This book is the inspirational story of one project that shows you how you can become involved in building and running your neighbourhood. The author, co-founder of Lilac (Low Impact Living Affordable Community), along with other members of the community and the project team, explains how a group of people got together to build one of the most pioneering ecological, affordable cohousing neighbourhoods in the world. The book is a story of perseverance, vision and passion, demonstrating how ordinary people can build their own affordable, ecological community.
The book starts with the clear values that motivated and guided the project’s members: sustainability, co-operativism, equality, social justice and self-management. It outlines how they were driven by challenges and concerns over the need to respond to climate change and energy scarcity, the limits of the ‘business as usual’ model of pro-growth economics, and the need to develop resources so that communities can determine and manage their own land and resources. The author’s story is interspersed with vignettes on topics such as decision making, landscaping, finance and design.
The book summarises academic debates on the key issues that informed the project, and gives technical data on energy and land issues as well as practical ‘how-to’ guides on a range of issues such as designing meetings, budget planning and community agreements. Low Impact Living provides clear and easy to follow advice for community groups, practitioners, government, business and the development sector and is heavily illustrated with drawings and photographs from the architectural team.