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Designing with Diversity Case Study of Charlottendals GĂĽrd

Master’s Thesis

Peter Robert Edward Tallberg Student number: xtv807 University of Copenhagen 04.03.2019 Supervisor: Ole Fryd


Table of content

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1. Introduction 3 1.1. Scope of Thesis 3 1.2. Justification of Thesis 3 1.3. Problem statement / research questions 4 1.4. Desired outcome 4 2. Theory 6 2.1. Three perspectives of theory 6 2.1.1. Intentional Communities and Ecovillages 6 2.1.2. Urban Design 7 2.1.3. Permaculture Design 8 2.2. Key concepts 9 2.2.1. Transition 9 2.2.2. Diversity 10 2.2.3. Resilience 10 2.2.4. Feedback Loops 11 2.2.5. Vision 11 3. Methodology 12 3.1. Action research 12 3.2. Data gathered 13 4. Case study of Charlottendal Gård 15 4.1. Mintree 15 4.2. Maps 17 4.2.1.Structures and spaces 18 4.2.2. Spaces and places 19 4.2.3. Infrastructure and dwellings 21 4.2.4. Developing the community 23 4.3. The Ecovillage Mandala 24 4.4. Designs 25 4.4.1. Lilla Bullerbyn 26 4.4.2. The Collective ‘Myshuset’ 28 4.4.3. The Base 29 4.4.4. Forest Temple 31 4.4.5. The Yurt 32 4.4.6. Interconnectivity 33 4.5. Two other communities. 34 4.5.1. Permakultur Stjärnsund 34 4.5.2. Ecovillage Suderbyn 37 4.6. Scenarios 40 4.6.1. Zero 40 4.6.2. Volunteers 41 4.6.3. Gardens 42 4.7. Limitations & Recommendations 44


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5. Strategy 46 5.1. Answering research questions 46 5.2. Current affairs 47 5.3. Needs and desires 48 5.4. Whole Systems Design 48 5.5. Agreements 49 5.6. Opportunities 49 5.7. Facilities 49 5.8. Focus 50 5.9. Vision 50 6. Conclusions 52 7. References 53 7.1. Peer reviewed articles 53 7.2. Published books 53 7.3. Online articles 54 8. Appendixes 55 8.1. GEN Ecovillage commitments 55 8.2. Interview of property owners 57 8.3. Document: Building the Base 61


1. Introduction

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1.1. Scope of thesis This thesis analyses the development of the Ecovillage concept on a small farm in Sweden, while creating a volunteer base in the community. The study incorporates aspects such as planning, constructig, managing, documenting, and reflecting on the stage of development aimed at kick starting the intentional community of Charlottendal Gård. At the time of submission I will have lived at the farm for a total of 18 months, in two separate periods. Although there has been much change during this time, it has been during the last six months when the designs, which are uplifted in this work, have come to manifest in reality. I have documented earlier findings, and theoretical aspects in nn unpublished report for a Project in Practise report called: Catalyzing Community Through a Voluntary Task Force: Case Study of Charlottendal Gård (Tallberg 2018). This thesis remains for most parts focused more on practical designs, where as the previous report looks at the social dynamics and community framework, while establishing a voluntary task force and their base of operation. Together, they provide a comprehensive analysis of the integral parts of what a small farm may experience while transitioning towards a new chapter, such as becoming an Ecovillage. Further analysis would be required to establish an understanding of the relationships with neighbors and opportunities of expanding the sense of eco-living in the area.

1.2. Justification of thesis The nature of the present crisis, is a rising discontent and restlessness among those suffering from political instability, violence, resource scarcity, and feeling of insecurity. (Kothari, 1990, 57) Kothari claims the symptoms are being focused on to the detriment of our own well being, while the source of the crisis remains unattended to. Yet only by tackling the root cause will bring hope for a breakthrough in what he calls the human condition. Only by doing so will a sustainable and resilient development occur, which may bring about international peace and cooperation. Kothari advocates holistic thinking, by bringin science, technology, philosophy, and art. (Kothari, 1990; 52) In this world with an ever increasing amount of confined built-up environments, endless amount of consumer products, we can witness how a mix of crises, like climate change, ecocide, violencence and pollution ravages our planet on the electronic screen constantly in our faces (Jouber & Dregger, 2015). Seeking to return towards simpler lifestyles, and more natural environments seems like a good idea. Thriving ecosystems still exist, but by connecting natural systems and cycles, with appropriate designs can transform even a derelict area into a lush forest with time and investment. (Lessem, 2016) The human element in the creation of areas which are thriving with life, requires a harmonious and dynamic framework, which satisfies the necessities of life for all who reside there, and provide a closer connection to the resources needed. The Earth Stewardship scenario is uplifted by the Transition Movement, as the most viable direction for modern culture if our civilization is to continue. “Human society creatively descends the energy demand slope essentially as a ‘mirror image’ of the creative energy ascent that occurred between the onset of the industrial revolution and the present day.” (Hopkins, 2011; 43) Hopkins links the impact of decreasing resources with an increase in localization. Many speak of longing for a paradigm shift, or change in mainstream lifestyle, which is more considerate towards this earth. We wish to unify our passions, and appreciation for the planet, with sustaining our lives e.g. financially (Jouber & Dregger 2015). “This is a beautiful planet! It calls us to take time to explore, to visit a river, look at the moon, watch the wind as it moves through the leaves, listen to birdsong, feel the ocean waters on our skin - to allow ourselves to be touched by the larger forces that surround us.” (Jouber, 2015; 17)


4 The growing amount of rural and peripheral settlements and areas which are dying out (United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, 1997) could be a golden opportunity to re-focus our collective lifestyle, and provide many people with the possibilities of a sustainable lifestyle and resilient home. However, considering the energy which is being designated construction of new areas, generally urban and suburban areas, also they are targets for an increase in sustainable designs. In the case of EcoVillage at Ithaca,(EVI) New York, the founding members purposely chose the urban edge, partly because it is a major growth area in America, and they were focused on establishing their model in that very niche. This is echoed in a quote by a resident at EVI: “I think we are the mainstream fringe of the Ecovillage movement. We probably should call ourselves an Eco-suburb.” (Sherry & Ormsby, 2016; 139)

1.3. Problem statement and research questions On the 5th of July 2015 Charlottendal was recognized by GEN (the Global Ecovillage Network)1 as a Swedish Ecovillage. (Appendix 1.) However, according to both many residents and the facilitator of a past vision workshop in the community, Charlottendal Gård is in reality not a Ecovillage, rather a beautiful place with some residents, animals and kindergarten. (Tallberg, 2018) The property owners: Merle and Peter Hagerrot say that the community does not have “a singular goal, rather many different subgoals, with a general idea of the farm being a pedagogic place.” (see 7.2. Interview of property owners) They describe their vision of the community as 20-25 people living together with diversity in residential forms, and lifestyles. They wish to see the community enjoy a relaxed tempo and the richness of life and nature. However, the connection to the Ecovillage network and other sustainability projects are currently upheld only by Peter. Therefore the transition of the farm to an Ecovillage, or otherwise known intentional community, which clearly is the direction especially Peter is working to establish, is not a process particularly shared by many other current resident. Therefore, my role as a landscape architect became: 1. Identifying the missing links, in the development of Charlottendal as an Ecovillage; 2. Exploring the reasons for their absence. 3. And solving these issues with different designs.

1.4. Desired outcome The aim of this thesis is to support the community of Charlottendal in their efforts to establish an intentional community, filling the Ecovillage with the collective dreams of the residents. I approach this process from a design perspective, particularly of an urban designer and landscape architect. The observations and proposals expressed here are intended to support the community in overcoming past challenges and beginning a new chapter with awareness and unity. May this thesis provide the community with a good strategy in developing their framework and bringing their Ecovillage to life. Furthermore, this study provides a piece of the puzzle, which can be further developed to support local initiatives in: 1. Future residential development in the local area. 2. Developing a ‘nature park’ along a local river system, Moraå. 3. Supporting transition initiatives and adding momentum to the shift from wasteful lto regenerative relationships with our natural resources.


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During my time at the Ecovillage, I have held an essential role bridging many different groups of individuals and activities. I have taken upon myself a leadership role, in order to understand the workings of a community and project of transitioning a small farm to an Ecovillage. My observations and designs presented in this thesis will provide community members with a blueprint, when developing new aspects of the Ecovillage, or planning future activity which could take place at Charlottendal. By collecting and presenting my thoughts I give the community my insights and designs to play with. Readers involved in this Ecovillage will better understand where their own interests lie, and get a sense of how to engage with said interest. I commit a large part of this thesis to the design of frameworks fitting intentional communities, as I found blockages like: communication issues; decision-making imbalances; and ownership challenges brewing in the older generation of residents at Charlottendal. The residents of Charlottendal willing and wanting to create an intentional community, can follow the steps I present, preferably also reading up on the literature used in this thesis. At the point of writing this, I have gently nudged the residents in the direction of the vision making process, with a short survey of general vision related questions, also sharing the Vision Document of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage (Christian, 2003, 40). While interviewing the residents for my prior report I asked about residents two, five, and ten year visions. I have shared a couple articles, and vision documents with community members, and will present this study to further support the process, whenever the community members are ready. I anticipate I will remain connected with Charlottendal, in the role of a planner, and sharing my tools and stories at moments of need. I wish to transferring the knowledge and data extracted from this action research to the academic communities and the public at large. From the beginning my purpose has been understanding how to create regenerative homes, as I thought that would be a simple trend which could be strategically effective against the current challenges of civilization. If my investigation of the ongoings in Charlottendal reflects civilization at large, the lessons learned here will therefore mirror the lessons needed to be learned in other realms, such as urban design, or planning policies. Finally, this thesis has carried a personal goal of mine, which is visible throughout the study. Due to my passion in life I am chose to use lightweight and mobile methods of design and visualization. This means favouring the use of onsite resources, and using a drone for aerial footage, rather than high resolution images and maps available from different intitutions and online services. Additionally I lived in a mobile home (1980’s Mercedes-Benz 608L mini-bus) simulating the conditions a designer might face when arriving to a new site or off-the-grid location. Therefor this experience was also one of personal learning, in which I take steps towards a career where I can arrive on site with my unit of creativity, and despite the roject context begin surveying the land and analysing different dimensions and networks. Luckily, my skill set was highly applicable to the case of Charlottendal, despite their needs being very complex. The volunteer program was a success despite certain discrepencies, the community took steps towards a more unified community, and has since been working on cultivating intentionality and egalitarianism. In hindsight I see many of our endevaours being succesful and opening up new pathways forward for the Ecovillage. Personally this project showed itself to be a sort of crowning for me, as I showed myself that I am capable of doing the things I dream of doing and find so vital to do in this era of our world. However, this also comes with a deeper understanding of the responsibility of planning and developing, and the impact is has on people and the environment. Fortunately, in the case of Charlottendal and the other projects connected to it, I dare say, the rate of success having been quite high despite surprising drawbacks and plot twists. Much has happened since the end of this case study, and at the time of writing these final edits the second year of volunteers are enjoying their final weeks at Charlottendal, two short-termers having already left the project. In the spirit of peace, may further developments at Charlottendal be of a harmonious nature, and when challenges occur, may they be received with open eyes and kind hearts.


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2. Theory In this chapter I will discuss key concepts and how they relate to Charlottendal Gård, the subject of the case study. I will find a red thread by following my research questions through the literature of intentional communities and Ecovillages. I go through the transition movement, and look at essential systems, such as feedback-loops. I use permaculture design to tie it all together and explore guidelines for places in transition. The purpose of this thesis is to observe, document and analyse the development of Charlottendals as an Ecovillage. As a document, this can work as checkpoint and blueprint containing relevant information for anyone seeking to join the community. To answer the questions posed below I look to the literature on topics relevant to an aspiring Ecovillage, and in transition farm. The literature, case study, and comparisons with two other Swedish Ecovillages, inspire three possible visions which are shortly explored, before summarizing the thesis with a concluding framework and strategic proposal.

2.1. Three perspectives of theory 2.1.1 Intentional Communities and Ecovillages An intentional community is generally a locally owned place, which has been designed with awareness to regenerate social and natural environments, through participatory processes (Joubert & Dregger, 2015). Ecovillages are intentional communities with the goal of facilitating lifestyles, which have a lower impact on the environment. They can be seen as “semi-self-sufficient, human-scale, cooperative, sustainable settlement that integrates all the primary facets of life - sociality, alternative economics, food production, energy, shelter, recreation, and manufacturing - with a sensitivity toward the environment and its natural cycles” (Parr, 2009, p. 62, quoted in Sherry & Ormsby, 2016, p. 125). They consist of a supportive and high-quality social and cultural environment, which provide groups of committed people with a playground for finding solutions for our global challenges (Sherry & Ormsby, 2016). However, the reasons for living in an intentional community or Ecovillage are not only the practicalities of daily life, or achieving a collective goal together (Christian, 2003). Other reasons may be the happiness of living in a resilient environment. Localisation is concluded to make people happier by doing “a better job of meeting people’s needs, they’d be happier and people will live in a more socially cohesive way and live more sustainably ... as time goes on, people would experience more and more satisfaction of their needs and find that their community is providing them with more and more opportunities to enact those needs, and to enact those intrinsic values, and that they’re experiencing less and less barriers” (Kasser, 2010, quoted in Hopkins, 2011, p. 46). Establishing an intentional community or Ecovillage is however no easy task. Only one in ten succeeds (Christian, 2003). The framework may vary between groups of people and places of settlement. In the Transition Movement a framework of twelve steps is given, which begins with forming a core group, raising awareness, and laying a foundation, with the further steps of connecting to local government, reskilling members, and creating an energy descent plan (Hopkins, 2011). Part of the transition process is gaining a conception of land as a community (Lin, 2014) This further develops to a restoration of the holistic perspective back into cultures, bringing together science, technology, philosophy, and art (Kothari, 1990). Furthering this transittion can lead to the earth stewardship scenario, one of current future predictions considered as a viable direction for society to grow in (Chamberlin, 2009). This journey of growth is not of wealth, but of experiences which can rather


7 be seen as a maturation process. When we satisfy our basic needs, we can climb the pyramid through psychological needs to the top of self actualization (Maslow, 1943).

2.1.2 Urban Design The individuals needs are mirrored in the needs of a community (Baches, 2016), and in terms of urban design the pyramid can consist of the levels form, safety, belonging, recognition, and vision.

Figure 1. Maslow’s theory of motivation constructs a pyramid of an individuals needs and desires. Maslow, 1943

The general idea in the Transition movement is that a large change in civilization will occur inevitably, so we might as well be prepared for it. The reason for this change is the depletion of resources, which lessen economic activity (Chamberlin 2009). This powers down society, but with an increase in localization, human society could descend the spike in energy demand since the start of the industrial revolution by creative means. The term Vernacular architecture is used to describe the kinds of constructions and designs created from the pure necessity for human beings to provide themselves with shelter from the elements. (Edwards, 2011) The “style” is based on local needs, availability of construction materials and reflects local traditions (Hopkins 2011). Edwards critically points out that such a style has long become regarded as “backwards”, but due to energy costs the style is becoming popular once more. Figure 2. Only by successfully satifying the In parallel to this David Orr says that the past fifty needs on the lower levels can the vision on top years of “work in sustainable and natural systems agbe achieved. Baches, M. 2016 riculture,ecological engineering, green building, biophilic design, solar and wind technology, regenerative forestry, holistic resource management, waste water cycling and ecological restoration”, has resulted in accumulating the necessary knowledge and capabilities to remake “human presence on the earth”. (Hopkins, 2011, 54 ) Therefore the theories of Intentional Community, Ecovillage Design, and Urban Design are interconnected and work with similar opportunities and issues at different spectrums of the scale. They both aim at providing answers for how the human population can thrive on the planet we call home. Considering the momentum of the environmental movement it is time for the planners and community creators to present the viable alternatives in developing civilization (Bennet & Theil, 2019).


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2.1.3 Permaculture Design The act of turning challenges into opportunities is also a central one in permaculture design, which is defined by Christian as a set up techniques and principles for designing sustainable human settlements. It is guided by the ethical principles of earth care, people care, and fair share, which are implemented i.e. when using plants, animals, buildings and the relationships between them. Hopkins calls permaculture a design glue which sticks together all the elements for a sustainable and resilient culture. Such elements include: local food production, energy generation, water management, and meaningful employment. When permaculture is applied these elements are assembled in the best way possible. Hopkins calls it the art of maximising beneficial relationships, and quotes Holmgren, a permaculture pioneer: “traditional agriculture was labour intensive, industrial agriculture is energy-intensive, and permaculture-design systems are information and design-intensive.� ERA (Ecological recycling agriculture) parallels permaculture as it is based on the three ecological principles of: conserving biodiversity, recycling, and utilizing renewable resources. (Koikkalainen et. al, in BERAS, 2013) ERA aims to address the root causes, rather than symptoms, which is the basic advantage of ERA in regards to pollution in comparison to conventional agriculture. ERA also produces many added values, in terms of Ecosystem Services (ESS) and public good, with only a slightly lower yield rate than in conventional systems. In comparison to conventional agriculture, ERA produces a high number of added values, including ESS and other public goods. Still, the yield is only slightly lower than in conventional agriculture, and provides efficient tools in transitioning towards environmentally friendly farming methods.

