Developing Urban Ecovillages: Towards Ecocities

Developing Urban Ecovillages: Towards Ecocities
November 9-11, 2007
A Gathering...
At Schmitt Academic Center
DePaul University -- Room 154
2320 N. Kenmore
Chicago, IL 60614


Ecovillages here refers to ways of living that enhance both sustainability and community. Their multiple forms range from intentional communities and co-housing, to friends and neighbors deciding to share more, while greening-up their environment and way of life. Ecological neighborhoods (eco-neighborhoods) and ecohoods are among their names.  

They are often living laboratories for extending sustainability. In recognition of their value, two municipalities in British Columbia, Canada, created special ecovillage zoning with modified building codes. Som Portland, Oregon council members are among those seeking similar changes there.

Would it be an exaggeration to claim that the emergence of
the ecofillage movement is the most significant event
of the 20th century? I don9t think so.

—Ted Trainer, Sociologist, University of New South Wales, Australia

In my view, ecovillages, and the larger social movements of
which they are an integral part, are the most promising and important movement in all of history.

—Robert Rosenthal, Prof. of Philosophy, Hanover College, USA


Preliminary Program
[Confirmed presenters have * after their name]



Overview - The Promise of EcoVillages, Diana Leafe Christian*, author of Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow EcoVillages and Intentional Communities (2003) and Finding Community: How to join and EcoVillage or Intentional Community (2007). Editor of Communities magazine from 1993 to the latest issue. Diana is a nationally known speaker, offering presentations, workshops and consultations on ecovillages, intentional communities and Peak Oil issues.



Morning (9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)

  • Welcome
  • Sadhu Johnson, Assistant to the Mayor for Green Initiatives — on Chicago9s plan to become the greenest city in the nation, and the potential place for ecovillage type developments in that vision
  • Thomas J. Murphy*, Professor Emeritus, Chemistry, and former director of DePaul9s environmental science program — on 9Peak Everything, or what is recently called the "Global Triple Crisis," a major motivation for stepping up ecovillage creation
  • KEYNOTE: Turning Your Neighborhood into and EcoVillage: The story of Cincinnati9s ecovillage pair by Jim Schenk*, co-founder and Executive Director (until 2005) of Imago Earth Center, the organization spearheading the ecovillage creation. He is also the editor of What Does God Look Like in an Expanding Universe (Dec. 2006)
  • PANEL: Other Approaches to EcoVillages and EcoNeighborhoods
    • Starting from a Shared Garden — Julie Peterson*, Coordinator, Beyond Today9s ecological neighborhood project
    • Start With Your Friends. Eco-Coops — Ted Ernst*, of the Hub Cooperative Story (, HOF-News-coops06jump.article)
    • Everyone Working Together: Cleveland9s EcoVillage Begginings — Manda Gillespie*, the original project manager
    • Creating New Community the CoHousing Way — Tom Braford*, Co-founder of Culver Way Cohousing in St. Louis


Afternoon (1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.) 

  • Openspace Collaboration — Share your vision and interests using openspace technology
  • Main Focus — Bringing more ecovillage-like developments to fruition here
  • Plenary — Summary, additional openspace topics for Sunday9s continuation 



Morning (10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)

  • Openspace continues
  • Plenary — What9s next?


Afternoon (1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.)

  • Field trip to Beyond Today9s emerging ecological neighborhood at the Waters Garden (Campbell and Sunnyside, three blocks from the Rockwell stop of the Ravenswood line)

Sponsored by: Chicago Urban Permaculture (CUP)

Co-sponsors include: Environmental Research Foundation, Beyond Today, Urban Ecovillage Network, Ecovillage Network of the Americas, and Cohousing Association of the United States.

Register at
Information: 773-756-5033,, 

Name Sales End Price
Full Event   Ended $45

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