cover several different length scales and various materials, with the aim to make "almost anything". This includes technology-enabled products generally perceived as limited to mass production. The fab lab movement is closely aligned with the DIY, the open source hardware and the free and open source movement, and shares philosophy as also technology with them.

  •é - a meeting in which people repair household electrical and mechanical devices, computers, bicycles, clothing, etc. They are organised by and for local residents. Repair cafés are held at a fixed location where tools are available and where they can fix their broken goods with the help of volunteers.

  • The Forge - a pop-up community maker space in Edinburgh. Based in renovated shipping containers, it's a place where people can come together to build, design, fix and learn. In a time when many people feel increasingly confused by the pace of technological change, the Forge exists to help us re-engage with how the things around us are made.

Woodworking. CNC. Etc.


Forge for metalwork

3D printing

Cycle share / repair

  • - "bike co-op", bicycle kitchen, bicycle collective, or community bike shop is an assisted-service bicycle repair shop. Bike co-ops assist individuals who are in need of bike repair and maintenance. They often sell new and used bike parts as well as refurbished bikes, and offer formal bike repair and bike assembly classes. Visitors can learn repair skills both for breakdowns on the road and for home repairs. Staff, volunteers, and instructors are generally available to assist.


  • Office space


See also Horticulture


  • Storage


  • Alt milk


See #Energy 2

  • Coppice


  • Location for;
    • Wind
    • Water


  • OpenStructures (OS) project initiates a construction system where everyone designs for everyone. It is an ongoing experiment that wants to find out what happens if people design objects according to a shared modular grid, a common open standard that stimulates the exchange of parts, components, experiences and ideas and aspires to build things together.

  • Grid Beam - Open source building system in wood and metal for creating a post carbon future.



  • Informal security pattern - block inward facing green area. See Homes for Change.

Reuse and recycling

to resort


  • - the conversion of sunlight into heat for water heating using a solar thermal collector. A variety of configurations are available at varying cost to provide solutions in different climates and latitudes. SWHs are widely used for residential and some industrial applications. A sun-facing collector heats a working fluid that passes into a storage system for later use. SWH are active (pumped) and passive (convection-driven). They use water only, or both water and a working fluid. They are heated directly or via light-concentrating mirrors. They operate independently or as hybrids with electric or gas heaters. In large-scale installations, mirrors may concentrate sunlight into a smaller collector.

  • - a type of solar thermal collector that is straight in one dimension and curved as a parabola in the other two, lined with a polished metal mirror. The sunlight which enters the mirror parallel to its plane of symmetry is focused along the focal line, where objects are positioned that are intended to be heated. For example, food may be placed at the focal line of a trough, which causes the food to be cooked when the trough is aimed so the Sun is in its plane of symmetry. Further information on the use of parabolic troughs for cooking can be found in the article about solar cookers.

For other purposes, there is often a tube, frequently a Dewar tube, which runs the length of the trough at its focal line. The mirror is oriented so that sunlight which it reflects is concentrated on the tube, which contains a fluid which is heated to a high temperature by the energy of the sunlight. The hot fluid can be used for many purposes. Often, it is piped to a heat engine, which uses the heat energy to drive machinery or to generate electricity. This solar energy collector is the most common and best known type of parabolic trough. The paragraphs below therefore concentrate on this type.


  • - wastewater generated from wash hand basins, showers and baths, which can be recycled on-site for uses such as toilet flushing, landscape irrigation and constructed wetlands. Greywater often includes discharge from laundry, dishwashers and kitchen sinks.
  • Showerloop - a shower that collects, cleans and reuses the water in real time while you are showering.

to sort

  • - IBC tote or pallet tank, is a reusable industrial container designed for the transport and storage of bulk liquid and granulate substances (e.g. chemicals, food ingredients, solvents, pharmaceuticals, etc.). Intermediate bulk containers are stackable containers mounted on a pallet that are designed to be moved using a forklift or a pallet jack. IBCs have a volume range that is situated between drums and tanks, hence the term "intermediate“. The most common sizes are 1,040 liters or 275 U.S. gallons or 229 imperial gallons and 1,250 liters or 330 U.S. gallons or 275 imperial gallons (the 1040 liter IBCs are often listed as being 1000 liters). Cube shaped IBCs give a particularly good utilization of storage capacity compared to palletized drums - one 275 gallon IBC is equivalent to five 55-US-gallon (208 L; 46 imp gal) drums, and a 330 gallon IBC is equivalent to six 55 gallon drums.
  • - or bulk bag, or big bag, is an industrial container made of flexible fabric that is designed for storing and transporting dry, flowable products, such as sand, fertilizer, and granules of plastic. FIBCs are most often made of thick woven polyethylene or polypropylene, either coated or uncoated, and normally measure around 110 cm or 45-48 inches in diameter and varies in height from 100 cm up to 200 cm or 35 to 80 inches. Its capacity is normally around 1000 kg or 2000 lbs, but the larger units can store even more. A bulk bag designed to transport one metric ton of material, will itself only weigh 5-7 lbs.

  • - a traditional Iranian architectural element to create natural ventilation in buildings. Windcatchers come in various designs: uni-directional, bi-directional, and multi-directional. The devices were used in ancient Iranian architecture. Windcatchers remain present in Iran and can also be found in traditional Persian-influenced architecture throughout the West Asia, including in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

  • Organic Eprints - Welcome to Organic Eprints - an international open access archive for papers and projects related to research in organic food and farming. The archive contains full-text papers in electronic form together with bibliographic information, abstracts and other metadata. It also offers information on organisations, projects and facilities in the context of organic farming research.

Urban homesteading

Internet and computing

  • Community Broadband Scotland - CBS, is a Scottish Government programme led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). CBS has worked with communities who will not benefit from the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) programme to explore their own broadband solutions.

See Distros#Networking, Security#Firewalls

  • - a space which provides computer services to a defined community. Computer labs are typically provided by libraries to the public, by academic institutions to students who attend the institution,[1] or by other institutions to the public or to people affiliated with that institution. Users typically must follow a certain user policy to retain access to the computers.



Farm Hack

Open Source Ecology

  • Open Source Ecology is accelerating the growth of the next economy - the Open Source Economy - an economy that optimizes both production and distribution - while promoting environmental regeneration and social justice. We are building the Global Village Construction Set. This is a high-performance, modular, do-it-yourself, low-cost platform - that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different industrial machines that it takes - to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts.


See also Horticulture

  • - the science and art of growing (plants) – fruits, vegetables, flowers, and any other cultivar. It also includes plant conservation, landscape restoration, soil management, landscape and garden design, construction, and maintenance, and arboriculture. In contrast to agriculture, horticulture does not include large-scale crop production or animal husbandry.
  • - the science and art of growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, or ornamental plants by following the essential principles of organic agriculture in soil building and conservation, pest management, and heirloom variety preservation.

  • - TEK, describes aboriginal, indigenous, or other forms of traditional knowledges regarding sustainability of local resources. TEK has become a field of study in anthropology, and refers to "a cumulative body of knowledge, belief, and practice, evolving by accumulation of TEK and handed down through generations through traditional songs, stories and beliefs. It concerns the relationship of living beings (including human) with their traditional groups and with their environment." Such knowledge is commonly used in natural resource management as a substitute for baseline environmental data to measure changes over time in remote regions that have little recorded scientific data.


  • Organic gardens/farming, permaculture/polyculture, greenhouses.
  • Veg, fruit and herbs produced, optionally produce can be sold.
  • Rain water irrigation.
  • Site-wide composting and recycling scheme.
  • WWOOF, etc. connections.
  • Potential for a managed/wild woodland area depending on area size.

  • Myfood - We believe that sustainable food production and security can be achieved in every backyard. Our 4-step approach Steps by steps, you produce more and more fresh food at home: Restorative Mulching, Permaculture Bed, Smart Greenhouse, Vertical Aquaponics


  • Teagasc: Publications – the Agriculture and Food Development Authority – is the national body providing integrated research, advisory and training services to the agriculture and food industry and rural communities.

  • - a form of agriculture in which a landowner allows a tenant to use the land in return for a share of the crops produced on their portion of land. Sharecropping has a long history and there are a wide range of different situations and types of agreements that have used a form of the system. Some are governed by tradition, and others by law.

  • - farming in sustainable ways based on an understanding of ecosystem services, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. It has been defined as "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term".
  • - describes landscapes that support both agricultural production and biodiversity conservation, working in harmony together to improve the livelihoods of rural communities. While many rural communities have independently practiced eco-agriculture for thousands of years, over the past century many of these landscapes have given way to segregated land use patterns, with some areas employing intensive farming practices without regard to biodiversity impacts, and other areas fenced off completely for habitat or watershed protection. A new eco-agriculture movement is now gaining momentum to unite land managers and other stakeholders from diverse environments to find compatible ways to conserve biodiversity while also enhancing agricultural production.

  • Open Agriculture (OpenAG) Initiative at MIT Media Lab are on a mission to create healthier, more engaging, and more inventive future food systems. We believe the precursor to a healthier and more sustainable food system will be the creation of an open-source ecosystem of food technologies that enable and promote transparency, networked experimentation, education, and hyper-local production. The OpenAG Initiative brings together partners from industry, government, and academia to develop an open source "food tech"​ research collective for the creation of the global agricultural hardware, software, and data commons. Together we will build collaborative tools and open technology platforms for the exploration of future food systems.

  • SPACEPLATES Greenhouse - a greenhouse version of new building system developed by N55 in collaboration with Anne Romme. The SPACEPLATES building system is a result of an ongoing research project into the use of "pure plate structures" The SPACEPLATES building system is a light weight, minimal material, low cost system that enables persons to build any scale of structures shaped as approximated doubly curved surfaces in a statically well defined way customized for living purposes, production purposes etc. The designs of SPACEPLATES are Open Source provided under the rules of Creative Commons as specified here: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

  • - generally refers to seeds that will "breed true". When the plants of an open-pollinated variety self-pollinate, or are pollinated by another representative of the same variety, the resulting seeds will produce plants roughly identical to their parents. This is in contrast to the seeds produced by plants that are the result of a recent cross (such as, but not confined to, an F1 hybrid), which are likely to show a wide variety of differing characteristics. Open-pollinated varieties are also often referred to as standard varieties or, when the seeds have been saved across generations or across several decades, heirloom varieties. While heirlooms are usually open-pollinated, open-pollinated seeds are not necessarily heirlooms; open-pollinated varieties are still being developed.
  • Open Pollinated Seeds - an initiative to spread awareness about the importance of the natural ways of propagation and regeneration in the plant kingdom. An important feature of it is to high-light the fact that availability of Open Pollinated seeds for food production in Europe has drastically been reduced during the last 30 years, replaced by F1 hybrids.. We encourage you to be informed about this key issue which is at the heart of our food culture. The pages on this site are built to give you information and insight, and to connect you with resources you might need to make informed choices regarding your food culture.