Image courtesy of David Holmgren, taken from: https://holmgren.com.au/about-permaculture/


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2.2. Key concepts 2.2.1 Transition As reasons for transitioning the following is listed in “The Transition Companion”: Fun, exciting, fairness, peak oil, realizing dreams, climate change, fear, economic crises, feels like the most appropriate thing to do, gives hope. The underpinning reasons for the movements consists of: Climate change and peak oil require urgent action. Life with less energy is inevitable, better prepare than react. There is no resilience in industrial societies We need to act together now Infinite growth within a finite system is impossible We are capable of solving this challenge as much as previous ones. We have the possibility of creating a future more fulfilling and enriching than life today. (Hopkins 2011) “If we want to thrive, we need to move from a growth imperative to a resilience imperative.” Thomas Homer-Dixon (in The Transition Companion, p. 34) This change can be simplified when thinking of asking oneself the question: how am I sustaining life around me? Rather than just: how am I minimizing my impact? (Sherry & Ormsby) It is a shift from wasteful to regenerative use of resources, with a focus in contributing to the land, instead of taking from it.

2.2.2 Diversity Diversity has been identified as a key concept which in the case of species, genes and ecosystems forms the basis for human life. (Granstedt & Seuri, 2013). In chapter 4.3. On ERAs (Ecological Recycling Agriculture) benefits to biodiversity, by Stein-Bachinger, a key to sustainable farming systems lies in a rich biodiversity. Natural methods are favoured over industrialized version. A thriving collection of soil inhabiting organisms (e.g. earthworms, bacteria, and fungi) maintain the soil fertility. Diverse and localized varieties of both livestock and crops create ‘resistance to diseases and resilience to climatic stress, which contributes to the health of a farm. A goal to strive for is to at as small of an impact on farm life, conserve as high degree of natural areas.

2.2.3 Resilience 12 steps of transition. 1. Set up a steering group and design its demise from the outset. 2. Awareness raising. 3. Lay the foundations. 4. Organise a great unleashing. 5. Form working groups. 6. Use open space.

7. Develop visible practical manifestations of the project. 8. Facilitate the ‘Great Reskilling’. 9. Build a bridge to local government. 10. Honour the elders. 11. Let it go where it wants to go... 12. Create an energy descent plan.


10 Further in the BERAS Implementation (Matyka et. al. 2013, 108) brings up indicators of resilience, as something that “allows us to get a sense of whether or not the community is moving towards or away from resilience” They define resilience as the ability for a community to withstand impacts from outside. Charlie Edwards, in another book from Totnes called The Transition Companion, 2011, by Rob Hopkins, shares this perspective adding the necessity to sustain an acceptable level of function, structure or identity. However, in the final remarks of Resilience: A Bridging Concept or a Dead End?(2012), Davoudi concludes that resilience is promising as a concept in bridging the natural and social sciences, as well as in planning perspectives. In the following chapter called “Reframing” Resilience: Challenges for Planning Theory and Practice, Keith Shaw proposes the perspective that resilience is not about returning to some original state after a shock, but rather the ability to adapt to the new state turning the transformation to the hosts advantage. In Shaw’s concluding remarks he supports Davoudi’s views on how the concept of resilience is aimed at nudging planners to prepare for innovative transformation. In the third article of the journal, called Interacting Traps: Resilience Assessment of a Pasture Management System in Northern Afghanistan, Haider, Quinlan & Peterson uplift two key elements which generates resilience: understanding and managing feedback processes; and addressing uncertainties by building the capacity of people and nature to cope with change in flexible and innovative ways. They further delve into tools for assessing resilience with a case study of a pastoral social-ecological system in Ishkashim. “If we want to thrive, we need to move from a growth imperative to a resilience imperative.” (Hopkins, 2011, 34) The community at Sirius were inspired to organizing recurrent “no energy days” after having a very enjoyable time, while the local town closed down due to an ice storm. “It was one of the most beautiful times of community, we shared food and warmed the sauna.”(Sherry & Ormsby, 2016, 137)

2.2.4 Feedback Loops In order to explore the concept of feedback loops I first look at ecosystem processes, split into four categories by Perkins in Making Small Farms Work 2016: n order to explore the concept of feedback loops I first look at ecosystem processes, split into four categories by Perkins in Making Small Farms Work 2016: Water cycle: Water bodies, streams, retention rate in soil, cover crops and litter. Mineral cycle: Microorganisms recycles minerals from decaying organisms to fertility for living ones. Community dynamics: In the successional patterns of ecological communities, the rate of biodiversity is both positively and negatively affected by its form of management. In natural systems diversity generally indicates in more stable ecosystems. Energy flow: Solar power is the main source of energy for life as we know it. How efficiently we harvest it is directly linked to our success and enhancement of above processes. 7 Principles for adding resilience to your community 1. Positive visioning. 2. Help people access good information and trust them to make good decisions. 3. Inclusion and openness. 4. Enabling sharing and networking . 5. Build resilience. 6. Inner and outer transition. 7. Subsidiarity: self-organisation and decision-making at the appropriate level.


11 Chamberlin uses the carbon dioxide cycle as an example of a feedback loop: An increase in ocean CO2 increases acidity, which: reduces its ability to absorb further CO2; kills off plankton that also would absorb CO2; and our planet’s abilities to absorb carbon, as of plants become vulnerable to droughts, fires and diseases due to local climate change. He says that the stress of increasing temperatures and CO2, will eventually cause plants to release CO2 rather than absorb it. (Chamberlin, 2009, p. 142)

2.2.5 Vision Christian defines the community vision as a clear note which describes the shared future you want to create. It reveals and announces: your groups core values; the vision unifies individual efforts; it functions as a reference point during conflicts; and expresses something each member can identify with; which keeps the group inspired; and helps people with committing. A community vision consists of: mission, purpose, values, goals, objectives, aspirations, interests, and strategy. Examples of Community visions: “Mission: to create a village which is a living laboratory and educational seed bank for a sustainable human future” Earthaven mission statement (Sherry & Ormsby 2016, 132) “The Ultimate goal of EcoVillage at Ithaca is nothing less than the redesign of the human habitat” EcoVillage at Ithaca vision statement (Sherry & Ormsby 2016, 130) “We have joined together to create a center for renewal, education, and service, dedicated to the positive transformation of our world” Shenoa Retreat and Learning Center (Christian 2003, 39) “We are creating a cooperative neighborhood of diverse individuals sharing human resources within an ecologically responsible community setting” Harmony Village Cohousing (Christian 2003, 39)


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3. Methodology This case study is built on the “lived experience” of creating design solutions within the Ecovillage framework. According to Given (2008), the “lived experience refers to a representation of the experiences and choices of a given person, and the knowledge that they gain from these experiences and choices”. Therefore, in this case-study, I use the experiential learning I gathered from designing and running a volunteerproject at Charlottendal Gård for a year. As such, much of the data material collected is autoethnographic and reflective. I also use visual methods of storytelling such as videos, pictures, figures, maps and other designs. These together form the story of my lived experience and inform the practicality of doing similar projects elsewhere. As such, there is an element of replicability in the design as the case of Charlottendal Gård could be exchanged for either a smaller or bigger customer site. In this way, the quality and multifunctional applicability of designs is of high value. Hence, scalability and adaptability are key concepts for the designs to provide functional solutions to both this case and others which it might connect with or inspire. Hence efforts are simplified, drawing a general blueprint of forces and factors, which may be scaled up or extrapolated to fit larger and more complex formats. As an example one can consider politics within the Ecovillage as relationships between neighbours, and therefore gain a ore direct understanding of driving forces or restricitive factors, in comparison to politics within an urban or municipal context, which can be riddled with bureaucracy. The same applies for multiple factors, hence the Ecovillage serves as a simplified and more easily graspable arena for observtions, analysis, and experimental development. The project site already holds most of the infrastructure and built environment needed for human habitation, farming and educational activity. Hence, this case study focuses on what may occur during the development of an intentional community, that is to say: when people who live in a place, turns into a interwoven group of people who are furthering a vision of the place agreed upon by all relevant stakeholders. This invaribly results in the development of new social layers, and the distribution of power and responsibility. My role has been to initiate, plan, coordinate, participate, oversee and reflect on actions taken during this phase of the Ecovillage project. This Academic study has given a structure and framework, which has positively affected the daily efforts of developing Charlottendal as an intentional community. Additionally, the data gathered, maps produced and designs presented has supported the Ecovillage and will enable future development to happen in a more holistic fashion.

3.1. Action research From the urban designers perspective this could be seen as studying a simpler form of human settlement, in order to find the fundamental elements and functions necessary for a place inhabited by humans to thrive (Seuri, 2013). Therefore a personal framework of success is applied, with a foundation in solution based thinking. Environmental adaptation is an essential part of this study, as ecology and environmental impact are central to the vision of an Ecovillage and the subject in this study, Charlottendals Gård. Given the nature and growing need for sustainable designs worldwide, I found a necessity to involve myself quite practically in the process, with the intention of partaking in and learning from the creative process of establishing an Ecovillage. In this study, observations are made while participating and hosting community work, dinners, meetings, social events, ceremonies, saunas, and sharing circles. This method can be seen as a variation on the one used in the article; Sustainability in Practice (Ormsby & Sherry, 2016). The year spent at Charlottendal was divided into two parts: 1. I observe and interact with Charlottendal from a theorethical perspective, using the book Creating a Life together (Christian, 2003) - this part was reported on as a “project in practice” (a master’s study course at the University of Copenhagen) in 2018; 2. a landscape architectural and design oriented presentation of the Ecovillage and the most relevant projects currently taking place at Charlottendal´- reported on as this Master’s thesis (accepted by the University of Copenhagen in March 2019). Together they give a comprehensive understanding of the community and its context. This


13 thesis is a documentation and creative proposal of the development of Charlottendal as an Ecovillage, which portrays how the Ecovillage concept was being developed and utilized in Sweden pre 2020.

3.2. Data gathered Types of data: Primary: 1. Visuals A) Pictures I took pictures to create a diary of events, and phases of development, as well as recording the atmosphere and seasonal differences. Therefore I had the camera at my ready most of the time. Some pictures were taken from the same spot in order to create timelines, where some sort of change occurs but the object remains the same, like the garden of the Collective house (see video: Introducing Charlottendal). I photographed the buildings, gardens, forests, animals, people*, at different times of day throughout four seasons, and shared a select few on a Facebook page I created for the Ecovillage. Some moments are of course impossible to capture, but by being willing to make a decent attempt of recording highlights, I made quite a diverse album of images. The drone images taken by David Roxendal provided a birdseye view and bridging perspective for all the other images to interact with. B) Blueprints Whilst building The Base (newly built log cabin, partly funded by Leader) as the base of operations for the volunteers at Charlottendal I made a poster called Building the Base (see appendix 8.3). C) Maps I had at my disposal some very undetailed maps of Charlottendal (property boundaries, and terrain) on which I could document explorative discoveries during the case study. The drone images by David provided a great foundation for maps and skecthes. D) Video material I also recorded a fair bit of video with a variety of focuses. Some were very informative, others abstract. together with Noora and Svetlana (my volunteer companions) we recorded developmental phases, events, atmospheric shots, and heaps of fun. Some video material was shared on the Facebook page: Charlottendals Gård, Järna. Michail “Angie” Mozorov (resident of Charlottendal) also captured video material, with a focus on timelapses, some of which were used in a video made as part of the Leader funding project of The Base (available at: http://charlottendal.se/evs-volunteering/). Additionally David Roxendal captured aerial footage of Charlottendal with a drone, during two events, documented two ceremonies at the Temple, and has played an essential role in the making of all videos for this case study. Finally, Linnea Rundgren was of great assistance in editing the video material, and I am greatful for her support through some very intense times. Pictures Visuals

Blueprints Maps Video material

Primary

An accurate portrayal of the current state

Insights Type of Data

Surveys Sharing circles

Comparable projects

Stjärnsund Suderbyn Landscape architecture

Secondary

Contributions:

Interviews

Peer reviewed articles

Urban design theory Social resilience

Best praxis available for Ecovillage development

• A collection of foundational documentation of Charlottendal, enabling a shared view and understanding of the project. • An investigation and analysis of the social dimensions of life on the farm • Active involvement in the growth and development of the Ecovillage, as a project manager and designer • Initiating strategies for the community’s future development • Providing a possible framework for a collective vision making process

Transition theory Books

Permaculture design Ecovillage education

Diagram breaking down the types of data collected for this case study, and keynotes on their relevance.


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2. Insights A) Interviews The interviews were conducted in order to understand the position and perspectives of the owners of the property, Merle and Peter Hagerrot. Interviews were also conducted of many community residents during phase 1, in order to understand the general situation of the residents of Charlottendal. The findings contributed to devising different strategies and finding priorities and possibilities of development. B) Surveys A survey was conducted in the beginning and at the end of the year. The intentions of the surveys were to collect data on general affairs and opinions held by residents in an anonymous way. C) Sharing circle Sharing circles are held for many reasons, but generally it is a type of meeting where one person speaks at a time, and everyone else listens while sitting in a circle. It is a method of egalitarian communication, which creates a bonding experience that can be very beneficial for collectives, communities, or other co-creative ventures. Secondary: 1. Comparison to other projects of a similar nature A) Permakultur Stjärnsund, in Dalarna Sweden. https://stjärnsund.nu B) Suderbyn Ecovillage & NGO relearn, on Gotland Sweden. http://www.suderbyn.se 2. Scientific research on the topics relevant to the development of an Ecovillage A) Landscape architecture Landscape architecture provides a good understanding of the land, site and situation, which can be applied at the Ecovillage of Charlottendal. As this is the focus of my professional career and this Thesis, I apply the skills amassed during my education in a variety of situations, like when understanding how a structure fits a landscape, or how a node affects a network of activity. B) Urban Design Theory My understanding of urban design provided me with a general understanding of how the ways we have live together has been developed and the consequences of certain strategies, materials, and designs. Understanding urban settings also allowed me to view and analyse the complex web of interaction in Charlottendal, as he nature of forces and factors are similar. C) Social Resilience Understanding the current social context and grasping its pros and cons. Observing the values and agreements placed in the foundation of the community direct the method of development. Interacting with the flow in a way that favours certain results or directs attention on a particular matter. Enabling change to happen more smoothly. 3. Browsing the available library for books on A) Transition theory, based on Transition Town Totnes (TTT), which is a community-led and run local charity that exists to strengthen the local economy, reduce our environmental impact, and build our resilience for a future with less cheap energy and a changing climate, in Totnes, England. B) Permaculture design, which is a tool to understand the cycles and parameters of a landscape and shape its format to suit the needs of its occupants. As a design tool it can be applied in a vast amount of ways, from social to agricultural settings. Originally developed by Bill Mollison, and David Holmgren, but based on an ancient knowledge, modern pragmatism, and cutting edge technology. C) Ecovillage education, inspired and taught by Findhorn Ecovillage, Damanhur and Gaia education, where a holistic view of an ecovillage is presented in four categories: Worldview, Ecology, Economic, and Social.


15

4. Case study of Charlottendal GĂĽrd

GARDENS VOLUNTEERS

4.1. Mindtree In order to weave together the multidimensionality of an ecovillage in a holistic perspective I imagined a tree. I chose to root the framework in diversity and design. Diversity can be related to nature and a feminine energy, whilst design is more constructive and masculine type of energy. They are like two sides on the same coin, both necessary for the existence of the other. We can read this design tree as growing upward from these two sphere. This structure is one that is following in this case study. The topics can certainly be jumbled about, but from a design perspective this made sense.

