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The Karavans masthead photograph was taken by Colorado mountain biker and photographer Timmy Pitschka.

Community Building

A sense of community is important for two reasons. First, the quality of our lives is determined in large measure by whether or not we actively participate in a community. The social interactions, friendships, and sense of belonging are far more important than the material possessions which we accumulate over a life time--often as a compensating strategy for a lack of community. Second, if there is trouble ahead then one's community is the best tool for dealing with it. There truly is safety in numbers. Communities can muster far greater resources than any individual to deal with whatever catastrophes life may throw at us.

In summary, the Hollywood mythology about the lone survivor is just that--Hollywood mythology. In real life we do much better through group effort.

On these pages we will begin to explore community building strategies and tactics.

Local Economy

Community Building Ideas

More information on Intentional Communities and Eco-Villages.

The Kinsale Energy Descent Plan
The Head, Heart, and Hands Approach to building community

This is a very inspirational approach to building community presented by Permaculture designer and instructor Rob Hopkins of Transition Culture. Rob explains how the townspeople of Kinsale, England developed a plan to deal with energy descent.  It offers a broad overview of all the main aspects of building a self-sufficient community.

This is
a 44 minute long interview you can listen to. The audio files are at Global Public Media.

In effect, Americans threw away their communities in order to save a few dollars on hair dryers and plastic food storage tubs, never stopping to reflect on what they were destroying. The necessary restoration of local networks of economic interdependence, and the communities that rely on them, will be a  major theme later in this book. (Quote from The Long Emergency)

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