  • Open Source Seed Initiative - The OSSI is dedicated to maintaining fair and open access to plant genetic resources worldwide in order to ensure the availability of germplasm to farmers, gardeners, breeders, and communities of this and future generations.
  • Plant Breeders Rights - article commisioned by The Royal Horticultural Society's magazine The Plantsman in which Michael Wickenden investigates the origins of Plant Breeders' Rights, highlights current problems and suggests a way forward.

  • Plants For A Future - researching and providing information on ecologically sustainable horticulture, as an integral part of designs involving high species diversity and permaculture principles. Approaches such as woodland/forest gardening use a minimal input of resources and energy, create a harmonious eco-system and cause the least possible damage to the environment, while still having the potential to achieve high productivity.

  • - the study of ecological processes that operate in agricultural production systems. The field of agroecology is not associated with any one particular method of farming, whether it be organic, integrated, or conventional; intensive or extensive. Although it has much more common thinking and principles with some of the before mentioned farming systems.
  • - the basic unit of study in agroecology, and is somewhat arbitrarily defined as a spatially and functionally coherent unit of agricultural activity, and includes the living and nonliving components involved in that unit as well as their interactions.
  • - a thorough analysis of an agricultural environment which considers aspects from ecology, sociology, economics, and politics with equal weight. There are many aspects to consider; however, it is literally impossible to account for all of them. This is one of the issues when trying to conduct an analysis of an agricultural environment. In the past, an agroecosystem analysis approach might be used to determine the sustainability of an agricultural system. It has become apparent, however, that the "sustainability" of the system depends heavily on the definition of sustainability chosen by the observer. Therefore, agroecosystem analysis is used to bring the richness of the true complexity of agricultural systems to an analysis to identify reconfigurations of the system (or holon) that will best suit individual situations.

Agroecosystem analysis is a tool of the multidisciplinary subject known as Agroecology. Agroecology and agroecosystem analysis are not the same as sustainable agriculture, though the use of agroecosystem analysis may help a farming system ensure its viability. Agroecosystem analysis is not a new practice, agriculturalists and farmers have been doing it since societies switched from hunting and gathering (hunter-gatherer) for food to settling in one area. Every time a person involved in agriculture evaluates their situation to identify methods to make the system function in a way that better suits their interests, they are performing an agroecosystem analysis.

  • - the science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, fibre, and land reclamation. Agronomy encompasses work in the areas of plant genetics, plant physiology, meteorology, and soil science. Agronomy is the application of a combination of sciences like biology, chemistry, economics, ecology, earth science, and genetics. Agronomists today are involved with many issues including producing food, creating healthier food, managing environmental impact of agriculture, and extracting energy from plants. Agronomists often specialize in areas such as crop rotation, irrigation and drainage, plant breeding, plant physiology, soil classification, soil fertility, weed control, and insect and pest control.

  • - the cultivation, management, and study of individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants. It is both a practice and a science. The science of arboriculture studies how these plants grow and respond to cultural practices and to their environment. The practice of arboriculture includes cultural techniques such as selection, planting, training, fertilization, pest and pathogen control, pruning, shaping, and removal.

  • - an approach to food and farming systems that regenerates topsoil and increases biodiversity now and long into the future. The current global practice of Regenerative Agriculture is based on applied and scientific research carried out by several international communities, including: organic farming, permaculture, agroecology, agroforestry, restoration ecology, Keyline design, and Holistic Management.


  • - a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, environmental design, construction and integrated water resources management that develops sustainable architecture, regenerative and self-maintained habitat and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems. The term permaculture (as a systematic method) was first coined by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in 1978. The word permaculture originally referred to "permanent agriculture" but was expanded to stand also for "permanent culture," as it was seen that social aspects were integral to a truly sustainable system as inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka's natural farming philosophy.
  • Essence of Permaculture - PDF booklet introduction to permaculture, thoughts about the future of the movement and the values and use of the permaculture principles, taken from Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren
  1. Observe and interact
  2. Catch and store energy
  3. Obtain a yield
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services
  6. Produce no waste
  7. Design from patterns to details
  8. Integrate rather than segregate
  9. Use small and slow solutions
  10. Use and value diversity
  11. Use edges and value the marginal
  12. Creatively use and respond to change

  • Permaculture Scotland - The Permaculture Association's strategic network in Scotland, a place where people who are interested in, learning about, and practicing permaculture can learn from each other, meet, exchange views and find out what is going on. Over time we intend to build the interactive nature of this site. Our goal is to grow the network in Scotland to be self sustaining and contribute to national health, wealth and happiness, whilst sharing what we have and what we seek with the worldwide permaculture community.

  • Landmatters - a rural Permaculture Project working within Devon to promote landbased communal living.

  • richsoil - Paul Wheaton. "Years ago I would get so much email that I started some forums. The forums got so big and sorta became a community of its own, so I split them off to their own domain. The permaculture forums have since become larger than all other permaculture web sites combined."

  • - a non-cultivation method used by some organic gardeners. The origins of no-dig gardening are unclear, and may be based on pre-industrial or nineteenth-century farming techniques. Masanobu Fukuoka started his pioneering research work in this domain in 1938, and began publishing in the 1970s his Fukuokan philosophy of "Do Nothing Farming", which is now acknowledged by some as the tap root of the Permaculture movement. Two pioneers of the method in the twentieth century included F. C. King, Head Gardener at Levens Hall, South Westmorland, in the Lake District of England, who wrote the book "Is Digging Necessary?" in 1946 and a gardener from Middlecliffe in the UK, A. Guest, who in 1948 published the book "Gardening Without Digging". The work of these gardeners was supported by the Good Gardeners Association in the UK. No-dig gardening was also promoted by Australian Esther Deans in the 1970s, and American gardener Ruth Stout advocated a "permanent" garden mulching technique in Gardening Without Work and no-dig methods in the 1950s and 1960s.

  • - refers to the live horticultural elements of a landscape. Softscaping can include, flowers, plants, shrubs, trees, flower beds, and duties like weed/nuisance management, grading, planting, mowing, trimming, aerating, spraying, and digging for everything from plants and shrubs , to flower beds. Wheel barrows and manual tools like rakes, shovels, picks, and gas power tools are commonly used.

  • - a method of landscape design and landscaping that allows people and nature to coexist with landscaping. By incorporating certain plants, especially native ones, into one's yard, one can attract beneficial insects, birds, and other creatures, and help keep our rivers and streams healthy. Extensive urban growth and urban sprawl over the last century has had a significant impact on habitat that birds and other wildlife once called home. Homeowners with yards and gardens have a unique opportunity to curtail this loss of habitat by creating their own backyard wildlife garden, a wildlife sanctuary.
  • - integrates the disciplines of landscape architecture and spatial planning with environmental science and provides an innovative approach in creating a sustainable and nature friendly design and/or construction. Every piece of land is unique and offers different materials and micro-environments, ecoscaping aims to design in harmony with the land and create an environmentally healthy and sustainable landscape. Ecoscaping also strives to take an existing structures and areas (backyards, cities, campuses, etc.) and add ecological balance and greenery. Ecoscaping prides itself on taking a holistic approach to sustainable land use management.

  • - a type of landscaping designed for the purpose of conserving energy. There is a distinction between the embedded energy of materials and constructing the landscape, and the energy consumed by the maintenance and operations of a landscape.

  • - landscaping and gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water from irrigation. It is promoted in regions that do not have easily accessible, plentiful, or reliable supplies of fresh water, and is gaining acceptance in other areas as access to water becomes more limited. Xeriscaping may be an alternative to various types of traditional gardening. In some areas, terms such as water-conserving landscapes, drought-tolerant landscaping, and smart scaping are used instead.

  • - a technique for maximizing beneficial use of water resources of a piece of land. The Keyline refers to a specific topographic feature linked to water flow. Beyond that however, Keyline can be seen as a collection of design principles, techniques and systems for development of rural and urban landscapes.

  • - an area of land maintained in permanent vegetation that helps to control air, soil, and water quality, along with other environmental problems, dealing primarily on land that is used in agriculture.

  • - a vegetated area (a "buffer strip") near a stream, usually forested, which helps shade and partially protect a stream from the impact of adjacent land uses. It plays a key role in increasing water quality in associated streams, rivers, and lakes, thus providing environmental benefits. With the decline of many aquatic ecosystems due to agricultural production, riparian buffers have become a very common conservation practice aimed at increasing water quality and reducing pollution.

  • - a low tract of land, especially one that is moist or marshy. The term can refer to a natural landscape feature or a human-created one. Artificial swales are often designed to manage water runoff, filter pollutants, and increase rainwater infiltration. The swale concept has also been popularized as a rainwater harvesting and soil conservation strategy by Bill Mollison, Geoff Lawton and other advocates of permaculture. In this context it usually refers to a water-harvesting ditch on contour. Another term used is contour bund.

  • - consists in a 2-metre (6.6 ft) to 48-metre-wide (157 ft) native grassland strip of green belt. It is generally installed in the thalweg, the deepest continuous line along a valley or watercourse, of a cultivated dry valley in order to control erosion. A study carried out on a grassed waterway during 8 years in Bavaria showed that it can lead to several other types of positive impacts, e.g. on biodiversity.

  • - a plantation usually made up of one or more rows of trees or shrubs planted in such a manner as to provide shelter from the wind and to protect soil from erosion. They are commonly planted around the edges of fields on farms. If designed properly, windbreaks around a home can reduce the cost of heating and cooling and save energy. Windbreaks are also planted to help keep snow from drifting onto roadways and even yards. Other benefits include providing habitat for wildlife and in some regions the trees are harvested for wood products.

The term "windbreak" is also used to describe an article of clothing worn to prevent wind chill. Americans tend to use the term "windbreaker" whereas Europeans favor the term "windbreak". Fences called "windbreaks" are also used. Normally made from cotton, nylon, canvas, and recycled sails, windbreaks tend to have three or more panels held in place with poles that slide into pockets sewn into the panel. The poles are then hammered into the ground and a windbreak is formed. Windbreaks or "wind fences" are used to reduce wind speeds over erodible areas such as open fields, industrial stockpiles, and dusty industrial operations. As erosion is proportional to wind speed cubed a reduction of wind speed of 1/2 (for example) will reduce erosion by over 80%.

  •ügelkultur - a composting process employing raised beds constructed from decaying wood debris and other compostable biomass plant materials. The process helps to improve soil fertility, water retention, and soil warming, thus benefiting plants grown on or near such mounds.