POSSIBILITIES OF DEVELOPMENT

LIMITATIONS & PROPOSALS

INTERVIEWS & SURVEYS

STJĂ„RNSUND

ZERO

CHARLOTTENDAL ECOVILLAGE

COMMUNITY GLUE

HOME

FORMS OF RESIDENCE

RESILIENCE

SIMILARITIES & DIFFERENCES

FORMS OF ACTIVITY

SUDERBYN

DRIVERS OF DEVELOPMENT

MULTIFUNCTIONALITY

INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY

VISION

COMPARABLE PROJECTS

REDUNDANCY FEEDBACK LOOPS

CATALYSTS

VALUES

BIO-REGION

EDUCATION

Above diversity and design lies vision, DESIGN DIVERSITY values, bio-region, and education. These may seem random at first, but they represent four fundamental dimension. Education represents the perspectives, skills, knowledge, and experience of those involved, bio-region the physical place with all of its aspects, values are the priorities, standards, and agreements that unify the people and the place, and the vision is the inspiration or dream of an attractive future. These four acts as the building blocks on top of which processes and patterns emerge. The third row breaches the ground, and represents much of the processes which go on at surface level, e.g. as local systems and cycles which are to some degree visible. Based on the four below different patterns of activity arise, which create feedback loops, e.g. nutrition cycle or seasons. Catalysts are that which makes something begin to happen, e.g. introducing volunteers to a place in need of labor force is a big catalyst, but so is adding microorganisms to a compost pile. Redundancy can be seen as the opposite of catalysts, as in the phase when something becomes unnecessary, e.g. landlines became redundant when mobile telecommunication was developed. Intentional community may seem out of place on this level, however, the thought is that an intentional community represents the same as the other three collected in a social dimension. That is to say there are patterns and stages which make up the framework of an intentional community, entering into the human realm. Then I placed the focus, which has presented itself as vital in regards to residential area development at the present moment: Resilience and Multifunctionality. They are placed on the tree trunk, and can be seen as the body or home, which governs many of the processes in the whole organism. Home is a rather curious and rewarding concept of developing and dreaming of. I have found it essential to have a place, that is home for our wellbeing, as individuals and a collective. If our homes are resilient, they are capable, even thriving from the changes over time, easily capable of surviving challenging times


16 without much drama. A key to resilience is multifunctionality, and this duo reflects the founding one on another level in this mindtree. Multifunctionality allows whatever the subject to be flexible and versatile. Single-use items are a thing of the past, and items, structures, tools which can adapt to different needs and situations are taking over. Just imagine having a tool which can screw, hammer, saw, engrave, project, draw, design and communicate. Makes me think of R2D2 from Star Wars. Home, such a fundamental thing for us, yet one we might not feel like we have much choice in. Yet, when we open up the concept of home, in a certain sense, we can see that there is a form of residence, forms of activity, and drivers of development. Forms of residence is easy, right? I mean you got: houses, apartments, cabins, tiny houses, yurts, caravans, busses, tipis, tents, boats, huts, caves, and bases. Forms of activity is more complex, and can consist of generally anything that an individual or a group can conceive of doing, like farming, building, running, eating, playing, praying, staying, moving, talking, dancing, fighting, loving, story-telling, and tree felling, but not this tree, because we have people engaged in forest protection. And that can be seen as a driver of development, people engaging themselves in an activity. Someone or something which leads a development to in taking place. A tree can drive the development of an ecosystem, much as a person can drive the development of a community. This is what creates dynamic relationships between i.e. the different forms of residence and activity. And it is in the places where the beings (whether human, animal, plant, element or spirit), the activities, and the shelters are to our liking that we find or can project a sense of home in. Now the tree branches of in similarities and differences, both internally amongst the many different parts, or externally in comparisons to neighbors and other communities. Here the notion of community glue come up. It is like the bark or the fibers in the tree which stretches throughout the organism, holding all the pieces together. Also the leafy green crown of the tree has taken over the visual expression, which could be seen in this case as the Ecovillage of Charlottendal. It is the outward expression of all the underlying key topics. It is what the organism or community shows to others, and towards which input from outside the community is mostly given. (see chapter 4.5.2. Suderbyn) From the Ecovillage we can observe different potentials and scenarios, depending on the people and capabilities involved. These potentials may become reality depending on the limitations and proposals of those involved “Ultimately, decisions should be made by those who are willing to take responsibility.� (Jouber & Dregger, 2015, 25) In order to find the right path forward information and opinions need to be collected. In the case of this thesis, I have conducted surveys and interviews of community members. And when relating to the comparable projects perspectives of support or alternatives can make decisions easier. Also having constructive and informative proposals or scenarios can make a large difference in gaining the approval and commitment of community members. If the reader feels that chapters or pieces of information earlier or further in this thesis are out of place, please use this tree, or a real one, to find connection.


17

4.2. Maps Charlottendal is an old place of settlement with a Hillfort which has been connected to trading places by the coasts, south of Lake Mälaren. The original house is from the beginning of the 20th century, and was established with support from a Home Owners Movement, and emigrations from America. In the 1950’s the property was owned by Carl- Emil Sörgärde, who baked and sold bread at the property. This became later Saltå Bageri, a famous local bakery. A new chapter began in 1991 when Peter Hagerrot purchased the property, and began developing the Ecovillage concept here. (Housing Society Landusage Plan, 2013) As mentioned in the introduction, I have desired to use drone images a basis to the maps of this thesis. This approach had some pros and cons. One large limitation proved to be weather. As the property is situated close to the sea, and with a considerable size, the altitude needed to capture the property was highly affected by strong winds. Thus I was unable to capture the entire property on one image, and even at lower altitudes we were unable to collect all the pieces of the puzzle. However, the main parts of the community were recorded to a satisfactory degree at 400 meter elevation.

Map 1. Järna is located 50 km south of Stockholm. Commuter trains take about 60 minutes into town. Courtesy of Google maps

Map 2. A map of the property of Charlottendal, Courtesy of Mats Bensefelt, and the Housing Society.


18

10. 1.

2. 11. Y.

12.

6.

13.

4.

3. 5.

9. 7. 6.

14. 14.

Overview 1. 400 m elevation 4.2.1.Structures and spaces

8.

6. 14.

14. 14.

1. The Base 2. Garage + workshop 3. Barn 4. Kindergarten

5. Office + apartments 6. Private house 7. Owners estate 8. Bronze age hillfort 9. The collective

10. Forest temple 11. Ceremony space 12. Asplunden 13. Lavvu 14. Neighbors

Overview 1. lists areas of human activity and residence. To the right lies the Ecovillage of Charlottendal: houses of five families, the collective, an office and three tourist apartments, the barn, kindergarten, and a greenhouse. Furthest right is the bronze age hillfort. The Base lies close to the garage and workshop, by the edge of the forest. The placement both ties together the human activity around the small grazing area and pond, which lies in between. The garage is a big indoor space kept above freezing temperatures year round. Some mechanical tools and chainsaw equipment is kept in there, as well as an unused car. The Forest Temple, made of a 6m Mongolian yurt is located at the top, surrounded by forest. Below it on the middle field a place where a tipi and sweat lodge has been raised a couple of times now for Native American ceremonies. Although located very centrally on the property Asplunden feels like being on the outskirts of the Ecovillage. This allows it to be so radically different lifestyle and esthetics wise from the rest of the community. Here natural building, semi outdoor conditions and a handmade yurt enriches the little Aspen grove in between the fields. Considering its theme of a natural dwelling in close connection to nature, it is ideally located, out of sight, yet connected to many paths and places. Close to it is the location of the Kindergartens outdoor camp, which they spend Wednesdays at. Here we have constructed a lavvu, (picture) which functions as both a play house for the kids, shelter from bad weather, gathering space for different activities, drying space for i.e. wet yurt felts, and hideaway from the farm when things get overwhelming. Directly below this are lies the closest neighbours to the community. Three family homes and a care home for handicapped people is located there. Some of the neighbors are too a small degree involved in activities at the community, such as caring for animals, helping with harvesting hay, and participating in social activities. Both here and generally in the area exists people with advanced skills in carpentry, craftsmanship, gardening, and forest management etc, which adds supportive value to the skills and knowledge existing within the community.


19

Overview 2. 400 m elevation

4.2.2.Spaces and places The colored patches indicate types or usage of areas. One can quickly observe that most of the land area is either forest or pastures. The existence of an abundance of natural areas and habitats creates a high quality of life for the community. When social life becomes overwhelming one can quite easily walk into the natural environment and find a calm and untouched atmosphere. Certain areas have begun developing with designs aimed to treasure the natural environment, such as the Forest temple, and Lavvu. These places are created for the integration of human beings into natural ecosystems. From a design perspective the landscape plays an important part in community affairs, especially when creating community glue. As most of the area is designated for pastures and forest, one would assume that farming and forestry be some of the essential activities at the Ecovillage. However, currently there does not exist anyone in the community who is primarily engaged in either activity. Animal care and growing of crops are done on the sidelines of other activity. This means that most of the land is allocated for resources and activities which are not highly prioritized by the current community members, therefore providing mostly esthetic values. Yet food, firewood and timber are sorely needed resources, and considering the amount of space available for such forms of activity, with a holistic design it would be conceivable that the community be mostly self-sufficient of these items. A common garden for the Housing Society is located quite centrally, as well as gardening space on the southward facing slope by the villas. However, both spaces could be developed much further, if


20

Forest Pastures Gardens

3P

Common area 10P

Non property 3P pasture.

6

Pond 10P

Natural water reetention

6P

Powerlines 3P

Powelines over field 10P Area kept lowcut

6P

intended to provide the members and visitors with beautiful leisure areas and bountiful yields of homegrown food. The ponds are also mainly aesthetic features presently, also retaining some water for animals to drink and and humans wash in. The ponds offer great opportunities to be developed into more productive areas. An interesting relationship which is present throughout the property is the transition from rocky hills covered in pine trees to open pastures, and sometimes into bodies of water. This makes the landscape rich in edge zones. Edges are diverse areas of species, and can be designed as different niches and microclimates depending on density of trees, and amount of sunlight. During previous years much of the edge zones have been opened up, by felling pine and spruce. For further information on the edges go to 4.6.2. Gardens “The animals have kept the landscape open until other forms of activity is ready to happen here� - Peter Hagerrot, owner of Charlottendal Another niche is created by the power lines located to the left of the property. This area is kept low cut, is is consists currently of dense brush of birch, rowan, and hazel. The area could be designated a function or yield, i.e. wooden rods for building yurts. The effect of power lines on human beings is not studied at this point, but it is a thing to be aware of. In front of the villa area lies a network of municipality owned agricultural fields. If the community of Charlottendal at some point becomes capable of


21

Overview 3. 400 m elevation

large scale cultivation or the entire Mora area be redesigned as an eco-project, the fields could provide the area with a vast amount of produce. See introductory video for better views of the surrounding area.

4.2.3. Infrastructure and dwellings The general infrastructure of Charlottendal is one of different ‘pockets’, similar to the design of EVI (Sherry and Ormsby, 2016) that is to say different open places, which are separated by forested hills. This creates a dynamic landscape which allows different themes to play out, without creating much friction between each other. Designwise this means that it is possible to have many elements of different nature in one property. Thus the community is not a place with a single story plot, rather a sequence of different stories. The red boxes in Overview 2 are the residential villas on the property, situated on a south facing slope. They are the most visible structures of the ecovillage outwards, and open up to the gravel road passing through the area. In the image above the red boxes is somewhat of a plateau, or back garden, where most of the ecovillage is situated. The kindergarten, barn, workshops, garage and base for volunteers. Observing the dynamics and atmosphere of these places one can notice an obvious difference between the area on the slope with the villas, and the plateau above it, here it is due to the built structures which form a barrier. Similar differences are noticeable to an even higher degree when moving along the road towards the other fields and Asplunden. This series of places seems to make it possible for different lifestyles, such as living in a villa or in a yurt, to co-exist on the same property, which could be challenging in the case of the yurt being situated in proximity and visibility of the villas. Currently the visual landscape of Asplunden and its surroundings allow a stronger expression of the theme. The same is true vice versa, where the villa area’s architectural style


22 Villas

Car road

Kindergarten

Sörmlands leden

The Collective

Pedestrian path

The Base

Walking trail

Barn 3P

Asplunden

Rental apartments 3P

10P

Garage/workshop

3P

Forest Temple 6P

10P

10P

6P

Neighbors

Yurt

Green house

Mobile homes

6P

would be randomized by the presence of a Mongolian dwelling. These pockets, separated mostly by 3P forested hills, allows a larger diversity of residential formats, and space for individuals to develop their own lifestyles, together with the other people living in the community. 10P the The network of roads and paths is extensive enough for the needs of the community, except for amount of parking space, especially during certain moments of high traffic, such as during events or workshops. A parking area could easily be developed in one of the pastures and be designed in a way that retain the natural landscape and doesn’t make an aesthetic eye sore for residents of the area. This parking lot could be used only during times of increased need, like events, which would keep the area growing and clear during other times. The connectivity to a national hiking path (Sörmlandsleden) and a local recreational circuit (Mora-rundan) are valuable to the Ecovillage from a design perspective. The paths allow people to easily access or happen upon the farm, especially as Sörmlandsleden takes a sharp turn on the property. People switching between the local and regional trails will pass through the farm, right by Asplunden. This provides ample opportunities to invite bypassers into the Ecovillage, or display information for bypassers. One possibility is developing a themed path around the large field, along already existing trails There are plenty of natural spaces and elements such as a vertical rock wall, which could be developed into a bouldering area. Other places of interest which could be developed is an outdoor workout place and gym, a teambuilding place, naturally built shelters for camping, diversified forest areas, and permaculture gardens. The large field could be further developed with permaculture designs and holistic management (read more about this in the section 4.6.3. Gardens).

The community could easily further develop their workshop/garage area to become a saw mill. Additionally the barn, which is very centrally located, could also contain a garden shop and center for

6P


23 gardening activities. One possibility would be constructing a new barn in the big field, possibly with a smithy, and relocating animal activities to a less central location of the farm. Thus the current barn could be redeveloped into a common space including: garden shop selling greens, vegetables, fruit, meat, and crafts from the community, a common room for community activities and leisure time, artistic and office spaces for community members to use for professional purposes, a second hand and free gift shop, a workshop for crafts, a kitchen and toilet, as well as other common facilities generally needed by an Ecovillage.

4.2.4.Developing the community So when are other forms of activity ready to happen? Much of the answer depends on the people who are a part of the community. Currently there exists no one who is mainly passionate of either farming or forestry. Hence there exists no strong impulse to further develop these activities or places. Also the resilience of the community when including new members is an essential topic. During the past two-three years a lot of new people and activities have been introduced to the community. Due to this prior members have felt a loss of control of the on goings at the farm. However, the increase of engaged individuals here have also supported the management of the farm, and brought new energy to community affairs. Therefore the key lies in the community’s capacity to integrate new people and activities to an already on going project. Programmes such as the volunteership, workshops, events and ceremonies provide people with interest a possibility to acquaint themselves with the community. Having opportunities for interested individuals to partake in the Ecovillages activities to the extent of their own desire is optimal. This way people can find their own pace without pressure of expectations. Forms of residence such as collective and camping possibilities provides mid to short term participation in the community, which make it easier for the community to test out if a person and their life fit the existing community. Previously people interested in the community had to either be able to rent a villa or build one of their own to join the community. This created a very narrow target audience for growing the community, which in time led to conflicts and a lack of available resources in the past. The development of a newer generation of community members has been to a large degree thanks to the diversification of residential forms. If the community had continued to only invite new members that could buy or build houses, none of the newer generation members would be here. The addition of residents with different lifestyles has also led to an increase in available resources and activities which bring the community together, and add value to the property.

2P 3P P

5P X.

3P

7P 6P

Diagram 1: Main routes, houses and places of the village


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4.3. The Ecovillage Mandala Worldview Certain concepts at Charlottendal are currently exploring different aspects of our view of the world, and how we relate to it. Glocality The term Glocal comes from the words Global and Local, with the intention of highlighting the connection between your actions here and the connection is has to something which may happen elsewhere. This kind of morphic resonance is being used strategically to have a positive impact on the overwhelming challenges of the world. This perspective provides us with insights and options of how to proceed. Simply: look at the things which are happening on the global arena, find something you wish to develop, use the opportunities of this same thing happening in a local environment, adapt your idea and develop the local version, see how it affects the global one, repeat.

Ecovillage mandala The Ecovillage Mandala, (Jouber & Dregger, 2015, 27) was brought up in my earlier report with questions regarding adaptabile design, scalability, and the impact of local actions on a global scale. I can now provide some answers, based on the different categories of the mandala.

Transition As a concept transition can be challenging to wrap one’s head around. It can be described as the time between stories, or that moment when a DJ goes from one song into another, or a movie scene melts into another. We undergo transitions in life as well, although they may not be noticeable until afterwards. It can be a new lifestyle, a new perspective, perhaps even social paradigm. Presently we are experiencing the challenge of transitioning our lifestyle to one which impacts our environment in a positive, rather than negative way.

Ceremonies The awareness and practice of the sacredness of life in different ways can be seen as a general theme in ceremonies. This can be done in forms of prayer, healing work, dancing, massage. In some ceremonies it is recognized that the energy or good intentions generated here will spread out and support more than just the direct participants. The connection to our ancestral rituals and natural cycles is also a strong force to connect with. These concept are complementary through different dimensions, which strengthens their force. Glocality can be seen as the practical approach. Transition will be felt internally, and can with time be seen externally. Ceremonies open up to the Divine and ancestral forces, and gives gratitude for the gift of life, Ecology Charlottendal has applied some Ecological solutions in the design. Natural materials have been used in some buildings, solar panels cover the roofs of the barn and garage. But foodwise the community only produced an estimate of 15-20 %. The fields are mainly grazing areas for the animals, which are fertilized with e.g. urine collected in a tank from the Ecovillage households. Sadly, the productivity has lessened over the past years. At this moment the farm is unable to fill their need for animal fodder from their pastures. However, the barn does produce a fair amount of compost, and the many pastures could provide great opportunities to be partly redeveloped as gardens. Although there is a sense


of diversification in action, a whole systems design is currently lacking, which creates many uncertainties and missing links between the practical and the visionary.

