Chapter 7 - The Sociology of Sustainable Development

Icorg many intentional communities are focused on

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Unformatted text preview: ust be critically assessed to understand its inherent bias toward concepts of “economic progress” and “growth” and the underlying assumption that growth benefits all sectors of society. Radicals come at this problem from an international scale, with much of the critique arising from the LDCs. A leading critique is that, by adopting sustainable development as “the” development BOX 7.1 Focus on the United States: Sustainable Communities Communities are looking for alternatives to unsustainable development. “Intentional communities” are one way people are attempting to proceed along sustainable paths. Intentional communities are the 1990s’ term for what were called “communes” and “back-to-the-land” movements in the 1960s and 1970s. “An `intentional community’ is a group of people who have chosen to live together with a common purpose, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their shared core values” (www.ic.org). Many intentional communities are focused on ecological values. According to data from 1990, over 8,000 people in North America live in intentional communities. The popularity of intentional communities has grown since then. A long-standing intentional community, the Farm, founded in 1971 in Tennessee, has worked toward creating a sustainable lifestyle with ecological building, permaculture, and sustainable forest management. One way its 200 residents earn a living is through their Ecovillage Training Center, which offers instruction in sustainable living, including courses on mushroom cultivation, composting, solar water heating, cob construction, hybrid vehicles, organic gardening, and social justice. Intentional communities don’t only exist in rural areas. In an innercity neighborhood in Los Angeles, 500 neighbors have created the Los Angeles Eco-Village. Residents describe it: “We are a neighborhood in the built-out mid-city area working toward becoming a demonstration of healthy urban community. Our wholesystems approach to community d...
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