Online communities
  • Permies - a big crowd of permaculture goofballs


  • - also known as foraging, is the practice of harvesting plants from their natural, or 'wild' habitat, primarily for food or medicinal purposes. It applies to uncultivated plants wherever they may be found, and is not necessarily limited to wilderness areas. Ethical considerations are often involved, such as protecting endangered species, potential for depletion of commonly held resources, and in the context of private property, preventing theft of valuable plants, for example, ginseng.
  • Boskoi - a free, opensource mobile app that helps you explore and map the edible landscape wherever you are. Named after the greek word for grazer or brouwser the app lays out a map of local fruits and herbs and allows users to edit and add their own finds. Made by the foragers at Urban Edibles in Amsterdam Boskoi is an Ushahidi-based app that comes with a few foraging guidelines.


  • - a garden enclosed by high walls for horticultural rather than security purposes, although originally all gardens may have been enclosed for protection from animal or human intruders. In temperate climates, the essential function of the walls surrounding a walled garden is to shelter the garden from wind and frost, though they may also serve a decorative purpose.

  • - a method of gardening in which humans work with nature to foster healthy, vibrant plants with smaller space and less water than more traditional gardening. As a very detail oriented method, more time will be spent than on an average type of garden, and the maximized productivity and beautiful arrangements will be more than satisfying for the patient gardener.

  • - the practice of dividing the growing area into small square sections (typically 12" on a side, hence the name). The aim is to assist the planning and creating of a small but intensively planted vegetable garden. It results in a simple and orderly gardening system, from which it draws much of its appeal. Mel Bartholomew coined the term "square foot gardening" in his 1981 book of the same name.

  • - a form of gardening in which the soil is formed in three-to-four-foot-wide (1.0m by 1.2m) beds, which can be of any length or shape. The soil is raised above the surrounding soil (approximately six inches to waist-high), is sometimes enclosed by a frame generally made of wood, rock, or concrete blocks, and may be enriched with compost. The vegetable plants are spaced in geometric patterns, much closer together than in conventional row gardening. The spacing is such that when the vegetables are fully grown, their leaves just barely touch each other, creating a microclimate in which weed growth is suppressed and moisture is conserved. Raised beds produce a variety of benefits: they extend the planting season, they can reduce weeds if designed and planted properly, and they reduce the need to use poor native soil.

  • - an organic agricultural system that focuses on achieving maximum yields from a minimum area of land, while simultaneously increasing biodiversity and sustaining the fertility of the soil. The goal of the method is long term sustainability on a closed system basis. It is particularly effective for backyard gardeners and smallholder farmers in developing countries, and also has been used successfully on small-scale commercial farms.

  • - agriculture using multiple crops in the same space, in imitation of the diversity of natural ecosystems, and avoiding large stands of single crops, or monoculture. It includes multi-cropping, intercropping, companion planting, beneficial weeds, and alley cropping. It is the raising at the same time and place of more than one species of plant or animal. Polyculture is one of the principles of permaculture.
  • Apios Institute's Wiki - To share experience and knowledge about perennial crop polyculture systems for all climates, through a collaborative network of farmers, gardeners, and researchers, in order to fill critical knowledge gaps regarding the design and management of these systems.

  • - the practice of growing two or more crops in the same piece of land in different growing seasons. It is a form of polyculture. It can take the form of double-cropping, in which a second crop is planted after the first has been harvested, or relay cropping, in which the second crop is started amidst the first crop before it has been harvested.

  • - a multiple cropping practice involving growing two or more crops in proximity. The most common goal of intercropping is to produce a greater yield on a given piece of land by making use of resources or ecological processes that would otherwise not be utilized by a single crop.

  • AKER - downloadable urban gardening kits to help you start growing your own food locally. The kits are open source, and have been designed by a global team of collaborators. Order a kit to your front door or our download files to make your own below.

  • Space Bucket - a DIY indoor garden that is made by stacking plastic containers alongisde lighting (CFL or LED) and airflow (PC or other fans). It is an enclosed growth chamber that can be used to garden many kinds of plants. A Space Bucket is a versatile gardening tool that can be adapted to the users needs. Every variable of the bucket environment can be tweaked and upgraded at any time. For example, some plants require more light intensity than others, or different humidity conditions. Space Buckets is also a movement of gardeners, a community of botanically inclined individual who like to grow plants indoors and share information freely. The SB subreddit is our main forum, and t his website is its companion. Bucketeers are open, friendly and thorough, as the manifesto states.

  • - a solar greenhouse managed as an indoor ecosystem. The word bioshelter was coined by the New Alchemy Institute and solar designers Sean Wellesley-Miller and Day Chahroudi. The term was created to distinguish their work in greenhouse design and management from twentieth century petro-chemical fuelled monoculture greenhouses. New Alchemy's pioneering work in ecological design is documented in their published Journals and Reports. In 1976 the Alchemists built the Cape Cod Ark bioshelter and her sister The Prince Edward Island Ark. For the next 15 years the New Alchemy Institute studied and reported on the use of these prototype food producing ecosystems.

  • - a botanical collection composed exclusively of trees. More commonly a modern arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants and is intended at least in part for scientific study.

  • - a Persian and Islamic quadrilateral garden layout based on the four gardens of Paradise mentioned in the Qur'an. The quadrilateral garden is divided by walkways or flowing water into four smaller parts. In Persian, "Chahar" means four, which corresponds to "Char", which means four in Urdu, while "bāgh" means 'garden' in both Persian and Urdu.


  • openfarm - Learn to farm or garden with community created guides

  • - defines how agricultural products and foods that are designated as ecological products have to be grown. The regulation is derived from the guidelines of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), which is an association of about 800 member organizations in 119 countries.

  • - In the United Kingdom, organic certification is handled by a number of organizations, regulated by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), of which the largest are the Soil Association and Organic Farmers and Growers. While UK certification bodies are required to meet the EU minimum organic standards for all member states; they may choose to certify to standards that exceed the minimums, as is the case with the Soil Association.

  • - recognised as the high-end objective among the proponents of sustainable agriculture. Ecological farming is not same as organic farming, however there are many similarities and they are not necessarily incompatable. Ecological farming includes all methods, including but not limited to organic, which regenerate ecosystem services like: prevention of soil erosion, water infiltration and retention, carbon sequestration in the form of humus, increased biodiversity etc... Many techniques are used including no till, multispecies cover crops, strip cropping, terrace cultivation, shelter belts, pasture cropping etc.

  • Ecology Action - teaches people worldwide to better feed themselves while building and preserving the soil and conserving resources. Sustainable Mini-Farming — that when practiced correctly, nurtures healthy soil fertility, produces high yields, conserves resources and can be used successfully by almost everyone.

  • - an ecological farming approach established by Masanobu Fukuoka (1913–2008), a Japanese farmer and philosopher, introduced in his 1975 book The One-Straw Revolution. Fukuoka described his way of farming as 自然農法 (shizen nōhō) in Japanese.[1] It is also referred to as "the Fukuoka Method", "the natural way of farming" or "do-nothing farming". The title refers not to lack of effort, but to the avoidance of manufactured inputs and equipment. Natural farming is related to fertility farming, organic farming, sustainable agriculture, agroecology, agroforestry, ecoagriculture and permaculture, but should be distinguished from biodynamic agriculture.
  • About The One-Straw Revolution - Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008) was a farmer and philosopher who was born and raised on the Japanese island of Shikoku. a best-selling book that described his life’s journey, his philosophy, and farming techniques. This book has been translated into more than 25 languages and has helped make Mr. Fukuoka a leader in the worldwide sustainable agriculture movement. He continued farming until shortly before his death in 2008, at the age of 95.

  • - also known as "no kill cropping", is an agricultural method developed by Bruce Maynard in 1996 in NSW, Australia that allows the production of annual crops from perennial grasslands. It consists in dry-sowing crops directly into existing pastures without using tillage, fertilizer or chemicals. Advance Sowing has 5 major principles: Sowing is done when the topsoil is dry. Coulter type sowing equipment must be used. No Herbicides or pesticides are applied at any stage. No Fertilizers are applied at any stage. Grazing management must be good.

  • - Integrated Farming - UNI 11233-2009 new European agriculture organic standard (IF) or integrated production is a whole organic farm management system which aims to deliver more sustainable agriculture. It is a dynamic approach which can be applied to any farming system around the world. It involves attention to detail and continuous improvement in all areas of a farming business through informed management processes. Integrated Farming combines the best of modern tools and technologies with traditional practices according to a given site and situation. In simple words, it means using many ways of cultivation in a small space or land.

  • re:farm the city - develops open tools for urban farmers and dedicates itself in providing people with tools to easily create, manage and visualize their urban farms; bringing the rhythms of nature, her diversity, richness and complexity to citizens; creating social networks, software and hardware to help the production and consumption of products produced locally. with techniques and methods that respect the environment, re:farm the city promotes sustainable agriculture, science, plant biodiversity and the local cuisine recipes, retrieving the rural wisdom to the cities, working toward a more balanced society, educated, richer, healthier, and ultimately more sustainable. re:farm the city originated from barcelona’s hangar media lab and madrid’s medialab-prado, is an open source collective with ever-expanding members. since 2008 re:farm the city has held workshops in barcelona, madrid, gijon, buenos aires, paris, new york, beijing, são paulo and many others cities. these workshops take on the refarm’s ever-in development hardwares and software as starting point to further engage local eco-techno minded artists, programmers, hackers, builders and mostly common folks.
  • The Farmhouse - located in the heart of Hollywood, California and is home to Farmhouse Publishing, Barn Talks and (formerly) Farmhouse Conf. The Farmhouse and The Friends of the Farmhouse collaborate together or produce separately a slew of projects.

  • The MultiMachine - a humanitarian, open source machine tool project for developing countries. The MultiMachine all-purpose machine tool that can be built by a semi-skilled mechanic with just common hand tools. For machine construction, electricity can be replaced with “elbow grease” and the necessary material can come from discarded vehicle parts.


  • - any material of natural or synthetic origin (other than liming materials) that is applied to soils or to plant tissues to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants.

At the simplest level, the process of composting requires making a heap of wet organic matter known as green waste (leaves, food waste) and waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a period of weeks or months. Modern, methodical composting is a multi-step, closely monitored process with measured inputs of water, air, and carbon- and nitrogen-rich materials. The decomposition process is aided by shredding the plant matter, adding water and ensuring proper aeration by regularly turning the mixture. Worms and fungi further break up the material. Bacteria requiring oxygen to function (aerobic bacteria) and fungi manage the chemical process by converting the inputs into heat, carbon dioxide and ammonium. The ammonium (NH+4) is the form of nitrogen used by plants. When available ammonium is not used by plants it is further converted by bacteria into nitrates (NO−3) through the process of nitrification.