25

Economy The community is Economically complex. The property is privately owned by Peter & Merle Hagerrot. There is a Housing Society, which consists of the main houses on the property and their shared spaces (see map 2. and overview 3.) An ideal Association for Animals and Culture cares for the farming activities, and organizing community workdays. As observed in my earlier report the long term community members have felt an obstructive imbalance in ownership and decision making in the community. Therefore the attempts of dividing the responsibilities have not been successful. Currently the kindergarten is one of the main sources of income on property. Another is rent from the houses. The farming has a mainly pedagogic purpose, as well as being a genetic bank for the swedish gure sheep. The association is supported by EU grants, but does not turn a profit, currently. Although the property consists of large forested areas, the community is not very connected to its caretaking. One professional forester together with Peter produces some firewood for the community and for sale, but the farm does not produce any timber for its own use. Other grants that the farm make use of are Erasmus+ for the volunteering project, as well as Leader grants for tourists apartments, the Base and courses like 1 Year in Transition. Social Pedagogy is a fundamental concept in the social dimension, as it is essential to the anthroposophic movement. The community educates children in the kindergarten, youth in the volunteering project, and adults in the courses like One Year in Transition. Although there is not a large emphasize on arts in the community, lots of creativity is visible in the built form of the place. The Forest temple is a good example of an artistic creation, which hosts healing activities and engage in social transformation. Many of the social structures are still being given form, which has its pros and cons, one of which is the empowerment in taking initiative and making decision. Since the owners and the community are open for others to join them on the property, the possibility to realize your dream is given. Such was the case for the Forest Temple, Asplunden, and for myself in Ecovillage design. All of which have been important steps for the community to come together and the Ecovillage framework to be further developed. The immaturity of the community expressed itself in a lack of structures during meetings, which will be further looked at in the section 4.7. It is noteworthy that this has not always been the case, but due to experiencing a community collapse recently such structures have not been used at meetings during the current stages of development.

4.4. Designs

Generally the design of Charlottendal are a mix of classic Swedish countryside villas, with an addition of anthroposophic architecture and sustainable technologies (such as grey and black water management and renewable energy technology). There exists some elements of natural building, e.g. timber frame houses, clay walls and some green roofs. Most houses and apartments include fireplaces, geothermal heating, and water from wells on the property. The infrastructure has slowly developed over the past two decades, and with the addition of the most current designs, make up a fairly comprehensive amount of structures and spaces for a variety of activities. The farm naturally includes economy buildings for farm life purposes, such as a barn, a garage, workshops, earth cellar, greenhouse etc. According to my observations during this and previous studies there has not existed a comprehensive plan for the development of the property or community, which is certainly one reason for conflicts within the community, as it allows new project to suddenly pop up, without proper discussion amongst the community members. This is mainly due to the property being privately owned, and the conflicts previously experiences among its members. (Tallberg 2018) In the following sections I will delve into the what I consider different designs of the Ecovillage, which have an impact on the


26 environment and opportunities of the Ecovillage. By understanding the values and interconnectivity of the design elements and their functions, community members can better understand the effects and opportunities that these designs make possible.

2P

6P

4.4.1. Lilla Bullerbyn

Kindergarten for 28 children ages 2-6 Play spaces, roads, and parking

Element: Kindergarten building, play yard, permaculture garden, outside camp. Function: Raising children, financial income to property owners and staff, bringing life to the place during day time, exposing children to farm life, animals, and nature. The kindergarten Lilla Bullerbyn is an interesting design element from multiple perspectives. Raising children brings with it many requirements of a place. From the planning perspective we can observe certain relationships in play. As mentioned in my earlier report one idea with the placement of the kindergarten is the proximity to Hillfort, due to possible dark energy from times past. The thought here is that what ever may have happened at this gathering place previously, like sacrifices be they animal or human, the laughter and play of children will wash away such remnant of a distant past. More practical reason for its location is the proximity to the barn, bringing the children closer to the farm life, which allows the presence of animals in their daily routines The location also creates distance to the road, which creates a sense of security, especially for the parents of the children, and creates a more intimate surrounding for the kindergarten activities. Design wise the location of the community also has some less obvious effects on the community. Granted it being a very pleasant journey for children and their parents to walk from the car, through the village to the kindergarten, and back later in the afternoon. However, one particular consequence of this design becomes visible when one looks at it from a more whole systems perspective, which is worth being aware of. Simply the paying customers for one of the main businesses on the property walk through the heart of it daily. In time this design can create patterns such as a priority to keep it tidy on the outside, but not having as much focus on the inside. This can be partly attributed to the feelings of community members of the Ecovillage having an outward image, which does not correlate with its interior content. (Tallberg 2018)


27

Diagram 2. Places, spaces and routes by Kidnergarten Primary space Secondary space Primary area of activity

2P

3P

3P

Secondary area 3P of activity 3P 3P 3P Path 10P

6P

10P 10P

Parking

6P 6P

10P 10P 10P

6P

These kinds of ‘hidden’ impacts are valuable when developing a whole systems design of a place, as 6P 6P 6P the illuminate fundamental relationships and patterns, which can when understood be used in advantageous ways. Looking at the areas used by an elements, such as the kindergarten, and how users move between them is necessary when creating a comprehensive plan for an Ecovillage. Children set a strict standard of safety and quality, which provides a solid framework for structures and activities. Also, having children as a central part of a community, emphasises the need of i.e. the vision of the place to be understandable by children. The kindergarten uses primarily their buildings and fenced in play yard. They also care for the animals daytime in smaller groups, and tend to their garden when season allows it. On Wednesday the older children go on outdoor adventures to a secondary space of activity. Here a wooden lavvu is being constructed (Tallberg 2018), and the children get to run around in a more open and natural environment. Asplunden is close by this area, which adds to the visual landscape, and hopefully imagination of the children. One cannot say with certainty what impact this has on the children, but being exposed to adult individuals who are following their passions and building together with the children will hopefully leave a trace of playfulness in their essence before being exposed to a more serious world. Another noteworthy relationship is the Collective being situated along the path to the kindergarten.


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4.4.2. The Collective ‘Myshuset’ When Peter bought the property in 1991, only one proper house existing on the property, together with the barn and some workshop space. In the house lived an elderly woman who was allowed to stay there until she passed in January 2015. Afterwards a family lived in the house for a couple of years before it become a Collective of four women in the Autumn of 2018. The house has undergone some renovation through the years, and is still missing a garden side balcony, and greenhouse. The vision of Myshuset is based around having a harmonious home. Currently in their vision making process, different dreams and activities are being explored, like: yoga and meditation sessions, sharing circles, dance parties, a garden shop and other collaborative ventures. Collectively Aina, Malin, Olivia and Rebecka list skills such as gardening, construction, health care, and social coordination as their collective capabilities, making them a powerful team. One of their expressed wishes is to bring playfulness to the community equation. “The lifestyle I pursue is one where I will feel supported by my home and neighbours to create and mature as a person.” - Olivia Nordstedt (founder of the Collective) The redesign from family home to collective was a natural one, as the house lies at a bottleneck of the community. Everybody passes by this house as it is situated between the other houses and the parking area, postboxes, trash bins and sorting station. The children of the kindergarten and their parents pass by there almost daily, and one of the roads passes right by kitchen window. This means that the location of the house and garden connects it to many community members and their daily activities. As a family home, the space needs a certain level of intimacy and shelter. Having such a place in this kind of space therefore creates an obstruction in the flow of the landscape. Therefor the redesign to a more open form of residence, with individuals seeking connection and activity, was a natural one. In fact having a collective house situated in this location is beneficial for the community and its visitors. The community has been in need of young people who want, and have the spare time to develop and fill the community. A family naturally does not have an abundance of available energy, outside of the needs of the family. In a collective the rent can also be split into smaller


29 pieces, which makes the financial cost smaller, and allows the individuals to not spend as much time working elsewhere. In preparation for the shift towards the collective our team of volunteers redeveloped the garden as workshops held over two weekends. The team wished to learn and practice permaculture, so together with a local permaculture teacher, and friend of mine we organized two weekend long workshops in permaculture gardening, with about 12 and 8 participants. During the workshops we gathered and spoke of permaculture design, made observations of the plants already growing, and the type of soil we found at different parts of the plot. We opened up the garden from a fallen fence, did a lot of weeding and clear up shrubs, redeveloped the growing plots with a playful design, made a kontiki biochar kiln, placed rocks around planting beds, and made a herb spiral. We decided to do the garden here, as the family was moving out, and the Base was still a construction zone. This proved a smart choice, as it pulled together plenty of the neighbors at different intervals and made us volunteer,s and our actions more visible to community members. This proved the theory of the location being a bottleneck true, and provide opportunities to interact with some residents of the area less interested in community affairs. As highlighted in the diagram the most travelled route by residents, kindergarten parents and visitors goes directly by Myshuset and their garden. The routes through or past the collective have yet to find a proper hierarchy and usage varies between individuals. With developing the garden further and constructing a balcone the space will be better able to show how to move in it. Since establishing the collective a couple of parties, as well as yoga, and kundalini dances have been hosted there. The house has been made more multifunctional, and provides a bigger value to both the Ecovillage and the social activities. In their vision making process they provide an opportunity for the community to enter a similar process. Especially as the Collective can act as a bridge between house residents, volunteers, and forest dwellers. More on this in chapter 5. Conclusions.

4.4.3. The Base The Base is one of the newest infrastructural developments on the property, and creates a place for volunteers to reside. It also creates a place for activity on the farm, as this is a place designed for young, active and driven individuals to gather and do things. Considering its location it also ties together the community, acting as a bridge between the different hubs of activity, i.e. villa residents, collective, kindergarten, forest dwellers and visitors. The Base is placed at the edge of the forest with a beautiful view of the pond and barn. The architectural design is based on an old two floor building type popular in farms in central Sweden since the Middle Age, called Loftbod (wiki). The building is positioned so it mirrors one facade of the barn building, across the pond. Currently a sauna sits by the edge of the pond, with an outdoor shower. While the bathroom is still in construction the sauna and outdoor shower, as well as a composting toilet provides volunteers with necessary facilities. When the construction is finished the bathroom, which door will be outside the house, will provide more than those residing in the Base with washing opportunities, without constantly disturbing those living in the house. The outdoor kitchen will be an optimal space for collective dinners during the warmer seasons of the year. This way the base becomes both a unit for the residents as well as a great place to gather and eat during community work days. Events, courses, and workshops can also be based at the Base, hence the name. The thought being that it is easier for individuals interested in some activity to camp in nearby grounds, and having access to bathroom, washing space, kitchen, and shelter in case of rough weather.


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Once the Base is fully operational it could host a wide range of activities depending the the season. The interior design of the building is optimal for three individuals long term, but short term up to 12 people could fit comfortably. Therefore the Base becomes able to welcome many individuals for a variety of purposes, and the function of the house can change over time. The location creates a space separate from the rest of the community, which allows for many of the activities not to mix with the general community, i.e. people living in the villas, or participating in activities at the Forest temple. However, the Forest Temple could use the facilities to increase the level of comfort during longer retreats. Building the Base has been done in collaboration with many individuals. The timber house was constructed by a team from Estonia, who arrived with the premade logs, and fitted it together in a total of ten days, the first three using a crane. Afterwards the volunteers took over led by different professionals, except for the plumbing, electrics and fireplace work, which was done by professionals. The volunteers received a lot of help from friends, curious Ecovillage visitors, and other who simply happened to be available for work. As the construction is yet to be finished the list of co-creators will continue to grow, making the place truly one built together with many hands. This is already creating quite a collage of styles and ideas.


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4.4.4. The Forest Temple Life at a farm can be very focused on practical matters, hence the value of a sacred space designated for healing activities, hold a high value. As the community has experiences conflicts and are unable to connect with all its members through farm activities, the necessity of a temple space is large. The temple also provides a place to retreat to, when community affairs become overwhelming. Hence the Mongolian yurt of six meters diameter sits on a hill, surrounded by forest, with as long of a distance to the buildings in the area as possible. Here community members can go and relax, meditate, practise yoga, play music, either alone or together with others. This place provides the community with a larger diversity in community activities. Primarily the temple is dedicated to healing, but that can also express itself in meeting or gathering format. a place to connect in activities and interests outside of the practical lifestyle of living on a farm. In the case of the subject of discussion being sensitive or challenging to discuss meeting in a sacred space, and upholding a safe space, may provide the community members with the right atmosphere to deal with uncomfortable matters. The walk up to the temple from the farm is slightly challenging, and offers a good method of transitioning from a practical state of awareness to a sacred one. The yurt is privately owned by Hanna Wretmark, a woman who does not live in the community. She is currently setting up a framework for its usage, and the community will be able to hold their own activities in the temple. No one resides in the temple, so it is mainly an empty space or venue, with a fireplace, which can be rented by anyone wishing to hosts any kind of healing activity. The yurt was purchased ready made, but the platform and other construction of the temple was made as ceremonial workshops. The ceremony part consisted of kundalini yoga and gong music by Hanna - the owner, whilst I held the construction parts. There was plenty of additional work put into the temple before the opening ceremony, and after as nobody lived in the temple over winter.

(To the left) The forest temple yurt newly constructed, revealing its layers in Autumn. (To the right) The yurt tucked in tightly for its winter hibernation, providing a calm and cozy atmosphere inside. Update 2020: The Mongolian design of this yurt did not meet the requirements of winter, and a year and a half after the creation of this space, it was taken apart, and the yurt changed owner. Many gatherings, ceremonies, and coxy moments were shared in the temple during its existence, but it did not manage becoming a viable event space from a business perspective. This was a good learning example for me as a designer in the responsibilities of enabling projects to happen. Sometimes, the time is not ready yet and one must practise patience, before diving into the deep end of ones dreams, with commitment to the journey ahead.


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4.4.5. The Yurt As a design the yurt can create a dwelling as comfortable as a house, but portable and with a minimal impact on its surroundings. The yurt has a dome like structure, with a wooden frame, wool insulation, and canvas exterior. The door frame provides the general structure as ropes are fastened around the circular shape tying wood, felt and canvas together into a solid wall and roof structure. The center of the roof or “crown” can be covered, open, or have a sky window. Usually a yurt is heated with a wood stove, which chimney will have to pass through the wall or the roof. Traditionally a yurt can be put up or taken down in less than an hour. (Torvald 1979) The yurt originates in Central Asia, and even in modern times three quarters of the Mongolian population still live in yurts.

From Arhictecture of the Nomads by Torvald Faegre

The yurt is made of materials which are found in wood scarce regions. Thus the yurt does not use poles of large diameter. Thin willow rods, rope, wool, and canvas which may be oiled for better rain protection, make up the essential parts of the structure. In the temperate climate of Northern Europe the yurt can be modernized with a waterproof exterior, and usually raised on top of a platform, raising the structure above ground. Utilizing a lightweight, small impact, portable design of human dwelling such as a yurt in community design provides many benefits. However, depending on the season and the period of dwelling it may prove challenging to certain lifestyles. The space itself with its round shape creates an energetically held environment. This attracts the gaze and doesn’t disrupt the flow of energy, such as a corner does in a square room. “The yurt embraces its dwellers from all sides”, says Magnus who is living in Asplunden and developing his yurt and nomad lifestyle. Traditionally the yurt was divided into different areas, however depending on the function and amount of residents it can look very different. Also the placement of the fireplace plays a large role in puzzling together the rest of the interior design. The circular walls do create a need to customize some furniture, especially in smaller yurts. But when all of these aspects have been taken into consideration, the dwelling can become very luxurious, but practically demanding. As a format of residence the yurt diversifies both the lifestyles of a place, and creates more opportunities to house people in a community. Yurts also make excellent guest houses, or places of meditation. They can also be placed in locations where other structures could not.

Diagram from Architecture of the Nomads, Torvald Faegre

There are however some limitations on the practical side, and one is not recommended to unknowingly jump into this lifestyle. First of all the yurt requires a caretaker, who can play around with the different layers of felt, identifying weaknesses or leaks in the insulation. The dwellers needs to be capable of performing and organizing many practical tasks, and keeping order in such a small space can be challenging for those used to having more space. Therefore the yurt provides an excellent challenge in developing ones lifestyle, and thusly enabling people to regain more power of one’s home, immediate surrounding, and impact on life. Economically the yurt is very cheap as a form of residence, however it comes as stated above


with the responsibility of caring for it without much assistance from other, as dwellers become the experts of their own home and life.

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Images from my time living with Magnus “Ekenhjort” Kjellström Aalto in a yurt of his own making, during October 2016 - March 2017, in Charlottendal Gård, Sweden. Update 2020: Magnus is still living there, and his self made yurt has proven suitable for the Nordic temperate conditions.

4.4.6. Interconnectivity These previous design elements function individually, but when combined it creates a strong impulse, which flows through the central part of the ecovillage. During one event we gathered at the collective for a social introduction, before proceeding to the Forest temple for a ceremony, and the space was prepared by the volunteers. This event was created an held only be people and elements which have been added during 2018, and they bring an increase in possibilities into the Ecovillage. In fact one of the current residents of the collective first came to the farm to look at the Forest Temple, and by my suggestion contacted Olivia, the founder of the collective. Here also we see these three elements supporting each other.


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4.5. Comparison to similar communities in Sweden, for support and inspiration. Interestingly enough along my journey in the realms of Ecovillages and intentional communities, two other places have followed my progress. Both places appeared to my at the same period when Charlottendal also did so. The main reason I found my way to Charlottendal, and Järna, is a close contact I made at a nature gathering called Ting. This gathering was held on Gotland, which is also where I found Suderbyn, a very interesting old farm nowadays filled with young volunteers and changemakers. The inspiration I harvested there as well as the friends which came with it have been essential to my own education as a landscape architect. After Ting I participated in the Nordic Permaculture Festival, held in Finland. This proved a fateful experience as well, as permaculture made up a larger portion of my design perspective. Again, the relationships and projects that came out of it became fundamental to my capabilities of managing chaotic and complex projects. While taking on a major role in the creation of the next Nordic Permaculture Festival, this time situated on Iceland, I collaborated with a man, who had been part of creating the previous NPF in Sweden. Its is by the invitation of this man that I found my way to Stjärnsund, where I managed to recover after barely surviving Iceland. Without these two places and the people which came with them I would absolutely not have written this thesis, nor been capable of completing my academic studies in the way I wished to. I take this moment to express my gratitude to the spirit of both places and their people.

