Planet Local examples
Bolivia, La Casa De Los Ningunos (The Nobodies’ House):
La Casa de los Ningunos is an experimental community in the Bolivian capital city of La Paz, 12,000 feet up in the Andes Mountains. In a recent piece on the Casa, Sian Cowman explained the inspiration for the name, which also elegantly describes the Casa’s mission, “…Los Ningunos comes from the poem Los Nadies by Eduardo Galeano – Los Ningunos are the have-nots, those seen as ‘nobodies’ by society at large. This community is re-imagining economic and social relations to help build a world where the ‘nobodies’ are no longer marginalized.”
They are doing so by attempting to create a community in which relationships are not driven by profit, and peoples’ basic needs and more can be fulfilled by collective labor and exchange — Cowman calls it, “people-driven alternatives to a money-driven society.” They consider building such a community to be a subversive act, insofar as it allows power and money to be taken away from the profit-driven global economy. Read more
Vauban is a neighborhood in Freiburg, Germany, that is often cited as one of the best examples of sustainable urban living in the world.
Vauban was originally developed in the late 1990s, on the site of an abandoned French military base. A number of people had been squatting there for some time; not wanting it to be snatched by developers, they took matters into their own hands and decided to create a “sustainable model district,” designed to serve the needs of both people and the planet.
The first 2,000 residents moved into Vauban in 2001. Today, the neighborhood has 5,000 residents and provides roughly 600 jobs. All of its systems — from transportation and energy to sewage and waste — were carefully designed by architects, biologists, solar experts, and other leaders in the fields of green design and urban planning. Read more
India, Adivasi Academy:
Adivasi Academy, based in Tejgadh, Gujarat, is trying to save the many endangered languages of the linguistically diverse Indian subcontinent.
The Adivasi – an umbrella term for the tribal groups considered to be the aboriginal population of India – are facing powerful social and economic pressures that lead many to abandon their own language in favor of Hindi, Gujarati, or English. Adivasi Academy seeks to show its students that their native languages and cultures are worth preserving. Read more
Myanmar (Burma), NEED-Burma:
Local empowerment and food security are difficult enough to achieve in the global economy; under one of the world’s most notoriously repressive regimes, it is doubly hard. Yet that’s what NEED-Burma (Network for Environment and Economic Development) works towards every day.
Since 2006, NEED-Burma has been teaching ecologically-sound farming practices to young Burmese at its model farm in Chiang Mai, Thailand – from seed saving and rice planting to mud-brick building and fungi cultivation. Read more
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