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SG-W:/ Sustainability



Suscomr.101             Principles of a Sustainable Community
 
      Any logical train of thought would lead to the conclusion that the living in a Sustainable Community is the only way that humans can survive for any length of time after fossil fuels are gone. There is no possibility that any new energy source can completely replace fossil fuels. Therefore we must cut energy and resource consumption as much as we can. Elimination of houses and cars is the only way that we can make this possible. That can only be accomplished by combining work, agriculture, dwelling, schools, offices and as many things as possible in one small area so that most transportation can be accomplished by foot or bicycle. Clustered living offers the opportunities of sharing walls and ceilings, saving on utility cost, saving on transportation, eliminating needless chores such as lawn mowing, sharing childcare, forming cottage industries, and living with abundant nature. The most helpful thing that people can do now to save their grandchildren is to form land-owning cooperatives. It is the purpose of this paper to formulate the principles, which will make such cooperatives useful. Various other names that I have considered for the Sustainable community are, Agricultural Condominium, Cooperative Farm, Agromindium, and Ecomindium.
1 The cooperative should be founded on strict business principles so that shares can grow in value and be left to grandchildren. There would be a rigid set of rules to loud music, smoking, drunkenness, and other distractions on the property. Property rights would be strictly observed but people would be encouraged to share and to own jointly. There must be a constitution with rules laid out in advance.
2 The ownership structure must include investors, apartment owners, renters, and part owners. I am not sure whether it would be a profit corporation, non-profit corporation, a cooperative, or a joint ownership. There must be a hostel so that non-resident owners and guests can visit and work on the property. Most of the dwellers would probably have full time jobs and work part time on the project.
3 There should be enough land with the community to engage in farming for both food and energy. A minimum of about 10 acres would be needed. More would be desirable. One objective should be to use as much agricultural waste and other biomass for energy.
4 Only large buildings with 2 to 4 stories and 4 apartments per floor would be built. A small Ecomindium might have only one big building with four apartments per floor in a square shape and 2 or 3 stories. The full basement would be used for communal purposes.
5 The Co-op should engage in farming, gardening, cottage manufacturing, services which would bring income, and R&D relating to agriculture and energy.
6 The energy system would employ Combined Heat and Power (CHP), Combined Heat and Manufacturing (CHM), solar electric panels, solar thermal panels, Biomass, Wind, and Solar focused mirrors used for electricity, heat, and processing. There would be attempts to make biogas, synthesis gas, Ethanol, and Methanol.
7 As much as possible of the food used on the project would be grown there. There would be large stores of canned, frozen, and dried foods.
8 There would be communal transportation in the form of small buses, car pools, and rides from individuals. There probably would be a car pool with joint ownership.
9 There would be an attempt to keep a strong technical base for the Co-op. This would permit the possibility of developing items for manufacture and of adding great wealth to the Co-op. It is critical to the survival and advancement of the Co-op that any items developed on the Co-op should go into mass production. A strong work ethic and inventiveness would be important.
10 There would be a workshop and powerhouse adjacent to the property, probably underground. There also might be a greenhouse.
 
   Kermit Schlansker  PE       kssustain@provide.net       1 734 971 5283