4.5.1. Permakultur Stjärnsund This section is based on the understanding I have of Stjärnsund having lived there for four months, visited on multiple occasion, an interview of David Roxendal, and relevant web pages. Vision: To create a center for permaculture learning and development Stiftelsen Stjärnsund was formed in February 1984, by Eva Johansson and Roald Pettersen, with the intention of creating “a Nordic Center in the Spirit of Findhorn”, in Stjärnsund. The pioneer group

Drone image of Permakultur Stjärnsund. Courtesy of David Roxendal


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consisted of 14 adults and 9 children, which formed the core group with the purpose of creating an environment of inner peace, spiritual growth, spread knowledge, and grow food with love and consideration. The framework of operation was formed by working together in groups, preparing meals and eating together, meditating together, have sharing circles, and make decision with the consensus model. Stiftelsen Stjärnsund bought five old workers apartment buildings from the municipality of Hedemora, as homes for the core group. The houses were in poor shape and the first years were mainly spent on renovating them. Since then many generations have come and gone in Fridhem, all leaving behind their knowledge and craft. Fridhem used to hold more internal courses before, by having gurus stay and teach there Nowadays it acts more as a space for different individuals or groups to host activities. It is owned by a foundation, and run by the core group of active members. Those who are invited to join the community may use the foundation as a base for grants, and rent its facilities to further develop one’s own pursuits in life. It has been more collective before, people lived and worked in Fridhem, but no more. Now it functions more as a retreat center and backpackers. Workshops of today can range from tantra courses, which mainly spread knowledge and experiences, to Tiny house or other productive workshop, which add a feature or structure to the community. In the beginning we invited professionals to teach us all, and after enough experience we could take over the teaching roles ourselves, also bringing financial profits to ourselves and the foundation. By opening up the courses and workshops to individuals from outside the community we can can create win-win situations, by teaching skills and receiving help in building up resources. The business model is pretty much: “Come and learn to do something we want to get done.” And it works. There are even grants which can help in realizing such events in different ways. We also give tours in our holistically developed gardens. We apply permaculture design principles in order to achieve an interconnected and productive garden. Our desires sets the pace and the design creates the yield. Permaculture works in different ways depending on if the design needs to adapt to existing structures or not. One design tool is working with zones. In David’s and his partner Eliza’s case the existing structure has split their zones all over the place. David uplifts the importance of designing with zones in mind. They bring up chickens for eggs and meat, and David points out that animals also have their own zones. “Animals are alive and require interaction. They give us a larger connection to nature, and perform many functions for gardening needs. One of the trending designs at Permaculture Stjärnsund is the tiny house. We have held many cours-

Image of gardens by Fridhem, and rental buildings. Courtesy of David Roxendal

Image of tipi raised in gardens by Fridhem. Courtesy of David Roxendal


36 es in tiny house building, and dotted the landscape around the property with tiny houses, mainly on trailer wagons. “We have built a library, a market wagon, a sauna, our previous home, along with many other homes, and most previously we built a new home for my wife and I, along with our dog and cat on the back of a military truck.” The tiny house is a minimalistic home, which gives a more connected way of living. The tiny house has both literally and ecologically a smaller footprint, in David and Eliza’s case it is carbon negative, they consume around 1/7th of water compared to the average Swedish household9, it cost less, consumes less electricity and is made by 90 biodegradable and recyclable materials. Living in a tiny house is simply a more resource efficient way to live. As a design a tiny house needs to be multifunctional and flexible.If the house is on wheels it can be mobile, depending on structural integrity of the house. In the case of their chicken home, they can use it as a chicken tractor and move the chickens around the different gardens in a rotational fashion. Tiny houses can also function as secondary facilities, or be rented out. In David’s eyes having the tiny house on wheels is just for the transitional period. They are currently looking for a place where they can collect their zones, and take the next steps in their journey. Then they might lift the house off the truck and onto a proper foundation. As a pro tip to any tiny house aspirer David says to determine the purpose: “How are you going to use it? List your needs and desired yields, and take into account possible seasonal change.”

Tiny house workshop (top left), market wagon (top right), construction of David’s home (bottom left), and Eliza Roxendal inside the finished home (bottom right). Images by David Roxendal


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4.5.2. Suderbyn: Permaculture Ecovillage and NGO Relearn This part is based on the two visits I have made to Suderbyn, the multiple engagements I have had with Suderbynians, some relevant web pages, and an interview with Antoine ArquiĂŠ. For the most up to date description of Suderbyn visit their home page2, as vibrant places where people come together can undergo dramatic change over time. But as for now the Suderbynians have the following to say about themselves:

Map of Suderbyn for No More War festival

Image of Suderbynians walking past their dome. Courtesy of Noora Puolamaa “Suderbyn Ecovillage is an intentional community of open-minded people from various countries and cultures, located on the island Gotland in the middle of the Baltic Sea. All of us who live here are building the place - not only physically but also socially. Our goal is to live in a way that creates a prosperous living environment while minimizing our environmental footprint. In creating Suderbyn Ecovillage together, we aim to live close to nature and achieve a more sustainable lifestyle, striving for self-sufficiency in food production and renewable energy, prioritizing ecological and local materials. We question patterns of consumption, social structures and cultural stereotypes. We experiment in different areas with innovation and traditional knowledge with the attempt to create a model of healthy and happy society, enjoying the diversity of people. We work with educational projects on the local and international levels. We regenerate the connections between people and between people and nature. Within Suderbyn, we work and create together. We grow part of our food in our garden designed according to the Permaculture principles, we develop eco-building projects, maintain car- and bicycle-pools, develop our own energy production. We promote a positive social environment of trust, friendship and diverse community. We combine simple country-side living with ecological innovations and experimental ideas. From the Suderbyn office, we are engaged in a number of different projects spanning a range of organisations. Such projects link us to other eco-villages in regional and international networks, international volunteer schemes such as the European Voluntary Service (EVS) and Service Civil International (SCI), as well as other projects with a focus on sustainability and environmentalism.� Now over a decade ago at the very same place as this is taking form now, lived an old sheep herding couple. Around that time a group of families came together with the dream of building an ecovillage. Life took its toll, and in the end it was but one family that bought the small farm property from the


38 elderly couple. The house was run down, and the main focus of development for the first years. Workcamps were organized by the owners, which sped things up, but turned into a financial challenge as they were the sole financiers of the necessary materials and provisions of the entire crew. When opportunity presented itself, the owners Ingrid and Robert invited long term volunteers into their family community. Through Erasmus+ they applied for funding for the volunteers, nowadays named the European Solidarity Corps. As new long-term members became engaged in the slowly growing community, the structure shifted progressively from: family, with volunteers, to a cooperative and community owned property. “At this point what changed was that you no longer worked for the family, but for the Ecovillage.” says Antoine Arquié. He calls it a “strategy for further development”. At the point of writing 25 individuals reside at Suderbyn, some in various programs, others simply living. They gather at 8:00 for morning meetings, which consist of: a short sharing round (max 10 min in total). The sharing gives cohesion and understanding of the days activities. Then a circle for practical activities of different categories. Finally a summary round sharing our personal tasks. 30-45 min in total. There is no space for discussion. A longer meeting is held on Mondays, in preparation of the week. There is also a meeting at the end of the week, for information or discussion points. Information might be someone’s parents visiting. Sociocracy 3.0 has recently been introduced for optimizing discussion time. Meals are prepared and eaten collectively. Certain individuals are work mentors, and lead the activity or share knowledge in different areas. Antoine explains that in terms of communication Suderbyn has recently begun using an online platform called Slack3. “Slack brings all your communication together. Teamwork in Slack happens in channels — a single place for messaging, tools and files — helping everyone save time and collaborate together.“ Although both Slack and Sociocracy are new additions to the community they have alleviated a lot of stress and overwhelming amount of information. Slack provides opportunities to select your interests to the amount of engagement you desire. What the long term effects will be is too early to conceive, but in the short term it allows individuals to more constructively choose a specialization, instead of everyone partaking in everything. Because of the large amount of members at Suderbyn many projects can be done internally. This decreases the necessity of invited people from outside the community to help create something. In the case of there being a teacher of some certain skill or craft, they do host a course or workshop for anyone interested, but participation by outsiders has usually been low. Nowadays the framework is more flexible, and if someone wants to do something, they can. The largest event hosted at Suderbyn was a festival called ‘No More War Festival’, to which the map above was also created. Like many other Ecovillages Suderbyn prefers natural building materials and ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) methods. Many structures are built from clay, and they have a self build wind turbine. There are many reasons for this, however the most specific for Suderbyn are the fragile state of groundwater, so any

The main house at Suderbyn. Image by Noora Puolamaa

The washing room. Image by Noora Puolamaa


39 toxic materials will easily pollute their groundwater, the location on an island in the Baltic Sea. Occasionally strong storms ravage their Ecovillage, and then they need to be able to repair it. Such is the case at the moment of writing this after the storm called Alfrida, this is what the Suderbynians had to say about it in a post on their facebook page on the 2nd of January 2019: “This year has already started in order to bring us together. Our community card for the first week “HOPE” was really describing what we were nurturing in our hearts during the dark hours of yesterday. 15 hours without electricity, 7 hours in the dark as the storm named Alfrida hit Gotland and us on the previous night and the gusts quickly escalated up till 27,5 meter per second (100 km/h). All the ferries were cancelled to and from the island. The storm -which had already left 100 000 people behind without electricity- was actually low pressure air moving over from Iceland, bursting through our ecovillage. The damage is disastrous: the dome cover triangles are blown away, the skeleton, some of the towers fell, those and the biodigester are nakedly exposed to the elements. The wind turbine is bent by the wind, one wing and the tale are torn off. The greenhouses are bent, their plastic is broken apart and all the seedlings are most likely dead. We suffered disastrous material damage but the social connections were not broken in the community. We lighted the main house with candles, heated the social room with our stove, pumped drinking water from our wells, created beautiful dinner on the old-school wooden cooker and spent the time by chatting, cuddling, reading. Our resilience was tested, we passed it, and the storm is also over. New questions are raised as the sun shines through the clouds on the new day: how can we be more resilient?” The facilities at Suderbyn consist of a main house, two summer cabins, some barrack without electricity, heated by a fireplace, some small rooms in the barn, and summertime tents, tipis and caravans. There were plans to build tiny houses during the coming summer, but the military base, which is the neighbor of the Ecovillage property has blocked their permission. Reasons being that the activity at the military base is too loud for people to live in the area, they don’t want complains.At Suderbyn the atmosphere is occasionally ravaged by the sounds of gunfire, explosion and all kinds of havoc. The road which goes right by the house also adds constant noise pollution, as cars keep driving by. There are also plans on building a new house, but the presence of the military is a very limiting factor at the moment. Decisions are made top down, which makes negotiating impossible. Long term this could threaten the continued existence of Suderbyn. Suderbyn is currently undergoing a process of redefining their vision and purpose. A new batch of EVS are arriving in the next months and the community aims to re-explore priorities, focus and methods. With so many people coming and going it is challenging to know what is going on. Informing others of guidelines is also a time and energy consuming task. New members is rewarding and bring new energy and inspiration, but certain methods, e.g. writing notes at meetings which those not present can read up on. Although organic frameworks are preferred the rules need to be clear for all. Uncertainty can complicate coordinating such a varied amount of individuals. As there is no longer an owner or leader the rules are necessary in order to manage the place and its people. “Otherwise we risk wasting time and becoming frustrated. Funding is another limitation and source of frustration, but we manage” says Antoine. The community is currently developing a vegan café to further the development of their ecovillage as well as a first step in providing member with opportunities for income. As recommendations for similar projects Antoine said it worthwhile allowing time to decide on matters before running into projects. He highlights that without planning and preparation the risk of mistakes is highly increased, and then there is extra workload cleaning it up or fixing it. Discussing plans will also bring up conflicts of interests before we are in the middle of the project. Use permaculture design and work with visions. When people change so does the vision, allow it to change over time, and strive to optimize usage of resources, energy and the time of people. A good decision comes from observation, as it will make the execution smoother. Do not leave things in the heads of a few individual, draw them out for everyone to see.


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4.6. Scenarios In this section I will explore three different scenarios. Each will focus on a central theme, and collectively they will provide a vision of development which could occur at Charlottendal. My focus has been on development which increases resilience, and quality of life in the Ecovillage, e.g. creating permaculture gardens. The following scenarios are essentially different predictions of what may happen at Charlottendal next. of the. Reality may prove to be very different, and way more awesome than I can imagine at the moment of writing this. But nonetheless, the scenarios are worthwhile considering, and I have called them Zero, Volunteers, and Gardens. Zero is simply put a continuation of development on currently existing activity and structures. This means that the community more or less continues with their current activities, and gets better at it in the process. Naturally unforeseen things can occur, hence the goal of creating a resilient home. In Volunteers I develop the volunteering programs in a direction inspired by Suderbyn. This involves developing structures and activities for international and local youth. These programs are set over short, medium and long periods of time. A workshop based method of development, similar to that of Stjärnsund, is used for furthering the quality and activity of the volunteer programs. Basically, the volunteers and other interested people from the community and outside, have workshops where they design and develop the Ecovillage. Gardens looks at ways to develop the landscape, increasing permaculture designs. I propose designs which could be developed into a Whole Systems Design for the Ecovillage. In this scenario I present ideas for developing permaculture gardens, edge zones, microclimates, flower gardens, pond ecosystems, move the farm, and redesign the barn. I seek to connect the individuals involved in the Ecovillage, with its resources.

4.6.1. Zero In this scenario I further develop what is already happening at the farm. I focus mostly on the new elements and functions added to the Ecovillage recently, but I also present ideas of older designs and activities. The Kindergarten has become well established during the first 15 years of activity. However, the outdoor camp is still in its early stages. The lavvu offers many forms of activity, and the proximity to Asplunden, and collaboration with the volunteers could develop in many ways. Elaborate games, and naturally built obstacle courses, or games could be developed. Small huts and hidden places could be built, and most of the hill, at which foot the lavvu sits could become a story-like play area for children. These structures could be created together with the volunteers, as we have created the lavvu, with the guidance of skilled carpenters, possibly residing or creating some other project at Asplunden. Asplunden could be developed into a gathering and project space for natural designs and quality carpentry, e.g. yurts and handicrafts. Asplunden would remain as a naturally build outdoor camp, with an outdoor kitchen and washing station, composting toilet, project space, toolshed, firewood storage, and gathering spaces like rock circles and platforms, on top of which yurts or other tents could be raised for shorter periods of time. The role of caretaker of Asplunden is a highly acclaimed position in the community, and could be handed to the person nominated as ready for the challenge. Campers, by-passers, visitors, and course participants (of those held at Asplunden) would ute its facilities and be based in that general area. The Association for Animals and Culture keep caring for a similar amount of animals, with some variations. The volunteers are more assimilated in the animal schedules and barn caretaking activities. Many community members are part of the association, and the culture side has been developed into an equal size as the animal one. Every other week the association meets about animals, and every oth-


41 er in the name of culture. The Collective, Myshuset acts as a core group for cultural activities, which take place in the many different venues of the Ecovillage. Movie nights, disco dances, after work beer, flea markets, seasonal celebrations, welcome parties, concerts, theatre, excursions, and adventure, among whatever else the residents of the Ecovillage might desire to engage in. (Atlestam et al. 2015) The animal side of things has developed into a holistically planned activity. A large reason for this is the addition of full time farmers to the community. Different activities and courses of animal husbandry are held, as well as courses in i.e. chicken tractor building. The Base has become a fully functioning unit of Ecovillage activities. The volunteership has been taken over by the Association for Animals and Culture. Hence the volunteers are mainly at the Ecovillage, except for trainings, excursions and personal travel. There are still three long term volunteers, with the roles of caretaker, builder and administrator. Activities are still mixed, but each volunteers has a primary duty to lead in. During the summer season visitors, short term volunteers, and other individuals engaged in the activities which take place at Charlottendal are based here. The outdoor kitchen hosts community dinners three times a week, as well as courses in cooking, edible plants, and the occasional party. The sauna culture has also been established, and a dock has been built into the pond. Other structures have also been finished, like the bathroom, balcony greenhouse, outdoor shower, sorting station, mailbox, bicycle shelter, and routines necessary to replenish the resources used at the base, e.g. firewood.The volunteers also maintain the Ecovillage information channels, assist where needed in the community activities, like preparing meals for retreats held in the Forest Temple. The Forest Temple and its surrounding landscape has developed into a vibrant natural landscape, with a strong energy of healing properties. The community has plenty of activities in the yurt, in between booked events, and weekend retreats. The Temple space has the basic facilities, but is largely supported by the Base during larger events. The Temple is take care of by a core group of individuals, who are committed to its well being. This core group can consist of members outside of the community, but at least three positions need to be filled by residents in the Ecovillage. A new collective building was added (see Diagram 1, marked X.)) with four small apartments. This house connects the Ecovillage with the closest neighbours, and sits on the periphery of the Ecovillage. This could be a natural place for individuals filling the roles of farmers and foresters. Myshuset has matured into a wellspring of energy for the Ecovillage. It is still a women’s collective, which brings in a strong feminine power, which touches everyone in the community. There workshops and social events of different themes take place. The garden is thriving and sowing, growing, harvesting and seed collecting session are held collectively throughout the community. In the basement of Myshuset a non official garden show has been created, where community members can pick up food items ordered in bulk, or trade and sell produce grown at the Ecovillage or crafts made by members. The villa and apartment residents are enjoying life in an intentional community to the degree they wish to. There is not much change in the residents of the houses, which provides a more grounded and slower pace of life, amidst the buzzing activities. A well designed framework has been established which helps maintain order, and a calm atmosphere for long term residents. Sundays have been established as no-noise days, which prohibits the use of noisy tools on these days. The calm is also respected during early mornings and late evenings, except for parties or full moon events which may disturb the silence. Decision making and communication flows well, and a clear vision help community members navigate the ups and downs of life.