Compost is rich in nutrients. It is used in gardens, landscaping, horticulture, and agriculture. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus or humic acids, and as a natural pesticide for soil. In ecosystems, compost is useful for erosion control, land and stream reclamation, wetland construction, and as landfill cover (see compost uses). Organic ingredients intended for composting can alternatively be used to generate biogas through anaerobic digestion.

  • - also called agricultural waste is biodegradable waste that can be composed of garden or park waste, such as grass or flower cuttings and hedge trimmings, as well as domestic and commercial food waste. The differentiation green identifies it as high in nitrogen, as opposed to brown waste, which is primarily carbonaceous.
  • - any biodegradable waste that is predominantly carbon based. The term includes such items as grass cuttings, dry leaves, twigs, hay, paper, sawdust, corn cobs, cardboard, pine needles or cones, etc.[Carbon is necessary to composting, which uses a combination of green waste and brown waste to promote the microbial processes involved in the decomposition process. The composting of brown waste sustainably returns the carbon to the carbon cycle.

See also compost toilets.


  • The HOME HYDROPONIC UNIT enables persons to produce their own food. It is designed for the continuous production of food in sufficient quantities to provide a daily supplement to a household of 3-4 persons. It can easily be extended.

  • - any system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by nitrification bacteria into nitrates and nitrites, which are utilized by the plants as nutrients, and the water is then recirculated back to the aquaculture system.


  • - the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium (known as geoponics). The word "aeroponic" is derived from the Greek meanings of aero- (air) and ponos (labour).


  • - the process of producing food, medicine, and other products by the cultivation of mushrooms and other fungi. The word is also commonly used to refer to the practice of cultivating fungi by leafcutter ants, termites, ambrosia beetles, and marsh periwinkles.


  • - the practice of raising insects for agricultural purposes as well as human consumption. Insects bred in captivity offer a low space-intensive, highly feed efficient, relatively pollution free, high protein source of food for both livestock and humans. Societies all over the world have been eating insects in a practice referred to as Entomophagy for as long as some sources suggest could be 30,000 years. Insect farming is becoming increasingly viable as a source of protein in the modern diet as beef and conventional meat forms are very land intensive and produce large quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas.

  • Open Bug Farm - a Tiny Farms project. An innovation platform to stimulate interaction between farmers, researchers and hobbyists who want to change the world with edible insects.



  • - the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants, algae, and other aquatic organisms. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish. It is less commonly spelled aquiculture), and is also known as aquafarming.

Automation and software/services

See Automation#Growing


  • - a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans. Making use of companion planting, these can be intermixed to grow in a succession of layers, to build a woodland habitat. Forest gardening is a prehistoric method of securing food in tropical areas. In the 1980s, Robert Hart coined the term "forest gardening" after adapting the principles and applying them to temperate climates.

  • Reforesting Scotland - aims to: Promote a sustainable forest culture and economy in a well-forested land,

Develop the use of locally-produced forest goods and services, Encourage social and ecological restoration in forests and in wider land use, Raise awareness of the benefits of low-energy living based on woodland resources, Place the Scottish forestry situation in an international context

  • - an approach to the wildcrafting and harvesting of the forest biomass that uses cultivation to improve the natural harmonious systems. It is a relationship of interdependence between humans and the natural systems in which the amount of biomass available from the forest increases with the health of its natural systems. Examples of bioproducts derived from biomass created through permaforestry include: honey, maple syrup and other tree saps, gourmet foods, functional foods, berries, wild mushrooms, ginseng, wild rice, herbs, fiddleheads, fish, frogs and crustaceans, pharmaceuticals, natural health products, essential oils, educational products, arts and crafts, decorative products, floral and greenery, garden horticultural products, woodworking, lumber, biochemicals, biofuels and bioenergy.

  • - or agro-sylviculture is a land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. It combines shrubs and trees in agural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy, and sustainable land-use systems

  • Forestry Commission Scotland Interactive Map - allows you to explore and discover information about Scotland’s woodlands and forests. Within the tool, you can select from many different map layers which display: Forest boundaries, Areas benefiting from Forestry Grant Scheme funding, FCS approved renewable schemes, Plant health risk zones

  • Community Woodlands Association - established in 2003 by Scotland’s community woodland groups to help them achieve their aspirations and potential: we provide advice, assistance and information, facilitate networking and training, and represent and promote community woodlands to the wider world. There are around 200 community woodland groups in Scotland, from the highlands and islands to the heart of our major cities; collectively they own and manage tens of thousands of hectares of forest, ranging from ancient semi-native woodlands to large conifer plantations and recent regeneration on urban brownfield sites. Our support helps them to connect people with nature and build social capital in communities across Scotland, to manage their woodlands to meet local needs, and to deliver a broad range of social, environmental and economic public benefits.

  • - the establishment of a forest or stand of trees in an area where there was no forest. Reforestation is the reestablishment of forest cover, either naturally (by natural seeding, coppice, or root suckers) or artificially (by direct seeding or planting). Many governments and non-governmental organizations directly engage in programs of afforestation to create forests, increase carbon capture and sequestration, and help to anthropogenically improve biodiversity. (In the UK, afforestation may mean converting the legal status of some land to "royal forest".) Special tools, e.g. tree planting bar, are used to make planting of trees easier and faster.

  • YouTube: Forest Man - Since the 1970's Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island. To date he has single handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC. His forest has transformed what was once a barren wasteland, into a lush oasis. Humble yet passionate and philosophical about his work. Payeng takes us on a journey into his incredible forest.


Separate housing, work and play spaces. Some living areas away from the social centre, some nearer, variously interconnected to keep potentially loud-at-times noise flow between the two from getting to others (sound insulation between abodes would also be smart).

Communal space linked to the social hub for events such as gigs, parties and festivals, both inside and out, though located far enough away or sheltered from the residential spaces to avoid disturbances.

Residential units arranged manner inviting social interactions between neighbours. Roof-top gardens well placed to catch sun. Allotment space for all units. Fractal/graph topology? Hexagons? Hubs and related spaces, with various 'districts' around and merging with a social centre] complex. Scalability.

  • - a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number of dwellings grouped together to the largest of cities with surrounding urbanized areas. Settlements may include hamlets, villages, towns and cities. A settlement may have known historical properties such as the date or era in which it was first settled, or first settled particular people.In the field of geospatial predictive modeling, settlements are "a city, town, village or other agglomeration of buildings where people live and work". A settlement conventionally includes its constructed facilities such as roads, enclosures, field systems, boundary banks and ditches, ponds, parks and woods, wind and water mills, manor houses, moats and churches.

  • - or planned city, is any community that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed in a previously undeveloped area. This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ad hoc fashion. Land use conflicts are less frequent in planned communities since they are planned carefully. The term new town refers to planned communities of the new towns movement in particular, mainly in the United Kingdom.

  • - concerns the science of human settlements,[1][2] including regional, city, community planning and dwelling design. Its major incentive was the emergence of increasingly large and complex conurbations, tending even to a worldwide city.[3] The study involves every kind of human settlement, with particular attention to geography, ecology, human psychology, anthropology, culture, politics, and occasionally aesthetics.

  • - buildings which are used for a range of disparate activities, which can be linked only by being not-for-profit. They might be organizing centers for local activities or they might provide support networks for minority groups such as prisoners and refugees. Often they provide a base for initiatives such as cafes, free shops, public computer labs, graffiti murals, legal collectives and free housing for travellers. The services are determined by both the needs of the community in which the social center is based and the skills which the participants have to offer.

  • - intentional communities whose goal is to become more socially, economically and ecologically sustainable. Most range from a population of 50 to 150 individuals, although some are smaller, and larger ecovillages of up to 2,000 individuals exist as networks of smaller subcommunities. Certain ecovillages have grown by the addition of individuals, families, or other small groups who are not necessarily members settling on the periphery of the ecovillage and effectively participating in the ecovillage community.

  • - a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. The first kibbutz, established in 1909, was Degania. Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants and high-tech enterprises. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism. In recent decades, some kibbutzim have been privatized and changes have been made in the communal lifestyle.
  •ère or Phalanstery was a type of building designed for a utopian community and developed in the early 19th century by Charles Fourier. Fourier named these self-contained communities, ideally consisting of 500-2000 people working together for mutual benefit, after the phalanx, the basic military unit in Ancient Greece.
  • - a sociospatial idea practiced in architecture with intention of the social condenser was to influence the design of public spaces, with a goal of breaking down perceived social hierarchies in an effort to create socially equitable spaces.

  • - the study of the characteristic ways of interaction of inhabitants of towns and cities (urban areas) with the built environment. It feeds into disciplines such as urban planning (the physical design and management of urban structures) and urban sociology (the study of urban life and culture). Many architects, planners, and sociologists investigate the way people live in densely populated urban areas. There is a huge variety of approaches within urbanism. Urbanism's emergence in the early 20th century was associated with the rise of centralized manufacturing, mixed-use neighborhoods, social organizations and networks, and what has been described as "the convergence between political, social and economic citizenship". Urbanism can be understood as placemaking and the creation of place identity at a city-wide level, however as early as 1938 Louis Wirth wrote that it is necessary to stop 'identify[ing] urbanism with the physical entity of the city', go 'beyond an arbitrary boundary line' and consider how 'technological developments in transportation and communication have enormously extended the urban mode of living beyond the confines of the city itself.'

  • - the process of designing and shaping cities, towns and villages. In contrast to architecture, which focuses on the design of individual buildings, urban design deals with the larger scale of groups of buildings, streets and public spaces, whole neighborhoods and districts, and entire cities, with the goal of making urban areas functional, attractive, and sustainable. Urban design is an inter-disciplinary subject that utilizes elements of many built environment professions, including landscape architecture, urban planning, architecture, civil and municipal engineering. It is common for professionals in all these disciplines to practice in urban design. In more recent times different sub-strands of urban design have emerged such as strategic urban design, landscape urbanism, water-sensitive urban design, and sustainable urbanism.

  • - a technical and political process concerned with the use of land, protection and use of the environment, public welfare, and the design of the urban environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks. Urban Planning is also referred to as urban and regional, regional, town, city, rural planning or some combination in various areas worldwide. Urban planning takes many forms and it can share perspectives and practices with urban design.
  • - an urban planning paradigm that emphasizes involving the entire community in the strategic and management processes of urban planning; or, community-level planning processes, urban or rural. It is often considered as part of community development. Participatory planning aims to harmonize views among all of its participants as well as prevent conflict between opposing parties. In addition, marginalized groups have an opportunity to participate in the planning process.

