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With increasing pressure on countries for reducing carbon emissions and building for climate resilience new practices and models of development are seen emerging. One of them, is the idea of ‘eco-villages’. Bringing ‘renewable energy’ and carbon neutral infrastructure and practices in the rural landscape.

I will be attending a conference organized in Mumbai over the weekend called ACE-Tech(Architecture-Construction-Engineering) and organized by The Economic Times. The Conference, titled as ‘Global green summit 2012’, is focused on building sustainable futures and claims to present the future of building.

As I was looking through the agenda I came across the panel on “Eco-Villages” and was reminded by an interesting piece I read by Shannon May, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Here is the piece: http://www.counterpunch.org/2008/11/21/ecological-crisis-and-eco-villages-in-china/

Old ways and the new: a herder walks his goats home at old Huangbaiyu, while village chief Dai Xiaolong waits for villagers to buy into houses in the new “model” sustainable village.
Photo credit: C.M. Chung

The eco-village, Huangbaiyu, China.
Photo Credit: Shannon May.

In this article, which is a small excerpt of a much larger body of work, May highlights the extreme disjunct between an existing logic of practices, the use of materials, space and more importantly energy; and a new logic that is applied by external agencies building towards a ‘green future’. It would be interesting to see what the conversation in the conference is like, and maybe get some more perspectives and examples from other parts of the world.

 

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