4.6.2. Volunteers This scenario proposes developments inspired by Suderbyn (See chapter 4.5.2.). Emphasis is put on developing the volunteer programs in ways that benefit the Ecovillage.There are still three volunteers which stay at the Base for long periods of time, but the amount of positions have been increased, as there are also mid-term volunteers at different satellite bases, at the other transition projects in the region, which have applied for a volunteer. These individuals also gather at the Base, as all the volun-


42 teers share some activities and obviously like to spend time hanging out together. Short-term volunteering projects and trainings are held at the Base. Sometimes funded or paid courses and events with up to 35 people take place there, but mostly there are enough people internally to make whatever is desired happen, without much external workforce. The volunteering programs are well coordinated by the core group of the Ecovillage, and the network of transition projects which host volunteers. After finishing the Base the volunteers continued constructing smaller houses on the property. These houses were built through workshops led by professionals. The workshops are designed to provide the volunteers with different activities to fill their time here with meaningful activities and valuable lessons. The structures made by the volunteers add to the Ecovillage, e.g. the small houses could be rented out on airBnB, which generates an income. They are also used by other volunteers visiting the Base. Community members can also propose projects for the volunteers to create workshops around, like composting, or fermentation. The environment around the Base has become productive and beautiful, providing the volunteers with much of their fresh provisions, and function as teaching gardens for its caretakers and visitors. Different parts of the base remind the community of the volunteers who designed and constructed them. During summer season conditions are great for living in outdoors. During these times the facilities at the Base are used more frequently, but with great care. This makes the Base and its surroundings the stage for a living laboratory, where driven individuals are given space to work on their passions. These can be small features like rock statues, but also large ones like an elaborate stream flowing from the top of the hill down into the pond, with different stages of water retention, and solar driven pumps, which keep the water circulating. The interior of the Base is dotted with the stories and pictures of volunteers who lived there, also making the Base a constantly changing exhibition of individuals and personalities. This gives the Base a character of youthfulness, which cultivates creativity and responsibility in young adults from all around the world.

4.6.3. Gardens “Planting has to please people -people are part of the ecology too. Simply functional plantings which satisfy technical criteria for sustainability or biodiversity, but do not satisfy human users are in the long run doomed, because no one will care for them enough.� (Oudolf & Kingsbury, 2013. 41) The landscape is the main theme of this scenario. Here I focus on the possibilities of developing diverse ecosystems out of the existing elements. As the property has a similar transition from pinehills to farmland similar microclimates can be found throughout the property. The pond ecosystems found in two fields, and two forested areas (see Overview 1. & 2.) is also developed with plants, crayfish, and fish. The small marshes and streams feed and filter the water, keeping the ground water fresh and full. The forests are managed holistically and the community is provided with firewood and timber. Diver-


43 sity is added by introducing species or trees, which yield fruit, nuts, and quality wood. In this scenario I will also look at further developing the gardens with permaculture design. The structure of a community supported agriculture (CSA) is often used, which lessens the burden on the farmer and provides the community with available food produce. (Sherry & Ormsby, 2016) However, neighbor produce is also highly values, as it is less efficient growing everything oneself. The central pasture (see Overview 2) is redeveloped as a flower garden, for the leisure of the community members, and a diversity of pollinators. These gardens paint the landscape with different colors through the different seasons. When wanting to develop natural areas, look at grasslands and their visual qualities is recommended by the authors. (Oudolf & Kingsbury, 2013) Naturally plants intermingle, like the wildflowers in a meadow, and the community of species change over time and space. Despite these areas being diverse and complex, the combinations of color, form, height and mass, create a coherent and overall sense of unity. With a keen eye this can also be observed in forests and other diverse ecosystems. in nature plant communities are never random. plants can be pioneers or later in succession. This differs from when planted all together. Soil differences and microclimates will over time select certain species in different areas. Part of the visual pleasure is the scattering and intermingling over an area, but also the subtle ebb and flow of particular species over space in ever-changing combinations. (Oudolf & Kingsbury, 2013) In order to develop these gardens the farm has to undergo some structural changes. A new barn is constructed at the corner of the big field (See Overview 1, marked Y.) with a smithy, pottery, and skinning workstation. At this barn resources like timber, compost, and soil is piled and further distributed to the needs of community members. The old barn is redeveloped into a community building consisting of a garden shop, planting school, gardening workstations and chickens on the bottom floor. On the top floor a bathroom and kitchen has been developed next to the venue called Logen. The old hayloft has become co-office space, with different spaces for art, music, computing and design. A second hand and free gift shop is also on the top floor. This building is run by the community, for the community. It has its own economy, and functions like an incubator of creativity and productivity. The animals have moved with the other general farm life to the new barn. This moved allowed the heart of the Ecovillage to consist of something shared by all its members. The animals still visit for certain occasions, as they are being herded around the farm according to a rotational grazing plan. The herd has eight sheep, three goats, two horses, a couple pigs, a bunch of chickens, a couple cats, and a dog. They will not be moving all together, but there are different fences in shelters where they spend the nights, unless they return to the barn. Everyday two community members herd the animals along the planned routes. This is a job for young or elderly. A sturdy fence surrounds the property, keeping predators out, and the herd on the property, but as the fences have been removed from the


44 central field of the community, the animals need to remain under watchful eyes. Sensitive crops and gardens are fences in as mistakes can happen and rabbits and deer may still slip into the property as the fence is not all encompassing. The property is rich in the edge type of landscape between the pasture and pine forest biotopes (see Overview 2). As the pastures have declined in productivity they are developed into more diverse planting areas. The flowering fields of Piet Oudolf could be an inspiration. “Promoting diverse perennial vegetation which stands over a long season is a good start, with woody plants and tree cover also having an important part to play.� (Oudolf & Kingsbury, 2015, 62) As the Base lies at the edge of the forest this would be the natural place to begin. The common garden outside the Collective is another good place to begin. As the garden concept is developed gradually and the animal activity is moved systematically to the new barn, the central field and pond are redeveloped. As activity grows there, workshops involving diversifying the forest edge could take place. Nutritious soil from the pastures, manure from the stables, urine and feces from composting toilets could be mixed, in optimal ratios for making small planting beds, at the edge of the forests. In these pockets different assortments of food producing, flowering, climbing, and diversifying species, are planted. This creates a vibrant landscape filled with colors, which change through the seasons harmonically. These actions could begin in an experimental fashion and later made into workshops and courses involving excavators and intensive development. If focus is kept on low maintenance perennials with biodiverse value, management is kept at a minimum. Maintenance may be a limiting factor, as time and skills are required when caring for diverse systems, as distinguishing desirable plants from weeds in early spring may prove challenging. But allowing a certain amount of naturally seeded species in amongst the planned ones makes it easier to manage

(Oudolf & Kingsbury, 2015)

4.7. Limitations and recommendations Having such vast amounts of potentials can on one hand give lots of freedom to community members to more or less do whatever they want. But on the other hand having so many possibilities can also be overwhelming, and trying to realize all of them will quickly make the work stressful and less giving. The possibilities and projects of the community is always connected to the capabilities and will of the community members. Limitations may be due to the lack of some resource or key person, but a limitation can also be placed in order to not stray too far from the vision. One guideline could be that community development projects are not approved unless a satisfactory project presentation has been held, showing the stages of development and a timeline, together with how to project will be tied together, ended and in some cases cleaned up after.


45 With many people in an environment which offers an abundance of possibilities, many things happen simultaneously. Having a proper platform of communication that reaches everyone involved or interested is essential. With caution towards not overflooding the communications channel, multiple channels with different frameworks is a good idea, otherwise some will feel like there are too many messages and not the essential information, whereas others might feel that there are too few messages. Meetings and social gatherings can diversify the sharing of information, but need to take into account that some may experience distress by many meetings and much information. Developing a common room with an information board, or a screen with slides, or an app on mobile devices which show the activities in the community could be a good idea. The possibilities and activities within the community reflects the interests and passions of its residents and visitors. Therefore it lies in the community’s interest to know who is active within it, which form of activity is trendy, and where this activity could take place. Attempting to create a project which lies outside the interest of the current community members is not a great idea, and having a procedure in project approval, e.g. in the village council may be a great method in keeping the energy of the community focused on the current collective interests. Using maps and plans of property and its resources is important, and not doing so may prove detrimental to the community. Similarly will not having a framework of agreements, values, visions, strategies and responsibilities. Starting at where the community is and who makes up the community will serve as a good way of getting on the same page. By creating a village council responsibility of decisions will become more collective, and supported by an agreed upon framework. This will make it much easier for the community to mature. The council members ought to consist of those at the farm who wish to partake in discussions and hearing regarding different topics. These could range from resolving community conflicts to presenting new possible projects. The Association for Animals och Culture could become such a council, if they wish to, otherwise they can, alongside with the kindergarten function separately, interacting when collaborating or challenging each other. The council could uphold the foundational framework for the Ecovillage. If these meetings can be kept playful and easy going, the amount of anxiety or stress could be kept to a minimum. This could look like a variety of community dinners, recreational get togethers, cultural celebrations and seasonal ceremonies. Applying different dimensions to them, i.e. physical, emotional, spiritual, could also allow for different subjects to be discussed or developed under more appropriate circumstances. Zoning and building restrictions are also noteworthy. The property is currently zoned as a small farm, which gives opportunities to develop structures, shelters and greenhouses. Also as there are two existing building permits the development of the property is made available. However, when considering the vision of the community and their development, certain bureaucratic restrictions may block development in a certain direction. Here it would be recommended for governmental policies to adopt programmes such as ‘The One Planet’ policy in Wales, which is aimed at enabling sustainable projects. Funding is seemingly always a limitation, so developing methods of supplying the community members with resources is optimal.. In the end the most limiting factor is the will of the people involved. If the vision does not inspire the will of the residents, it is a failure. If the residents have no will, perhaps an Ecovillage is not the right habitat for them. Therefore being smart about who moves into the community is recommended. Charlottendal wants people who has a will to do things, who dares taking charge in situations and developing new initiatives, and who enjoy living in an Ecovillage. Therefore the vision making process as well as agreeing on the fundamental framework is utterly important, if there is a wish to further develop the Ecovillage concept.


46

5.0 Strategy for Development of Charlottendal as an Intentional Community.

5.1. Answering research questions I posed the following three questions at the beginning of the study. These are the most central answers which have been found during this project. What are the missing links for Charlottendal in transitioning from a small farm to an Ecovillage? The answer to this question begins with people. When first I joined the people at the community back in late 2016, I saw parents come and go with children, the staff at Bullerbyn, people who visited Magnus at Asplunden, a couple community members, and the owners a handful of times. Certainly this was winter time, but to me it seemed like a ghost town, when considering all the resources, facilities and the potentials of the place. What I missed most at Charlottendal were people with available resources, like: time, energy, interest and will to fill the place with content. It seemed to me like the landscape longed for people to enjoy its beauty. Those living at the community seemed to spend much of their time elsewhere, e.g. working outside of the Ecovillage. Honestly it didn’t seem like a village at all, lacking much of the connectivity between the villagers and the place. This connectivity can be developed by closing loops, essentially connecting the residents of the Ecovillage to its resources, be it food produce, and soil nutrition or financial opportunities. Education and spirituality proved noteworthy points as well, from the perspective of learning from the landscape and its wishes, and engaging in activities beyond the practical. The dynamic environment and social culture of an Ecovillage, whether it is well established or not is a source of great energy and inspiration. However, these aspects aren’t able to blossom without people who care for and enjoy them. From a planners perspective the central missing links is a vision and the guidelines that nudge the community in the right direction. Without these two the efforts in creating an Ecovillage or any other sort of intentional community is too fragmented and does no affirm the actions taken by residents or visitors there. If the villagers are unsure of what is going on at a place, and what the destination is, partaking in it becomes very challenging. Why are these links missing? The community of residents in Charlottendal has experienced many conflicts through its initial period of infrastructural development. Developing the land, building homes and establishing activities and businesses is heavy work. As records of these times are scant, I can only rely on the statements by long term residents, and observations in the communal patterns of behaviour. Due to multiple reasons, like imbalances in ownership, struggles with decision making (Tallberg 2018), and breaking of agreements the community spirit collapsed, and retreated to beyond the borders of the village. There it found some newcomers establishing Asplunden. From there it could reboot, and slowly return with strength back into the heart of the community. The lack of a well designed framework is substantial, as having one collects the people and their efforts in a unifying way. The framework reflects the residents will and wishes, and not having one easily results in not all voices being heard. Without a framework the cultivation of community glue is improbable, as there is nothing to glue together, and glue in itself is not of much use. Together the framework, which uplifts how to generate community glue, and the actual gluing of the community continuously develop the community and its environment. This results in a forward movement, which together with a vision gives members a direction and a method of observing how they are progressively moving towards it. The village had also been developed for opened up for a very narrow target audience. Families in their


47 own houses made up the majority of residents. To some degree this could be connected with the kindergarten and farming activities, but to such a small degree it is almost not even worthwhile mentioning. The greatest imbalance lay in the scale of things. If the Ecovillage was radically smaller, and the necessary maintenance a fraction of what it is currently, then certainly a collection of homeowning families could pull it together. But Charlottendal is a big property, with a lot of potential, and quite an ambitious yet unclear vision. At such a place a monotonous form of residence and lifestyle does not satisfy the needs of the place. Having a design or site plan is highly valuable, it generates cohesion and understand amongst the residents of the property and what it consists of. Designing the area together around a map can be a fun activity to do with fellow community members and distributes felt ownership. (Sherry & Ormsby, 2016) How can these issues be solved by design? Entering the fray from a design perspective the first step is observing and finding out what is going on. With a grounded understanding of the current state of affairs and participatory people, the design perspective can be moved towards exploring potentials. In this explorative process leverage point and leaks can be found. These provide the need for the first designs. A leverage point may be a hole which needs filling by a person, building or activity. Leaks may be areas which is consuming a lot of resources, without much return. When plugging the leaks, the boat will stay better afloat, and people will feel like the work they put into the place is paying off. Working with leverage point allow leaps to be taken once the conditions are met. This also allows other to join the activities and develop possibilities in a coherent way. By adding designs which diversify the different aspects of the community, new activity and people can be integrated to the existing. Asplunden proved to be such a design, as it added a completely different form of residence, and created a place with a completely different theme and structure than what was going on at Charlottendal previously. Similar is true for the volunteers and the Base, the Collective, and the Forest Temple. All of them generate activity, demand frameworks, and open up the place to a larger target audience. And they do so within the existing framework and built form of Charlottendal (see chapter on 4.4.7.Interconnectivity) At this point one could say that the boat has been rocked loose, and it set to sail. This can express itself in: the further development of social frameworks, like reoccuring celebrations; redesigning the existing, e.g. turning a family home into a collective; and weaving elements and functions together, such as connecting people with possibilities or needs. Collectively these efforts and designs pave the way for a resilient framework and vision to emerge. Certainly there are more parts to this journey, but the impact of the environment on the lives of the people residing there is immense. Being aware of this relationship and understanding the place, it’s wishes and they needs of the people living in, or in other ways involved with it, is of great value when developing an Ecovillage.

5.2. Current affairs In the spirit of presenting the community with my design perspective I will now bring up certain key topics, which I find of essential character in the further development of the Ecovillage. For a comprehensive understanding of the current affairs please also read my earlier report Catalyzing Community through a voluntary task force - Case study of Charlottendals Gård, 2018, in addition to this entire thesis. Currently Charlottendal is in the phase of a new generation of community members taking over from the older ones. Despite the uninterested attitudes of certain long term residents in developing a vision and intentional community at this property, newcomers have and are arriving, with a desire to live in a collective lifestyle. As Charlottendal is already a recognized Ecovillage in GEN, creating and weaving together the content to fill the ‘shell’ or framework already in place provides great opportuni-


48 ties to take further steps together. One leverage point lies in communicating a coherent vision of the place and its parts. There certainly is a vision, if not many playing themselves out here on this property, and understanding where other people here are coming from and striving for generates cohesion and community glue. Another leverage point lies in the opportunities we are surrounded by, especially the facilities with which we can play with here. With appropriate agreements theses facilities can to a great extent satisfy many of our needs and desires, from workshops, washing possibilities, sacred space, and event venues. In order to really utilize the opportunities and facilities on the property the framework of agreements, responsibilities, communication, and decision making is high priority. Otherwise materials will go missing, tools will break and our relationships will deteriorate with every little conflict. This requires the focus of active community members, both with the practical arrangements and the visionary conquests. In the following paragraphs I will delve into each of these key topics in order to develop a general understanding of the current affairs, as well as lay a general blueprint of a whole systems design.