  • - a socio-environmental theory that combines contemporary urban design with traditional Chinese acupuncture, using small-scale interventions to transform the larger urban context. Sites are selected through analysis of aggregate social, economic and ecological factors, and are developed through a dialogue between designers and the community. Just as the practice of acupuncture is aimed at relieving stress in the human body, the goal of urban acupuncture is to relieve stress in the built environment. Urban acupuncture is intended to produce small-scale but socially catalytic interventions in the urban fabric.

  • - the critique of status quo "urbanism", employed by the Letterist International and then further developed by the Situationist International between 1953 and 1960. The praxis originates from the Lettrist technique of hypergraphics which was applied to architecture by the Lettrist International (LI). The UU critique of urbanism was further developed in the 1950s by the LI, and consists of a range of practices that include, but are not limited to: The situation, The dérive (drift), Psychogeography, Detournement, industrial painting, recuperation, Revolution

"The hacienda must be built."

"This new vision of time and space, which will be the theoretical basis of future constructions, is still imprecise and will remain so until experimentation with patterns of behavior has taken place in cities specifically established for this purpose, cities assembling — in addition to the facilities necessary for basic comfort and security — buildings charged with evocative power, symbolic edifices representing desires, forces and events, past, present and to come. A rational extension of the old religious systems, of old tales, and above all of psychoanalysis, into architectural expression becomes more and more urgent as all the reasons for becoming impassioned disappear.

"Everyone will live in their own personal “cathedral.” There will be rooms more conducive to dreams than any drug, and houses where one cannot help but love. Others will be irresistibly alluring to travelers. . . .

"This project could be compared with the Chinese and Japanese gardens of illusory perspectives [en trompe l’oeiI] — with the difference that those gardens are not designed to be lived in all the time — or with the ridiculous labyrinth in the Jardin des Plantes, at the entry to which is written (height of absurdity, Ariadne unemployed): Games are forbidden in the labyrinth.

"This city could be envisaged in the form of an arbitrary assemblage of castles, grottos, lakes, etc. It would be the baroque stage of urbanism considered as a means of knowledge. But this theoretical phase is already outdated. We know that a modern building could be constructed which would have no resemblance to a medieval castle but which could preserve and enhance the Castle poetic power (by the conservation of a strict minimum of lines, the transposition of certain others, the positioning of openings, the topographical location, etc.).

"The districts of this city could correspond to the whole spectrum of diverse feelings that one encounters by chance in everyday life.

"Bizarre Quarter — Happy Quarter (specially reserved for habitation) — Noble and Tragic Quarter (for good children) — Historical Quarter (museums, schools) — Useful Quarter (hospital, tool shops) — Sinister Quarter, etc. And an Astrolarium which would group plant species in accordance with the relations they manifest with the stellar rhythm, a planetary garden along the lines the astronomer Thomas wants to establish at Laaer Berg in Vienna. Indispensable for giving the inhabitants a consciousness of the cosmic. Perhaps also a Death Quarter, not for dying in but so as to have somewhere to live in peace — I’m thinking here of Mexico and of a principle of cruelty in innocence that appeals more to me every day.

"The Sinister Quarter, for example, would be a good replacement for those hellholes, those ill-reputed neighborhoods full of sordid dives and unsavory characters, that many peoples once possessed in their capitals: they symbolized all the evil forces of life. The Sinister Quarter would have no need to harbor real dangers, such as traps, dungeons or mines. It would be difficult to get into, with a hideous decor (piercing whistles, alarm bells, sirens wailing intermittently, grotesque sculptures, power-driven mobiles, called Auto-Mobiles), and as poorly lit at night as it was blindingly lit during the day by an intensive use of reflection. At the center, the “Square of the Appalling Mobile.” Saturation of the market with a product causes the product’s market value to fall: thus, as they explored the Sinister Quarter, the child and the adult would learn not to fear the anguishing occasions of life, but to be amused by them.

"The main activity of the inhabitants will be CONTINUOUS DRIFTING. The changing of landscapes from one hour to the next will result in total disorientation. . . .

"Later, as the gestures inevitably grow stale, this drifting [dérive] will partially leave the realm of direct experience for that of representation. . . ."

  • - a theory of urban planning composed of a set of ten axioms intended to guide the formulation of city plans and urban designs. They are intended to reconcile and integrate diverse urban planning and management concerns. These axioms include environmental sustainability, heritage conservation, appropriate technology, infrastructure-efficiency, placemaking, social access, transit-oriented development, regional integration, human scale, and institutional integrity. The term was coined by Prof. Christopher Charles Benninger.

  • - an urban design movement which promotes environmentally friendly habits by creating walkable neighborhoods containing a wide range of housing and job types.[1] It arose in the United States in the early 1980s, and has gradually influenced many aspects of real estate development, urban planning, and municipal land-use strategies.
  • - the taxonomic classification of (usually physical) characteristics commonly found in buildings and urban places, according to their association with different categories, such as intensity of development (from natural or rural to highly urban), degrees of formality, and school of thought (for example, modernist or traditional). Individual characteristics form patterns. Patterns relate elements hierarchically across physical scales (from small details to large systems).

  • - a theory of urban planning arguing that the best way to organize cities is through the design of the city's landscape, rather than the design of its buildings. The phrase 'landscape urbanism' first appeared in the mid 1990s. Since this time, the phrase 'landscape urbanism' has taken on many different uses, but is most often cited as a postmodernist or post-postmodernist response to the "failings" of New Urbanism and the shift away from the comprehensive visions, and demands, for modern architecture and urban planning.

  • - draws from ecology to inspire an urbanism that is more socially inclusive and sensitive to the environment, as well as less ideologically driven, than green urbanism or sustainable urbanism. In many ways, ecological urbanism is an evolution of, and a critique of, Landscape Urbanism arguing for a more holistic approach to the design and management of cities. The term appeared first in 1998 as "EcoUrbanism" in a book by Architect and Planner Miguel Ruano, who defined it as "the development of multi-dimensional sustainable human communities within harmonious and balanced built environments".

  • - the theory of how environmental design and planning of new development should relate to its project. When decisions have been made they are implemented by means of land Use plans, zoning plans and environmental assessments. A number of context theories set out principles for relationships new designs and the existing environment.

  • - a preliminary phase of architectural and urban design processes dedicated to the study of the climatic, geographical, historical, legal, and infrastructural context of a specific site. The result of this analytic process is a summary, usually a graphical sketch, which sets in relation the relevant environmental information with the morphology of the site in terms of parcel, topography, and built environment. This result is then used as a starting point for the development of envi
  • - in landscape architecture and architecture refers to the organizational stage of the landscape design process. It involves the organization of land use zoning, access, circulation, privacy, security, shelter, land drainage, and other factors. This is done by arranging the compositional elements of landform, planting, water, buildings and paving in site plans. Site planning generally begins by assessing a potential site for development through site analysis. Information about slope, soils, hydrology, vegetation, parcel ownership, orientation, etc. are assessed and mapped. By determining areas that are poor for development (such as floodplain or steep slopes) and better for development, the planner or architect can assess optimal location and design a structure that works within this space.

ronment-related strategies during the design process.

  • - an architectural plan, landscape architecture document, and a detailed engineering drawing of proposed improvements to a given lot. A site plan usually shows a building footprint, travelways, parking, drainage facilities, sanitary sewer lines, water lines, trails, lighting, and landscaping and garden elements. Such a plan of a site is a "graphic representation of the arrangement of buildings, parking, drives, landscaping and any other structure that is part of a development project"

"While experiential qualities of rectangular architectural spaces can be effectively predicted fromproperties like room proportions or area (Franz, von der Heyde, & B ̈ulthoff, 2003), these factorsfrom normative architectural knowledge obviously cannot be directly transfered on open-planindoor spaces. Phenomenologically as well as in empirical aesthetics, nontrivial forms are often compared by collative variables (e.g., complexity, regularity, cf. Berlyne, 1960, 1972) that are introspective assessment criteria of structural properties of a stimulus array (Wohlwill, 1976) and have proven to allow predictions mainly on the arousal dimension of affective experience (Stamps,2000). In the following, we introduce a novel approach that relates affective and collative qualities of arbitrarily shaped architectural spaces to directly measurable parameters. The concept of isovists (i. e. viewshed polygons, cf. Benedict, 1979) is used to generically describe spatial properties of architectural spaces from a perceptually-oriented viewer-centered perspective."

  • - a set of techniques and enabling technologies for planning built and natural environments in an integrated process, including project conceptualization, analysis, design specification, stakeholder participation and collaboration, design creation, simulation, and evaluation (among other stages). "Geodesign is a design and planning method which tightly couples the creation of design proposals with impact simulations informed by geographic contexts."
  • - also called open space preserve, open space reservation, and green space) is an area of protected or conserved land or water on which development is indefinitely set aside. The purpose of an open space reserve may include the preservation or conservation of a community or region's rural natural or historic character; the conservation or preservation of a land or water area for the sake of recreational, ecological, environmental, aesthetic, or agricultural interests; or the management of a community or region's growth in terms of development, industry, or natural resources extraction.

  • Urban Land Institute - provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. ULI is an independent global nonprofit supported by members representing the entire spectrum of real estate development and land use disciplines.


See also Travel



See also Electronics

With an aim toward zero-energy development and a use of microgeneration via solar, wind and/or hydro power.

  • - an integrated approach to supplying a local community with its energy requirements from renewable energy or high-efficiency co-generation energy sources. The approach can be seen as a development of the distributed generation concept. Such systems are based on a combination of district heating, district cooling, plus 'electricity generation islands' that are interlinked via a private wire electricity system (largely bypassing the normal power grid to cut transmission losses and charges, as well as increasing the robustness of the system). The surplus from one generating island can therefore be used to make up the deficit at another.
  • - the use of a heat engine or power station to simultaneously generate electricity and useful heat. Trigeneration or combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) refers to the simultaneous generation of electricity and useful heating and cooling from the combustion of a fuel or a solar heat collector. A plant producing electricity, heat and cold is called a trigeneration or polygeneration plant.

  • OpenEnergyMonitor is a project to develop open-source energy monitoring tools to help us relate to our use of energy, our energy systems and the challenge of sustainable energy.

  • CfR is a social enterprise that helps proactive communities harness the value of their renewable energy resources, and retain that value within the local economy.



  • DIY VAWTs? are there DIY designs, non-patent encumbered, for later VAWT styles that overcome pulsatory torque issues?

  • Zephyr - named after the greek god of the West-Wind, is the concept of a small-scale and modular DIY Wind-Harvesting-System, designated to work in low-wind areas, keeping sustainability, efficiency, resilience and safety in mind.