5.3. Needs and desires Starting with what you have and what you need is fundamental when exploring or developing some context. When it comes to intimate ideas or dreams of our own home and lifestyle, it can feel challenging for some to start with what we have, as society is hell bent on advertising material gains or experiences which will bring you happiness in life. However, this is but a fleeting perspective of some current generations. Alas in an ever changing world undergoing large transformations due to the behaviour of human beings, exploring our actual needs and desires in correlation to our home and lifestyle seems fundamental to each and everyone of us. Therefore a general introduction of our community to the members current engaged in it, and newcomers eager to get involved, could be a very valuable step in understanding what is going on at Charlottendal, and who is making it go on. Stating one’s own needs and desires can be powerful in establishing one’s own home rules and dreams of the future. Hearing others share the same will help you understand others and relate to them with respect. Adding a voice to non human beings at the farm is highly advised as there is more to a place than the human world. What wishes do the animals at the farm have? How about the trees? As we can see on Overview 2. large portions of the property are allocated to animal care, or as forested areas. But that is not all, we also need to relate to the water cycle (and waste water management), to nutrient and mineral cycles in the soil, to microclimates, key species, a variety of ecosystems and our roles as stewards of them. Hearing their voices is essential in generating understanding. A functioning community does not have imbalances between the individual and the collective. They go hand in hand (Jouber & Dregger, 2015) So do transparency and trust. Communities require processes and methods, which allow subconscious process to be expressed. In a collective it is better not to let a conflict or issue get suppressed, as it will end up polluting the atmosphere. Humour, benevolence and knowledge is recommended tools and attitudes.

5.4. Whole Systems Design When all the aspects are taking into account, through all the dimensions and perspectives, we are looking at a whole systems design. Nothing is left out. In the beginning the design will consist of exploring question, from local ecosystem services (the services that the ecosystems provide us with, such as clean water, breathable air, energy, timber etc), to personal finances, workload, and time management. After exploring holistic perspectives of our personal lives, and the community property, we can begin superimposing them to see how they may work together in satisfying our needs to an appropriate degree.


5.5. Agreements

49

In order to function and thrive together we need to agree on matters. Not only at the moment of decision making, but also continuously, and especially during challenging moments. It is highly valuable having fundamental agreements written down, so that members can return to stable points during unstable times.With agreements also comes a sense of security, which can alleviate stress. Communication is vital and a necessary topic to agree on. Consequences of breaking agreements is also important to consider, as well as the decision making structure. On the topic of agreements many can feel like their freedom is being bound. Therefore the extent of the agreements in a community is important to consider. Areas like facilities are in high need of agreements, whereas how one cultivates their own garden is not. Having community agreements, whether they be values, principles, guidelines, or visions will create a framework within which members can operate freely. In best cases it is like giving an artist a framed canvas, but allowing the artists creativity full freedom within it. Breaking agreements affect the community negatively. If trust in each other is lost, no vision will ever amount to much more than frustration and sleepless nights. Consequences to breaking of agreements can be playful rather than serious, as long as they provide the members a strong incentive not to break agreements. Therefore delegating and rotating tasks, responsibility, and roles is a good strategy in understanding the necessary workload and linking people with their strengths in a collective context.

5.6. Opportunities Understandment of the previous topics allows opportunities to be explored. Current affairs tells us where we are now, Needs and desires gives us a list of priorities, Whole systems design makes sure we aren’t forgetting something or someone, Agreements show us how to approach the opportunities. Having these anchors will prevent us from becoming to focused on something non essential, as well as providing a stable foundation for new elements to be added upon. After the possibly arduous work of communication and agreements we can finally enter the realm of dreaming together. This is where the strength of community really shows it character. Alone we are limited strongly to our own imagination, skills and resources. Together with others we break those shackles. Living in a place rich with the atmosphere of possibilities is very fulfilling, especially when undergoing a transition in lived environment or choice of lifestyle. Combining my own dreams and capabilities with others dreams and capabilities will make it all the more possible to realize them, and a lot more fun doing so. When enjoyment enters the equation of practical work we can and want to do much more, than when we are tired or bored. Therefore living in a diverse and engaging environment, with an understandable vision and clear framework, can be much like entering paradise.

5.7. Facilities Considering the topics leading up to this one, what facilities would you require in ‘paradise’? In terms of the ecocentric stages of human development drawn out by Plotkins, we could look at this question from the perspective of stages 5 and 6, with the question: What do you need from the wellspring or orchard to best fulfill your journey as apprentice or artisan? In a community we come into unity in order to further our own wishes and goals in life together with others. And a part of that unification is agreeing about how we care for our wellsprings and orchards, personally and collectively. Do not fear it, for a clear framework in the case of how tidy we keep our common washroom, which chemicals are allowed in our wastewater system, how much water is reasonable per shower, etc will


50 make the usage of the space much more delightful and the expectations of you as a user clear and agreeable. However, at times the guidelines may block the creativity or dreams of a user, which may be the case in a carpentry workshop. In these events a clear way to propose an exception or change to the guidelines is best to be provided. The facilities are essential to the wellbeing and enabling of community members. In order to make dreams come true, having workshops, art studios, playrooms, creative spaces, venues, and natural spaces is essential. When using these spaces and tools in a smoothly operating fashion, awesome projects can come together, and the community as well as its individual members will thrive in a steady flow. However that may look is up for the communities collective vision to reveal.

5.8. Focus Taking my own time in this community as an example: I have done most things one can think of and some more here at the farm, yet through all my endeavours there has been a red thread, a certain perspective or focus. I approach matters very strongly from the permaculture design perspective. Honestly, I am insecure of growing my own tomatoes, but when it comes to weaving together structures and patterns, connecting dots, and building bridges, I dare say that it is what I do most naturally. From apprenticing at Asplunden soon three years ago, to co-creating a volunteership here, and finally refining it all to my Masters thesis, I simply wish to point out the importance of keeping your focus whilst in the flow of life. When we recognize that capability in ourselves and each other we allow ourselves to reach higher potentials. The task of developing the framework and vision of the community will take focus. Hearing all the voices in the community in a unified circle takes focus. Speaking coherently and communicating with clarity our intimate dreams and requirements takes focus. Following a framework after everyone having agreed to it takes less focus, but getting to this point takes discipline and optimism. Fortunately Charlottendal has a temple for healing, and lots of natural space for walks, jogs, games, and awesome projects. Community participation can be divided in three parts: practice, play, contribution. When eliminating practice and play for the equation we are left in a serious and demanding world. This is the world most Eco Villagers wish to move away from, but patterns have a tendency of following our behaviour. When adding play into the equation we allow ourselves to be imperfect, to enjoy the moment, to laugh at ourselves and others without taking offence. With time for practice we add larger possibilities to develop and gain confidence in ourselves. Practice allows mistakes to happen, which you learn from over time. When chasing deadlines mistakes will cost you dearly, and make the process all the more stressful.

5.9. Vision Here is my vision of how the community of Charlottendal could find their vision: Currently the Collective is undergoing a vision making process and establishing the necessary structures of their co-habitance. This could be used as a leverage point in catalyzing a similar process to begin in the general community. Workshops in vision making, sociocracy 3.0 and non violent communication could be held to support both the Collective and Ecovillage. I have begun asking preparatory questions of the community in survey form (see appendix X), which will help in getting started. We have individuals with knowledge and skills both internally and in our network of contacts who could easily support or facilitate different workshops. As there now is an established temple space in the forest, the community could utilize this space and manage the place collectively. Therefore I would emphasize holding activities at the temple in a disciplined way. Activities could be held at least three times a week, e.g. Monday, Thursday and Saturday. These activities could be structured with one person sharing an activity, or simply a collective time to


51 do your own stretches or healing routines. The meditation jam concept, where anyone is welcome to share the meditation practices could be a good idea, but in the beginning it is often easier to set a new routine by having a committed leader or core group. There are two sauna in the community, a swimming pool and a hot tub. These are ideal for casual gatherings, with bonding discussions. I would strive to keep much of the practical discussions (meeting type) away from these places, and allow more curious and contemplative discussions to be held. In caring for these facilities collectively, the community members will improve their collaboration and decision making in small areas, which are not necessarily associated with any conflicts of interest. Furthermore I see great opportunities of doing physical workout together. The community landscape offers plenty of opportunities to engage in fitness activities and play. A jogging route can be established along the paths in the forest, and there are also nominal places for establishing an outdoor gym (see overview 3.). This could invite competitiveness and rivalry to the community in a playful way, which can be a great support when building trust and understanding of each other. “When people move the body and vocal chords - bonds people at such a deep level that their connection tends to last.” (Christian, 2003, 33) These activities are great in combination with healing activities at the temple and washing opportunities in one of the saunas or pools. The pond situated in the middle of the community could also be developed into more of a bath place with docks, and cosy hangout space. Considering the heat wave of summer 2018, which lasted for many weeks, the pond could provide an essential cooling space, source of security in case of more wildfires, like the one in late May 2018, and also an important connection to the health of the local water. Additionally a larger focus could be made on having collective meals, and reoccurring celebrations. Previously we have hosted events at least during Easter, Harvest time, and New Years. These could be established as yearly happenings, and could look totally different than the year before. Also as the Base is set to finish their outdoor kitchen, this will allow the community to more easily gather in a “common” space, and have social gatherings. The Association for Animals and Culture could develop the cultural side greatly, as meetings are now almost solely focused on taking care of animals, and cleaning up different spaces and facilities in the community. Initially there could be an animal meeting once a month and a culture also once a month, creating a structure of having two community meetings per month, with a week in between meetings. Before the outdoor kitchen is finished the community could do a round of every household hosting the culture meeting in turn, inviting community members into their homes for increased trusts and intimacy. The cultural side of the association would be focused on organizing events, such as the yearly celebrations, managing the temple, sauna and outdoor kitchen spaces, and have workshops in social affairs and relationships. During the year of 2019 Charlottendals Ecovillage could focus on exploring the necessary aspects, getting to know each other more intimately, and work towards a common goal. This common goal ought to be gathering all individuals in one space with the purpose making the Vision of Charlottendal Ecovillage. Allow time for the vision making. Write down common goals, and think backwards (Chamberlin, 2009): What steps are needed to get there? Through collective work you keep the vision alive. (Atlestam et al. 2015) Adding tools such as Slack and Sociocracy 3.0, is also recommended, and can make the communications and decision making less stressful and confusing. Having workshops or courses in their usage would be a great benefit for the members, especially when adding more members, as is possible with a newly proposed small apartment house (marked X in diagram 1.). Having an understandable vision will also add weight to any proposals of further developing the general area in a sustainable direction, which would be beneficial in the cases of altering the zoning plan or creating a master plan of the property, influencing municipal decisions on further development of the Mora area, as well as redeveloping the Mora river into a nature park.


52 The vision is fully built upon the previous topics and many others, and if they fail, the vision falls. This is not necessarily bad. Change is a universal constant, so we better have a will to reinvent ourselves at necessary intervals, and accept the ebb and flow of life, so we can ride it like a rollercoaster, or surf it like a wave. In order to do that both the will and the belief that we can succeed is necessary. In the end, if we believe we can achieve it, and have the will to set out to do so, all else will follow.

6. Conclusion My investigation of the community of Charlottendal has pointed out imbalances in ownership and decision-making power. Problems with communication has been revealed, and a lack of social framework is suspected as a main culprit in causing earlier collapses in the community. Furthermore a perspective of scarcity in the mindset of residents can be attributed a root cause for many stress factors felt by residents of Charlottendal. Translating this into a global perspective, we can see similar imbalances and issues throughout the spectrum of civilization (Victoria, 2011). If we approach the discussion of future civilizational development, we ought to, according to the finding in this thesis: focus on communication with all those involved; create an agreeable framework, which we can rely upon during challenging moments; transition our frame of thinking from one of scarcity to one of abundance, by accepting our roles as stewards of this planet; find a collective vision which brings us together, and uplifts the most inspirational aspects of humanity; connect to our local systems and potentials; and set our goals on creating a regenerative civilization, with the capabilities of turning the momentum of our impending doom, inte to realization of our most most heartfelt dreams. I dare state that every role is necessary, and every being has a role to fill. For me finding my Ikigai (Myers, 2018) provided me with certainty in my role as a landscape architect. The skill set of a planner suits my own interests of creatively interracting with the environment, and creating harmonious dwellings, and ever blossoming natural places.The ecological and structural knowledge combined with observations of nature, and a willingness to live together with the elements, leads to opportunities of creating enjoyment and celebration of life. Combined with creative capabilities, and the understanding of the interplay between environment and culture is vital to the development of a holistic global design. When considering figure 2 (p. 6), we must succesfully achieve a type one planetary civilization (Creighton, 2014) before we advance to colonizing our solar system and the stars beyond. I cannot help but believe that the current condition of civilization, is but a phase of maturity we go through collectively just before a journey way beyond anything we could imagine will unfold. Having the insight of the potentials waiting for us to be ready for their realization is heartwarming, yet it does not eliminate the fact that we are currently not yet there.“Its peaceful and beautiful here. It’s really kind of a luxury. And it’s autonomy to a large degree. You can make more of the rules yourself up here. You know it’s a double-edged sword, though - it’s a lot of work and frustration getting through that” (Sherry & Ormsby, 2016, 132). But I bet you it will be worth it! The End Through my Masters degree I have had certain personal goals to achieve and conundrums to answer. One such conundrum has been the question: If we build it, will they come? I can now to a satisfactory degree answer: Yes, yes they will. And add to it: so you better be ready, for the success will hang on how well the core group, framework and facilities can integrate them, and enable them in pursuing their dreams, as well as the capabilities of the pioneering forces to become redundant. 15. March 2019 Järna, Sweden.


7. References

53

7.1. Peer reviewed articles: Callaghan, E. G., & Colton, J. (2008). Building sustainable & resilient communities: A balancing of community capital. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10(6), 931-942. doi:10.1007/s10668-007-9093-4 Christensen, K.S. (1985). Coping with Uncertainty in Planning, Journal of the American Planning Association, 51(1), 63-73. DOI: 10.1080/01944368508976801 Davoudi, S., Shaw, K., Haider, L. J., Quinlan, A. E., Peterson, G. D., Wilkinson, C., Porter, L. (2012). Resilience: A bridging concept or a dead end? “reframing” resilience: Challenges for planning theory and practice interacting traps: Resilience assessment of a pasture management system in northern afghanistan urban resilience: What does it mean in planning practice? resilience as a useful concept for climate change adaptation? the politics of resilience for planning: A cautionary note. Planning Theory and Practice, 13(2), 299-333. Healey, P. (2003). Collaborative planning in perspective. Planning Theory, 2(2), 101-123. doi:10.1177/14730952030022002 Healey, P. (2009). The pragmatic tradition in planning thought. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 28(3), 277-292. doi:10.1177/0739456X08325175 Lessem, R., Schieffer, A., & Mamukwa, L. (2014;2016). Integral green Zimbabwe: An African phoenix rising (New ed.). Burlington: Gower. doi:10.4324/9781315588940 Sherry, J., & Ormsby, A. (2016). Sustainability in practice: A comparative case study analysis of the EcoVillage at ithaca, earthaven, and sirius. Communal Societies, 36(2), 125. Victoria, J., L., E., (2016) Anthropology of power: Beyond state-centric politics Published online September 15, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1177/1463499616654370

7.2. Published books: Atlestam, G., Bremertz, M., Haglind Ahnstedt, c., Havström, M., Hedberg, M., Hultén, E., Höglund, C.M., (2015). Ekobyboken, frihetsdrömmar, skaparglädje och vägar till ett hållbart samhälle. Karlstad: Vatum & Gullersförlag. Baches, M. B. E., January 4, 2016 Hierarchy of needs: application in urban design and community-building. http://mallorybaches.com/discuss/2016/1/26/hierarchy-of-needs Chamberlin, S. (2009). The Transition Timeline: For Local, Resilient Future. UK: Green Book ltd. Christian, D. L. (2003). Creating a Life together: Practical tools to grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities: New Society Publishers. Granstedt, A. & Seuri, P., (2013). BERAS implementation, Baltic ecological recycling, agriculture and society:Conversion to Ecological Recycling Agriculture and Society, Environmental, economic and sociological assessments and scenarios Sweden: Trosa Tryckeri. Hopkins, R. (2011). The Transition Companion:Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times, Cambridge: Green Books.