  • OpenWind - an open source platform designed to empower scientists and engineers working in the field of technical wind energy consultancy and to provide transparency to those whose job it is to see that the industry remains on a firm financial footing.

  • [48] "Three blades is the smallest number that reduces the vibrations due to the blades crossing the support structure. When a blade crosses the support its applied force is reduced because the wind is slower around the support. This reduction in forces creates a yawing torque that can lead to unwanted vibrations. Much of the structural stiffness and bearing requirements are related to these effects. Three blades minimizes the effect because when one blade crosses the support the other two blades are out in a Y shape, shortening the force differential when compared to two blades."


  • Solarflower is an open source solar energy collector which tracks the sun automatically through a simple non-electrical mechanism. It can be made almost anywhere from common recycled and salvaged materials using basic tools and skills, is portable, has no running costs or emissions, and can produce up to kilowatts of power per device.
  • DIY Solar Guide - "esource for Solar Energy products, information, and do-it-yourself guides"

Solar PV

  • NREL Photovoltaic Research - works to advance the state of the art across the full spectrum of photovoltaic (PV) research and development at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Our cutting-edge research focuses on boosting solar cell conversion efficiencies; lowering the cost of solar cells, modules, and systems; and improving the reliability of PV components and systems. The scientific advances and industry support of NCPV scientists and engineers serve as a foundation for the U.S. PV community. In particular, the NCPV's efforts contribute to the above goals through high-impact successes in fundamental research, advanced materials and devices, and technology development and through valuable collaborations and support of universities, the PV industry, and PV users.


Arguably the most consistent form of microgeneration, if you have a river or stream handy that is..


  • - renewable energy made available from materials derived from biological sources. Biomass is any organic material which has stored sunlight in the form of chemical energy. As a fuel it may include wood, wood waste, straw, manure, sugarcane, and many other by products from a variety of agricultural processes. By 2010, there was 35 GW (47,000,000 hp) of globally installed bioenergy capacity for electricity generation, of which 7 GW (9,400,000 hp) was in the United States.

In its most narrow sense it is a synonym to biofuel, which is fuel derived from biological sources. In its broader sense it includes biomass, the biological material used as a biofuel, as well as the social, economic, scientific and technical fields associated with using biological sources for energy. This is a common misconception, as bioenergy is the energy extracted from the biomass, as the biomass is the fuel and the bioenergy is the energy contained in the fuel. here is a slight tendency for the word bioenergy to be favoured in Europe compared with biofuel in America.

  • - organic matter derived from living, or recently living organisms. Biomass can be used as a source of energy and it most often refers to plants or plant-based materials which are not used for food or feed, and are specifically called lignocellulosic biomass. As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly via combustion to produce heat, or indirectly after converting it to various forms of biofuel. Conversion of biomass to biofuel can be achieved by different methods which are broadly classified into: thermal, chemical, and biochemical methods.
  • Biomass Energy Centre is the UK government information centre for the use of biomass for energy in the UK

  • - a fuel that is produced through contemporary biological processes, such as agriculture and anaerobic digestion, rather than a fuel produced by geological processes such as those involved in the formation of fossil fuels, such as coal and petroleum, from prehistoric biological matter. Biofuels can be derived directly from plants, or indirectly from agricultural, commercial, domestic, and/or industrial wastes. Renewable biofuels generally involve contemporary carbon fixation, such as those that occur in plants or microalgae through the process of photosynthesis. Other renewable biofuels are made through the use or conversion of biomass (referring to recently living organisms, most often referring to plants or plant-derived materials). This biomass can be converted to convenient energy-containing substances in three different ways: thermal conversion, chemical conversion, and biochemical conversion. This biomass conversion can result in fuel in solid, liquid, or gas form. This new biomass can also be used directly for biofuels.

  • - grown as an energy crop for use in power stations, alone or in combination with other fuels such as coal. It is similar to historic fuelwood coppice systems. SRF is the practice of cultivating fast-growing trees that reach their economically optimum size between eight and 20 years old. Species used are selected on this basis and include Alder, Ash, Southern Beech, Birch, Eucalyptus, Poplar, Willow, new varieties of paulownia elongata, Paper mulberry, Australian Blackwood and Sycamore. Trees are planted at widths that allow for quick growth and easy harvesting. They are usually felled when they are around 15 cm wide at chest height, this takes from 8 to 20 years. This compares with 60 years or more for standard forestry crops. When felled, SRF trees are replaced by new planting or, more usually, allowed to regenerate from the stumps as coppice.

  • - coppice grown as an energy crop. This woody solid biomass can be used in applications such as district heating, electric power generating stations, alone or in combination with other fuels. Currently, the leading countries in area planted for energy generation are Sweden and the UK.

  • Willow short rotation coppice (SRC) - Willow (Salix spp.) is planted as rods or cuttings in spring using specialist equipment at a density of 15,000 per hectare. The willow stools readily develop multiple shoots when coppiced and several varieties have been specifically bred with characteristics well suited for use as energy crops. During the first year it can grow up to 4m in height, and is then cut back to ground level in its first winter to encourage it to grow multiple stems.

The first harvest is in winter, typically three years after cut back, again using specialist equipment, however a cycle of 2 or 4 to 5 years is also common. In fertile sites growth can be very strong during the first two years after coppicing, giving rapid site capture, reducing thereafter and so a 2 year cutting cycle may be more appropriate. Yield is dependent on many factors, including: Site, Water availability, Weed control, Planting density, Light, Temperature. Typically the first harvest may be expected to be somewhat lower than subsequent ones, and figures from 7 to 12 oven dried tonnes per hectare per annum can be expected on reasonably good sites.

Harvesting may be as rods (up to 8 m length), billets (5-15 cm lengths) or as direct chip harvesting. Direct chip harvesting can cause problems for storage with rapid composting (and hence loss of energy content) and mould formation (and attendant health risks) owing to the high moisture content of freshly harvested willow. This can be less of a problem with billets owing to improved air flow through the pile. A willow SRC plantation may be expected to be viable for up to 30 years before it becomes necessary to replant and can reach 7-8 m in height at harvest. The site should be reasonably flat, or with a slope no more than 7%.

  • Poplar short rotation coppice (SRC) - "Poplar (Populus spp.) displays more apical dominance than willow and is therefore less ready to develop multiple stems following coppicing. Shoots can reach up to 8 m by the end of the first rotation. It therefore tends to develop fewer, thicker stems than willow, and consequently has a lower bark to wood ratio. Individual shoots can reach up to 8 m by the end of the first 3 year rotation.

"Poplar is planted in spring, from cuttings. These cuttings must have an apical bud within 1 cm of the top of the cutting. Because of this it is difficult to use poplar in equipment developed for planting willow short rotaion coppice. Planting density is lower than for willow, typically 10-12,000 per ha. Cut back takes place late in the following winter. Yield is very site dependent, and in some sites can out perform willow. Average yield on a suitable site is likely to be in the region of 8 oven dry tonnes per hectare per year.

"Poplar responds well to harvesting cycles of around four or five years which is slightly longer than the 3 years often recomended for willow. This is because growth in the first year following cutback or harvest is generally not as rapid as in subsequent years. Combined with a very up right growth habit this means that the crop may not develop a closed canopy, and hence maximum light interception, until the second or third year.

"Harvesting requires similar equipment to willow, however, owing to the tendency of poplar to form fewer, heavier stems, it must be slightly more robust.Removal of a poplar crop at the end of the useful life of the plantation can be more difficult than for willow as poplar often forms a large taproot which will generally require a large excavator to remove or more time to decay naturally."

  • - or pellets, are biofuels made from compressed organic matter or biomass. Pellets can be made from any one of five general categories of biomass: industrial waste and co-products, food waste, agricultural residues, energy crops, and virgin lumber. Wood pellets are the most common type of pellet fuel and are generally made from compacted sawdust and related industrial wastes from the milling of lumber, manufacture of wood products and furniture, and construction. Other industrial waste sources include empty fruit bunches, palm kernel shells, coconut shells, and tree tops and branches discarded during logging operations. So-called "black pellets" are made of biomass, refined to resemble hard coal and were developed to be used in existing coal-fired power plants. Pellets are categorized by their heating value, moisture and ash content, and dimensions. They can be used as fuels for power generation, commercial or residential heating, and cooking. Pellets are extremely dense and can be produced with a low moisture content (below 10%) that allows them to be burned with a very high combustion efficiency.

Further, their regular geometry and small size allow automatic feeding with very fine calibration. They can be fed to a burner by auger feeding or by pneumatic conveying. Their high density also permits compact storage and transport over long distance. They can be conveniently blown from a tanker to a storage bunker or silo on a customer's premises. A broad range of pellet stoves, central heating furnaces, and other heating appliances have been developed and marketed since the mid-1980s. In 1997 fully automatic wood pellet boilers with similar comfort level as oil and gas boilers became available in Austria. With the surge in the price of fossil fuels since 2005, the demand for pellet heating has increased in Europe and North America, and a sizable industry is emerging.

  • - also known as a pellet press, is a type of mill or machine press used to create pellets from powdered material. Pellet mills are unlike grinding mills, in that they combine small materials into a larger, homogeneous mass, rather than break large materials into smaller pieces.

  • - a medium-sized solid material made by cutting, or chipping, larger pieces of wood. Woodchips may be used as a biomass solid fuel and are raw material for producing wood pulp. They may also be used as an organic mulch in gardening, landscaping, restoration ecology, bioreactors for denitrification and mushroom cultivation. Woodchips have been traditionally used as solid fuel for space heating or in energy plants to generate electric power from renewable energy. The main source of forest chips in Europe and in most of the countries have been logging residues. It is expected that the shares of stumps and roundwood will increase in the future. As of 2013 in the EU, the estimates for biomass potential for energy, available under current conditions including sustainable use of the forest as well as providing wood to the traditional forest sectors, are: 277 million m3, for above ground biomass and 585 million m3 for total biomass. The newer fuel systems for heating use either woodchips or wood pellets. The advantage of woodchips is cost, the advantage of wood pellets is the controlled fuel value. The use of woodchips in automated heating systems, is based on a robust technology.


  • - the mixture of gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Biogas can be produced from raw materials such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste. Biogas is a renewable energy source.Biogas is produced by anaerobic digestion with methanogen or anaerobic organisms, which digest material inside a closed system, or fermentation of biodegradable materials. This closed system is called an anaerobic digester, biodigester or a bioreactor. Biogas is primarily methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) and may have small amounts of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), moisture and siloxanes. The gases methane, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide (CO) can be combusted or oxidized with oxygen. This energy release allows biogas to be used as a fuel; it can be used for any heating purpose, such as cooking. It can also be used in a gas engine to convert the energy in the gas into electricity and heat.

  • - a fuel gas mixture consisting primarily of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and very often some carbon dioxide. The name comes from its use as intermediates in creating synthetic natural gas (SNG) and for producing ammonia or methanol. Syngas is usually a product of gasification and the main application is electricity generation. Syngas is combustible and can be used as a fuel of internal combustion engines. Historically, syngas has been used as a replacement for gasoline, when gasoline supply has been limited; for example, wood gas was used to power cars in Europe during WWII (in Germany alone half a million cars were built or rebuilt to run on wood gas). Syngas, however, has less than half the energy density of natural gas. Syngas can be produced from many sources, including natural gas, coal, biomass, or virtually any hydrocarbon feedstock, by reaction with steam (steam reforming), carbon dioxide (dry reforming) or oxygen (partial oxidation). Syngas is a crucial intermediate resource for production of hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, and synthetic hydrocarbon fuels. Syngas is also used as an intermediate in producing synthetic petroleum for use as a fuel or lubricant via the Fischer–Tropsch process and previously the Mobil methanol to gasoline process.

  • - a syngas fuel which can be used as a fuel for furnaces, stoves and vehicles in place of gasoline, diesel or other fuels. During the production process biomass or other carbon-containing materials are gasified within the oxygen-limited environment of a wood gas generator to produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide. These gases can then be burnt as a fuel within an oxygen rich environment to produce carbon dioxide, water and heat. In some gasifiers this process is preceded by pyrolysis, where the biomass or coal is first converted to char, releasing methane and tar rich in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

  • Green Gas Certification Scheme - The Green Gas Certification Scheme (GGCS) tracks biomethane, or ‘green gas’, through the supply chain to provide certainty for those that buy it.Each unit of green gas injected into the grid displaces a unit of conventional gas. So the GGCS tracks each unit of green gas from its injection into the distribution grid, to any trades, to its sale to a consumer, or group of consumers. It tracks the contractual rather than physical flows to ensure there is no double-counting from production to end use.The GGCS is run by the Renewable Energy Association’s subsidiary, Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd. GGCS participants oversee the way it is run, on a not-for-profit basis.

  • ALL Power Labs - the global leader in small-scale gasification. We make biomass gasifier generators that are ready for everyday work, to serve real world distributed energy needs.Our Power Pallet and Powertainer are a new category of energy device. They combine the best usability features of diesel generators, with the clean running of typical renewables, with the potential for a carbon negative impact.Our project started in 2008 with the open source Gasifier Experimenter’s Kit (GEK), supporting research, education and DIY hacking in biomass thermal conversion. Seven years later the GEK has evolved into the Power Pallet, a full solution for commercial power generation via biomass. Today you can find our systems at work in dozens of countries around the world, and supporting research in over 50 universities.With APL products, you can generate on-demand power for 1/4 the operating cost of diesel, at 1/2 the capital cost of solar. And while saving money, you can shrink your carbon footprint and contribute positively to global efforts against climate change.

"APL began as an experiment in collaborative science and open source engineering. In the 8 years since we started working with gasification through the GEK Project, APL has evolved into a small-scale biomass electrical generator manufacturer. We currently offer the low-cost, open-skid Power Pallet PP20, and the updated GEK Gasifier Kit. We are actively developing the clean and quiet Power Cube PC20, and are nearing completion of our 150 kW PT150 Powertainer beta prototype. Despite the patented and proprietary nature of our newest and most optimized gasifier designs and our success in building a large installed base of machines helping to solve the problems of the waste management, energy access and climate change, we are still working with GEK participants and gasifier enthusiasts to openly advance the science of gasification, as well as the engineering solutions to implement it meaningfully for users today and into the future and around the world.

"With this wiki we are trying to curate a comprehensive and growing knowledge base of everything we have learned about gasification and the resources we have uncovered in our work. Here you will find detailed GEK gasifier building plans, gasifier configuration and operating tips, "how to" instructions for converting engines to wood gas, raw science, practical engineering, and many other topics of interest for Power Pallet users and gasifier geeks. All topics are open for any contributions or edits you would like to offer."

  • YouTube: Compact Biogas Plant - This video talks about a new Compact Biogas System developed by Appropriate Rural Technology Institute.
  • Helios - The goal of this project is to develop a robust, versatile and resource-effective biomass micro-gasifier by combining a controlled-draft TLUD (Top-Lit Up-Draft) gasifier with an array of TEGs (Thermo Electric Generators) and a microcontroller to optimize the gasification process.

  • - the electrolysis of water in a cell equipped with a solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) that is responsible for the conduction of protons, separation of product gases, and electrical insulation of the electrodes. The PEM electrolyzer was introduced to overcome the issues of partial load, low current density, and low pressure operation currently plaguing the alkaline electrolyzer. However, a recent scientific comparison showed that state-of-the-art alkaline water electrolysis shows competitive or even better efficiencies than PEM water electrolysis. This comparison moreover showed that many of the advantages such as gas purities or high current densities that were ascribed to PEM water electrolysis are also achievable by alkaline water electrolysis. Electrolysis is an important technology for the production of hydrogen to be used as an energy carrier.With fast dynamic response times, large operational ranges, and high efficiencies, water electrolysis is a promising technology for energy storage coupled with renewable energy sources.

  • - the family of industrial methods for generating hydrogen. Hydrogen is primarily produced by steam reforming of natural gas. Other major sources include naphtha or oil reforming of refinery or other industrial off-gases, and partial oxidation of coal and other hydrocarbons. A small amount is obtained by water electrolysis and other sources.




See also Electrical#Storage




  • Renewable Energy UK - "up to date information about alternative energy generation. ... main focus is on wind power and solar power for the home"
  • Altenergy - "DIY Alternative Energy Projects"

  • Edinburgh Community Energy Co-operative Ltd was formed at the end of 2007 with the support of Co-operative Development Scotland. It is a non-profit, member owned organisation, which was set up to give Edinburgh residents a vehicle to promote and develop renewable and low-carbon energy in the city.
  • "This week, Jase Kuriakose an engineer at CAT turned on the UK’s first totally renewable micro grid. The systems works by combining all the wind, solar, bio mass and hydro energy we produce at CAT and storing it in a battery bank. When it needs more energy it simply connects to the grid through an intelligent electronic control device to take more, when we are producing too much it gives the energy to the national grid."

to sort

  • Energy Overviews delivers energy industry specific business intelligence that "shows you the money", gives you the tools to turn information into action, and helps you build your business.
  • volkszaehler is a free smart meter (here: smart meters) in DIY. All necessary data will remain under the control of the user.


  • Global Ecovillage Network
    • GEN db - Database of the Global Ecovillage Network. Behind the scenes a fantastic system is developed which allows you to share information about your project, your events, your resources and much more.



Ecovillage Findhorn

  • Ecovillage Findhorn - "The Findhorn ecovillage is a synthesis of the very best of current thinking on sustainable human settlements. It is a constantly evolving model providing solutions to human and social needs, while at the same time working in partnership with the environment to offer an enhanced quality of life for all.

"The Ecovillage Project has developed a unique construction system, environmentally sound and energy efficient. Using natural and non-toxic materials we have developed a breathing wall structure, which allows the fabric of a building to interact beneficially with people to moderate humidity and air quality. We have also experimented with straw bale construction, the Earthship system using recycled car tyres, and remain open to further new and innovative ecological solutions for the built environment."


  • Talamh is currently home to 8 adults, and a teenager, some living in our 17th century listed farmhouse, others in caravans and living vehicles in and around the paddock. we share food and cooking, eating together every evening and some lunchtimes. Most of the bread here is homemade, and we also eat lots of cakes and puddings to use up the masses of homegrown fruit. We grow lots of vegetables and keep hens for eggs. Most of our heating is from woodstoves.

Decisions are made by consensus at weekly meetings, but a lot of informal discussion takes place at mealtimes or around the fire. There is always plenty to do here, growing vegetables, processing firewood, working on the buildings. We have recently begun an extensive programme of renovations, working on roofs and floors. Talamh functions in an informal, unstructured way, and plenty of self-motivation is required, combined with a communicative, co-operative approach.

We are into : working towards sustainability and low-impact living, looking after our land and encouraging wildlife and biodiversity, growing our own veg and fruit, trying to keep all our buildings from falling down, opposing Trident, trying to stop opencast coal mining ever extending further across this area, playing music, eating good food, looking out for each other, working to resolve conflict, laughing about stuff round the fire, eating chips, growing willow to make baskets, trying to fix the hydro, and composting our poo.

Carbeth Hutters

  • Carbeth Hutters Community Company was set up in 2008 when the members of Carbeth Hutters Association voted to become a Community Company. The Company was formed to benefit persons entitled to occupy any property within the Carbeth Estate Conservation Area. The Company is run by its directors who are voted in by the company's ordinary members to carry out work on behalf of its members.

West Granton Housing Co-operative Ltd

Sprouts Housing Cooperative

  • Sprouts Housing Cooperative - "We are a group of people committed to creating a radical housing cooperative in [Edinburgh], so that we can escape the landlord system which makes us poor and angry."

The Farmhouse

  • The Farmhouse is a building in disrepair in the community garden in Elder Park Govan. The plan is to renovate the building and create an independent resource centre. Involving local people in the planning and using the project as a process of education.

Sustainable Communities Initiatives

  • "Sustainable Communities Initiatives (SCI), an educational charity set up in August 2000 to demonstrate, inspire and support initiatives that build community through waste and don't rely on fossil fuel energy. ... It is the aim of Sustainable Communities Initiatives to demonstrate the Earthship's performance in the Scottish climate, as well as the costs involved and the best route through planning and building control."

Kinghorn Community Centre

  • Kinghorn Community Centre is run by a voluntary Management Committee on behalf of Fife Council. The Centre is a purpose built facility accommodating various sports groups and social activities. The Centre is the hub of the community as we help out other organisations by advertising forthcoming local events and selling tickets.

The Ecology Centre

  • The Ecology Centre is a community based charity which was established as a non-profit making organisation in August 1998. The organisation came into being through an advisory group set up by people from the local community and residents of Craigencalt Farm. With the help of the Scottish Land Fund, we were able to purchase the land at the east end of Kinghorn Loch, which will house our new centre and grounds. The grounds are currently being developed by staff and volunteers and will be used in the future for our growing projects, Education Visits and outdoor volunteer days, our new site will continue to be a well-managed area of biodiversity and a haven for natural wildlife.

South West Community Woodlands Trust

  • South West Community Woodlands Trust is a registered charity established in 1997 with the aim to; conserve and regenerate woodlands; to reconnect people, especially the young, to local biodiversity by involving them in woodland crafts and woodland management; and foster appreciation and respect for the countryside.


Homes for Change

"Homes for Change [in Hulme, Manchester] is a Housing co-operative whose intention is to provide low cost social housing to a diverse range of people in the community. The way Homes for change keeps it's rents low is by managing and running the building themselves. more

"The buildings comprise an introverted block with almost all activity at the back, and while the streets outside are consequently quieter than might be desirable, public spaces inside the block are relaxed since tenants are known to each other and an informal surveillance operates, as specified in the brief. This works well without creating a fortress mentality, resulting in a comfortable but vibrant public area, and inside the block the sense of community is visible in residents' extensive use of the joint outdoor spaces. Recesses in the building fronts create opportunities to personalise the interfaces between shared and private areas, and Phase One is now well lived in with personal ornamentation, gardens, furniture, flower pots, play equipment, seats on balconies and access decks, toys for children and well tended small private and shared gardens in courtyards.

The success of Homes for Change lies partly in the fact that the residents all opted for this life-style through joining a co-operative, but the designers also took care that private outdoor space is available for most units and direct access to front doors is also critically well designed.

Earthworm Housing Co-operative

London Fields Solutions

  • London Fields Solutions [57] - we bought two streets in Hackney (28 properties) and turned it into as a housing co-op housing 58 people. Long term squatters put together a regeneration plan and got loans from various agencies to purchase the properties and put them back together. Rebuilt with ecological and community considerations in urban London. Hard work for sure but it can be done. Still going strong.


  • LILAC means Low Impact Living Affordable Community. We are the UK's first affordable ecological cohousing project: a community of 20 households and a common house, based in Bramley, West Leeds.

Beddington Zero Energy Development

"The Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED, in Sutton, Surrey) is the UK’s first and largest carbon neutral eco-community. It is a mixed-use, mixed-tenure development that incorporates innovative approaches to energy conservation and environmental sustainability. The BedZED design concept was driven by the desire to create a net 'zero fossil energy development', one that will produce at least as much energy from renewable sources as it consumes." Wikipedia article.

Hockerton Housing Project

  • "The Hockerton Housing Project, Nottinghamshire, is the UK's first earth sheltered, self-sufficient ecological housing development. Project members live a holistic way of life in harmony with the environment, in which all ecological impacts have been considered and accounted for. The residents of the five houses generate their own clean energy, harvest their own water and recycle waste materials causing no pollution or carbon dioxide emissions. The houses are amongst the most energy efficient, purpose built dwellings in Europe."

Steward Community Woodland

Kew Bridge Ecovillage

Tinker's Bubble



The Lammas

  • The Lammas project centres around the ecovillage at Tir y Gafel, in North Pembrokeshire, combining a traditional smallholding model with the latest innovations in environmental design, green technology and permaculture. The ecovillage was granted planning permission in 2009 by the Welsh Government and is currently part-way through the construction phase. Sited on 76 acres of mixed pasture and woodland, its heart consists of 9 smallholdings positioned around a Community Hub building, and it is supported by a range of peripheral projects and networks.

Brithdir Mawr

Northern Ireland

Lackan Cottage Farm



  • Christiania covers an area of more than 85 acres and houses almost one thousand inhabitants, but every year, more than a million people visit the Freetown. Some of them use Christiania almost every day, others pay a quick visit to the village in the middle of Copenhagen. Christiania is thus one of the greatest tourist attractions in Copenhagen, and abroad it is a well-known “brand” for the progressive and liberated Danish lifestyle. Many Danish businesses and organizations also use Christiania as a show place for their foreign friends and guests. The purpose is to show something Danish that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.



Mietshäuser Syndikat

Patrick Henry Commune

North America

Joey Hess

  • offgrid - "My house is entirely offgrid and has an unusually small energy footprint, with only 1100 watts of solar power and only 4 golf cart batteries." Creator of git-annex.

Lasquet Island

  • Lasquet Islandi lies in the Georgia Strait, north of French Creek (on Vancouver Island), and southwest of Texada Island, Canada. It is approximately 8 km wide and 22 km long, with an area of 73.56 km2. About 350 permanent residents call Lasqueti home. It is accessible by foot passenger ferry service only, or by private boat or plane.

Twin Oaks

  • "Twin Oaks is an intentional community in rural central Virginia, made up of around 85 adult members and 15 children. Since the community's beginning in 1967, our way of life has reflected our values of cooperation, sharing, non-violence, equality, and ecology." Wikipedia article.

Alpha Farm

  • Alpha Farm is an intentional community of people who have chosen to live and work together to share a more harmonious way of living. At our home in rural western Oregon, we live the largely self-reliant style of a close-knit expanded family; we average 15 to 20 people, including singles, couples and families, and have ranged in age from infants to elderly.

Dancing Rabbit

  • Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage - we understand how difficult it can be to live sustainably and responsibly within modern US culture. We believe that we can work to build a healthy alternative: a social structure that is both non-exploitative and vibrant. As our village grows, we see this ideal take shape more clearly every day: a diverse range of people living ecologically sound lives in a community that truly serves as an example of positive human action within the natural world.

Sirius Community

  • Sirius Community - An educational non-profit and eco-village celebrating over 35 years of educating and role-modelling for planetary healing. Visitors experience the awe & magic of nature, meditation, community, and sacred daily living. Sirius community was founded in September 1978 by former members of Findhorn Community in Scotland wishing to establish a similar community in their American homeland. Its foundation is spiritual, but in a non-sectarian manner that allows for each person to find their own way to the heart of all beingness and reality. The shared expression reflects reverence for all Life and willingness to live in accord with this intention as much as possible. We thus employ ecologically sustainable methods of living and a consensus-style governance process, striving to honor all that is.


  • Earthaven is an aspiring ecovillage in a mountain forest setting near Asheville, North Carolina. We are dedicated to caring for people and the Earth by learning, living, and demonstrating a holistic, sustainable culture.

Michigan Urban Farming Initiative

Park Slope Food Coop

  • Park Slope Food Coop - a member-owned and operated food store– an alternative to commercial profit-oriented business. As members, we contribute our labor: working together builds trust through cooperation and teamwork and enables us to keep prices as low as possible within the context of our values and principles. Only members may shop, and we share responsibilities and benefits equally. We strive to be a responsible and ethical employer and neighbor. We are a buying agent for our members and not a selling agent for any industry. We are a part of and support the cooperative movement. We offer a diversity of products with an emphasis on organic, minimally processed and healthful foods. We seek to avoid products that depend on the exploitation of others. We support non-toxic, sustainable agriculture.

Work coops

  • Seeds for Change - activists providing support and training to activists, campaigners, community groups and co-operatives. We're a network of activist training co-ops providing training and workshops on group and campaign skills. We support people who want to make our world a better and more sustainable place. Have a look at our guides and briefings which have lots of practical skills and ideas to make your meetings run smoothly and painlessly, not to mention making your campaign or project a success! We cover topics like consensus decision making, facilitating meetings, how to win your campaign, publicity, and taking action. All our materials are free.
  • "Work for Change is a co-operative made up of tenants of the workspace at 41 Old Birley Street, Hulme. It is a company limited by guarantee, with co-operative rules. Work for Change rents space on flexible terms to local, ethical, and cultural businesses. The company aims to create a supportive atmosphere for small businesses to succeed, welcoming both existing and new start businesses. There are offices of a range of sizes, artists areas, workshops and a cafe, as well as a small theatre (The YARD). We are currently developing a second phase of 13 small units and would like to hear from anyone interested in moving in to these.
    • "The workspace was designed by the businesses involved at that time, many of which are still tenants. Some people choose to live and work in the building, while others are involved in only one of the co-operatives. Most people in Work for Change live in the Hulme area and the building remains one of the most important community led initiatives in the country."
  • "URBED (Urbanism, Environment and Design) does what our name suggests ­ we specialise in urban design and sustainability in an urban context. ... an employee-owned co-operative, we now have 16 staff and associates, comprising planners and architects together with a sustainability expert and highway engineer. ... We believe in the importance of creating and sustaining lively, prosperous towns and cities by focusing new development within existing settlements and creating attractive, mixed-use, walkable and socially mixed urban neighbourhoods.
    • URBED grew out of the redevelopment of Hulme and the Homes for Change Housing Co-operative. A belief in the importance of communities informs all of our work. ... Since 1996 we have been running the SUN (Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood) Initiative, exploring how the principles of environmental sustainability can be applied to urban areas."
  • "The Graphics Company is a workers' co-op. One of the good things about this is that you're always talking to the boss! You're always dealing with someone who cares a lot about your project. This is one of the reasons why many of our clients stay with us for years, here are some more... ... The Graphics Company promotes the use of environmentally-friendly materials and ethical working practices. We also take an ethical approach to our own business that is embodied in our constitution."

Coops and networks

  • GEN-International
    • "GEN-Europe is the European ecovillage association promoting environmental protection and restoration of nature through the concept of ecovillages as models for sustainable human settlements. We actively support the development of ecovillages and networks in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. GEN-Europe is a membership organisation founded in 1996 and is open to a wide range of projects regardless of their political, religious or cultural backgrounds."

  • The Landworkers’ alliance - an organisation of people who make their livelihoods from producing food, fuel and fibre using sustainable methods of production.

  • "CETS (Co-operative Education Trust Scotland) is a new independent not-for-profit charitable education trust. It has the backing of every sector of the Co-operative movement in Scotland, from the large retail co-ops, through to agricultural co-ops, credit unions, housing co-ops, workers co-ops, etc. CETS also promotes all forms of social enterprise.

Other groups, projects & info

  • "BioRegional Development Group is an entrepreneurial, independent environmental organisation. We develop award winning, commercially viable products and services which meet more of our everyday needs from local renewable and waste resources, to help enable One Planet living – living within our fair share of the Earth’s resources."
  • ZEDfactory "As leaders in the field of zero-carbon design and development, we have a unique track record of delivering Zero (fossil) Energy Development (ZED) buildings in the UK"
  • "Earthship Biotecture is a global company offering proven, totally sustainable design and construction services worldwide.
  • Centre for Alternative Technology - Leading by example, we aim to show that living more sustainably is not only easy to attain but can provide a better quality of life."
  • "The Low Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit organisation that was formed in 2001 to set up, manage and promote environmental projects. Our main objective is tackling climate change through highlighting the connection between buildings and the carbon emissions their use produces. We do this by running innovative low-carbon construction projects, and training, outreach and education workshops."
  • Green Building Press "We publish green building information in many mediums to help you to design and build sustainable, healthy and ecological homes offices and factories."



Future fiction

  • The Seasteading Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), working to enable seasteading communities - floating cities - which will allow the next generation of pioneers to test new ideas for government. The most successful can then inspire change in governments around the world.