54 Jouber, K. & Dregger, L. (2015). Ecovillage, 1001 ways to heal the planet. UK: Triarchy press. Kothari, R. (1990). Rethinking Development: In Search of Humane Alternatives, London: Aspect Publications. Oudolf, P. & Kingsbury, N. (2013). Planting: A New Perspective, Oregon: Timber Press. Perkins, R. (2016). Making Small Farms Work: A Pragmatic Whole Systems Approach to Profitable Regenerative Agriculture, Poland: Co-published. Torvald, F., (1979). Tents: Architecture of the Nomads,. John Murray Publishers Ltd. United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, (1997). Regional Development Planning and Management of Urbanization: Experiences from Developing Countries, UN-HABITAT, p. 153-157

7.3. Online sources: Bennet, D., Thiel, P., L., 2019 March 15th: ”Hur går vi vidare efter klimatstrejkandet?” https://www.svt.se/ opinion/hur-gar-vi-vidare-efter-klimatstrejkandet?cmpid=del%3Afb%3A20190315%3Ahur-gar-vi-vidare-efter-klimatstrejkandet%3Anyh%3Alp&fbclid=IwAR1JjufL2Srtp4VJTGBRuqT3A7sTEOvTaA7d4zPjcKLd2bXUO-zJGKIywuM Buckley, B., 2019 January 2nd. Field of Awakening Urban & Land Based Conscious Community Vision https://fieldofawakening.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/FoA-UL-visiondocument-3.0.pdf Creighton, J., 2018 July 19th: The Kardashev Scale – Type I, II, III, IV & V Civilization. https://futurism.com/the-kardashev-scale-type-i-ii-iii-iv-v-civilization Edwards, S., 2011 August 12th.: Vernacular Architecture and the 21st Century, https://www.archdaily.com/155224/vernacular-architecture-and-the-21st-century Kasser, T., 2010 February 25th: Consumerism, Psychology, Transition and Resilience. Part Two, https:// www.transitionculture.org/2010/02/25/tim-kasser-on-consumerism-psychology-transition-and-resilience-part-two/ Myers, C., 2018 February 23rd: How To Find Your Ikigai And Transform Your Outlook On Life And Business. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrismyers/2018/02/23/how-to-find-your-ikigai-and-transform-youroutlook-on-life-and-business/ 1. https://ecovillage.org/ https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loftbod http://frid.nu/ http://xn--stjrnsund-x2a.nu/permakultur-stjarnsund/fridhem/ 8. http://ekobyar.se/ 9. http://sydvatten.se/vattenforbrukning/


8. APPENDIXES 8.1. GEN Ecovillage commitments

Declaration of Commitment and Intention

We, the village of ______________________________ Declare our intention to become an ecovillage and step into collaboration with other like-minded ecovillages, as found in the Global Ecovillage Network. We understand that an ecovillage is defined as an intentional, traditional or urban community that is - consciously designed through locally owned, participatory processes - in all 4 dimension of sustainability: social, culture, ecology and economy - to regenerate their social and natural environments. We understand that ecovillages strive to become demonstration sites for sustainable living. We understand that within the Global Ecovillage Network we are creating a pool of wisdom for sustainable living on a global scale.

We aim to integrate and realise the following principles: Best social practises ● ● ● ● ● ●

Embrace diversity and build thriving communities Cultivate responsive, inclusive and transparent decision-making Empower participatory leadership and good governance Ensure equal and lifelong access to holistic education and healthcare Practise conflict facilitation, communication and peacebuilding skills Develop fair, effective and accountable institutions

55


56

Best cultural practises ● ● ● ● ● ●

Connect to a higher purpose in life Nurture mindfulness and personal growth Respect cultural traditions that support human dignity Engage actively to protect communities and nature Celebrate life and diversity through art Reconnect to nature and embrace low-impact lifestyles

Best ecological practises ● ● ● ● ● ●

Clean and replenish sources and cycles of water Move towards 100% renewable energies Grow food and soils through organic agriculture Innovate and spread green building technologies Work with waste as a valuable resource Increase biodiversity and regenerate ecosystems

Best economic practises ● ● ● ● ● ●

Reconstruct the concepts of wealth, work and progress Work for equitable ownership of land and resources Cultivate social entrepreneurship to create sustainable solutions Empower and strengthen local economies Invest in fair trade and ethical systems of exchange Generate wellbeing for all through economic justice

Best whole system design practises ● ● ● ● ● ●

Engage all stakeholders in designs for the future Honour traditional wisdom while integrating positive innovation Identify the appropriate scale for efficient solutions Find strengths, weaknesses, and leverage points in all areas Learn from nature and practise whole systems thinking Build networks and alliances for mutual support across all divides

We look forward to deepening mutual learning and collaboration into the future. Signed by

(Village Representative)


8.2. Interview of property owners

57

Community questions for Peter and Merle

Based on CLIPS 2 interview framework, with consent from the Board of ERO (Ekobyarnas Riksorganisation)8 Date: 28.2.2019 What circumstances (functions, decisions, actions or events) do you consider fundamental in shaping your community? Peter: In the beginning I met a group of people who were engaged in community creation, which I joined. We found a “leftover” place, rich in potential, with close proximity to the town of Järna, with commuting possibilities to Stockholm etc. The property had preserved a wild nature, which could be enriched with people and animals. Merle: Today we have community workdays, some shared meals, sharing circles/meetings, project planning, celebrations and different rituals. We strive to let everyone be heard at our meetings so different points and personalities can be alive and visible at Charlottendal. How have you agreed on the project’s overall objective? (Vision, mission, goals, objectives, intentions and the like) What features do they have? Have they proved effective in their respective functions? Merle: After years of working with that I am happy with the current process. It has a low skills-high intensity quality. We don’t push each other to do things rapidly, but we could get more organized. We could maybe give a higher priority for community projects, which could make the process more effective and focused. Peter: We do not really have a singular goal, rather many different subgoals, with a general idea of the farm being a pedagogic place. What is your vision of Charlottendal? Peter: A pedagogic place with a living process of recreating the connection to nature, people and social care. Permaculture inspires us, and we aim to encourage diversity, and enjoy the richness of life and nature. Merle: 20-25 people living together in different forms, relating to each other on a ecological and vedanta basis. There is a high degree of consciousness amongst those living here. The community has a kindergarten, yurts, animals, gardens, volunteers, tourism, and some healing practices like yoga, relaxation, rituals. We strive to bring down the tempo so the farm can be relaxing and self-developing. What is your policy for the admission of new members? Peter: Rather ad hoc, in need of development, especially consider possibilities of developing more residential structures. Merle: We need to make a better welcoming prospect, and allocate more time for personal meetings, both personally and within the different groups. Do you have a special process to include people? Merle: We currently do not have any kind of procedure in including people. Mostly we offer a warm attitude towards whoever is staying at the farm. Peter: We have a general openness and plans to integrate our Association for Animals and Culture, with a kind of Village Council. What is the ownership type? (owner/share/rent)? Merle: This is currently a private property (owned by us), with possibilities to rent, share, sell/buy. Peter: Different types, such as: a Housing Society, an Association for Animals and Culture.


58 If there are different types of ownership within your community are they reflected in anyway in terms of rights and duties? Merle: Yes, they are reflected in our rights and duties, but could be better specified. However, having a loose structure allows open space for creativity. Even individuals from outside the community are welcome to be active and create in different areas. Peter: Currently we are redefining the leasehold between the housing society and us owners. What is the legal structure you chose? Did you have it from the beginning? Peter: The Housing Society rents the land from us. In the beginning this structure allowed us a loan for developing the property with favourable conditions. The Association for Animals and Culture was added later when the need arose. Merle: Permanently living and working at the farm is my personal legal form and I have had it from the beginning. Did you have any benefits or problems from it? Peter: Yes, lots of both. In the beginning it was the the only realistic way to develop the property, because of a interest substitute during the first 10 years. However, it has brought many questions in terms of responsibilities and govern-ships. Especially in people in the Housing Society should take responsibility for farm life. This was written in to the statues, but has never really worked in reality. Merle: Indeed, personally I am employed at the kindergarten, which gives me a salary and adds me to the Swedish system (I am of Estonian descent). For me a problem is how expensive it is to run a farm economically. All the money goes into reparations, food, financing projects, paying bank loans etc. Money just passes by. We are not self sustainable, because we lack individuals who can carry the system. ANd time, there is no time over for those who are in the core group of the farm. What kind of governance structure do you have? Merle: Democratic, familiar sometimes. Peter: Housing Society, Association for Animals and Culture, and planning on establishing a Village Council. How often you meet, and in what format? Peter: Sporadic, sometimes too often, other times too little. We have a formal Housing Society meeting once a month, and strive to do the same with the Association for Animals and Culture. Other meetings may happen more often depending on necessity and season. Merle: There are a range of different meetings happening weekly to keep the farm going. What kind of decision-making processes do you use? Does it work? How have they evolved over time? Merle: Generally it begins with sharing of ideas with other individuals or in a group. Then we communicate in written form, and have discussion meetings. A great part of this is delegating and following up after meetings. Processes are not particularly regulated, and can take longer time, but I feel it builds up a good form of democracy. I think including work in it is great. Peter: The plan is to develop more of a sociocracy 3.0 format for decision making. Have you used any landscaping methods? Peter: Yes, in the beginning we measured and developed a dam in the heart of the community, inspired by Richard Perkins from Ridgedale. Merle: I am unsure, but curious.


59

What is your percentage of energy/ everything self sufficiency? Peter: We are currently about 10-20 % self sufficient on energy. Food around the same. Merle: I would love to work more with gardening, growing vegetables, berries, and fruit together. High tech is not my cup of tea, but I am open to learn. What purposes does the common facilities serve? Merle: Get togethers! Relaxation, rituals, serving the purpose of life, leisure time at the farm. Peter: Meetings, cultural events and celebrations. Is there community gardens/private gardens? Both: Yes, we are working hard for that!

Do you grow your own food (what is your percentage of self sufficiency)? Merle: Summertime, yes. Maybe we harvest 20 % of our groceries. COuld be more but I don’t have time for that right now… Peter: See above. How do you deal with recycling/upcycling? Peter: We sort plastic, metal, cardboard, lightbulbs, batteries, ceramics, biodegradables, and general thrash. We encourage residents to have their own compost to keep nutrients on farm property, but some prefer tossing it in the bin (in green bags which are sorted by the municipality’s garbage services). Merle: We have a problem with consumption. There are too many plastic and cardboard packages from food, furniture and building materials. It overwhelms our sorting system and I don’t like it. We could emphasize a focus on natural goods and less shopping. Do you apply permaculture design principles ? biodynamic farming ? if so how? Merle: Yes, both in my home garden and at the kindergarten. Peter: However mainly theoretical, with a slow rate of development, but yes. What method do you use for environmental restoration? Peter: Adding and enriching zones between different landscapes, such as forest, field, cultivated land, and water. Merle: It is a bit unclear. We have woodfire stoves in most houses. Geothermal heating and solar panels, and we generally advise against daily commuting, but we are in need of new ideas and systems on both personal and communal levels. What is the level of knowledge and involvement with the National Network, GEN, GAIA Education or other international groups? Merle: I am supportive of this kind of work, and very thankful to those who are connected to that in our community. We have friends in Suderbyn on Gotland, and also in Estonia with whom we stay connected. Peter: Indeed, but sadly when it comes to involvement in the more top down network it is mainly I who am connected to them. Do you run educational courses/workshops in the community? Peter: Yes, we have space for 30 children in our kindergarten. Also we are part of running an adult education course called ‘One Year in Transition’. And now for the second year we have a volunteering program for youth (18-30 year old). Merle: We also do a bit of yoga and pedagogical activities at the kindergarten. And the Forest Temple is slowly becoming established. The volunteers also hosted some workshops last year in permaculture and construction work.


60 How is the relationship between your community and the wider community? Peter: Good. We received some credit for adding volunteers, but also have some issues regarding road agreements, as we are part of two private road organisations. Merle: Yes they are good, I guess. I am thankful for Peter who is doing a good job maintaining them and letting us be part of that. And with other stakeholders? Merle: Some of them I have personal relationships with, but we do miss acting more as a community, and could add more sharing opportunities for those interested. Peter: Well, with new stakeholders comes new questions, but also inspiration. How open are you to visitors? Peter: Rather open, not overly regulated but in need of structure. Merle: Very open I would say. Somebody has to take good care of visitors, if not I can get very stressed about it, as I don’t always have time to organize it. But it feels like I have to do it, despite lack of time. How do you manage volunteers and guests? Are you part of any volunteer networks? Merle: I like to make new contacts and relate to people. It is important for me. When it comes naturally it makes me happy and inspired. My intentions are to take good care of volunteers and guests, but can get easily overwhelmed and stressed if meetings come over me. I am grateful for all the help from others at the farm who are doing a big part in including work here. Peter: Our present volunteers come through the European Solidarity Corps (previously European Voluntary Services (EVS)). The first batch of volunteers had to rely on a large degree of self management, but we are better equipped to manage them now during the second year. How do you collaborate with the municipality? Peter: We communicate with the municipality in regards to building permits. We are granted some funding through organisations such as Leader, and have official contacts through the Kindergarten. Merle: We have built up good contacts and reputation over the years, and are benefitting from that in current and coming projects - in my opinion.


Appendix 8.3 Poster: Building the Base

61

“THE BASE”

Charlottendal har de senaste tjugofem åren varit i en period av omställning. Gården ägs av familjen Hagerrot som förvaltat den tillsammans med en bostadsrättsförening, samt den ideella föreningen för djur och kultur. Nu står en ny generation redo att vara med att utforma gårdens framtid både när det gäller, livsstilar, kurser och utbildningar, samt experiment i att finna hållbara sätt att leva i nära kontakt med naturen.

BASEN FÖR VOLONTÄRSVERKSAMHET I CHARLOTTENDAL, JÄRNA

I september 2017 ansökte Omställning Järna (nuförtiden Stödorganisationen för Omställning i Järna) om projektfinansiering från Erasmus+ för ett EVS (European Voluntary Service) projekt. Projektförslaget godkändes och i februari 2018 började en helt ny grupp vara verksam på gården. Edward från Finland, Noora från Belgien och Svetlana från Ryssland fick i uppdrag att spendera hälften av arbetstiden på att upprätthålla och utveckla gården, och andra hälften med att hjälpa till hos olika andra grupperingar verksamma i Järna med lokal omställningen. Huserande av volontärverksamheten på Charlottendalsgård var logistiskt smart eftersom det fanns befintliga utrymmen för volontärerna att bosättas i, samt att det är cykelavstånd till Järna. Med tanke på att volontärerna i början belastar gårdens faciliteter, togs beslutet att bygga en bas för volontärerna under första årets lopp. Finansieringsstöd beviljades av Leader för 40 % av investeringen på en halv miljon. Vi valde att uppföra en i Estland förtimrad stuga, med klassiska drag av en gårds loftbod.

+5.71

Först grävdes och gjöts grunden genom Kollbergs tillsammans med volontärerna. Sedan anlände huset paketerat med en lastbil och en kranbil. Då lyftkransarbetet var klart och stugans stomme stod färdig, stanna två arbetare kvar och fortsatte för hand. Efter tio dagar lämnade de en fantastiskt vacker timmerstuga av grov furu efter sig. Sen dess har volontärerna fått under ledning av Julian Baw (en till gården anknuten permakulturist och hantverkare) bygga vidare på sin kommande hem. Tillsammans har de och Peter Hagerrot byggt vidare på insidan och för tillfället skall undersidan på taket målas, inneköket samt toaletten planeras. Vi hoppas kunna husera volontärerna i detta hus fr.o.m. september, men senast innan vinter.

+5.71

3D Views

1:142.86

Objekt : New building

+4.78

©

Sweden Tellija :

+3.84

Tender Ehitus OÜ Jaama 19, 46606 Tudu, LääneVirumaa Reg.kood:10061988

+2.68

Peter Hagerrot

Töö nr :

Projektijuht :

Joonis : 02.1

Projekteerija :

Kuup. : 20-Dec-17

Vastutav spets. :

GSPublisherVersion 0.0.100.100

+2.00

+2.00 +1.20

+1.00

FÖRARBETE I ESTLAND PÅ TENDER EHIDUS VERKSTAD

±0.00 -0.25

±0.00 -0.25

North

1:75

West

1:75

+5.71

+5.71

+4.78

+3.59

+2.89

+2.35 +2.20

+2.00

+1.00 GSPublisherVersion 0.0.100.100

±0.00 -0.25

±0.00 -0.25

South

1:75

East

West1

1:75

West1

Views

1:75

Objekt : New building

©

Sweden

4,500 1,800

4,500

900

250

Tellija :

Tender Ehitus OÜ Jaama 19,1,850 46606 Tudu, Lääne-800 Projektijuht :1,850 Virumaa Projekteerija : Reg.kood:10061988 250 4,000 Vastutav spets. :

1,800

4,000

Peter Hagerrot

250

Töö nr : Joonis : 01.6

250

Kuup. : 29-Dec-17

GSPublisherVersion 0.0.100.100

SU-02 14 x 214 = 3,000

14 x 214 = 3,000

800 800

11

14

13

12

9

8

7

6

5

10

4

3

2

1

14

13

12

900 2,100

9

8

11

10

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

250

125

250

2,600

BEDROOM 2 10.4 m2

2,600

3,270

4,285

4,400

SU-01 900 2,100

4,000

ROOM 1 3 16.1 m2

4,000

187

L-1-3 6,750

460

7,000

187

L-1-3

6,750

7,000

L-1-3

North

1,000 1,000

1,000 3,713

800 1,200

A-03

3,270

800 3,713

A-02

1,715

1,800

2,563

2,563

LVING ROOM/ITCHEN 1 15.3 m2

North

South

187

800 800

187

South

A-05

304

900

2,567 329

1,491

304

304 ±0.00 -0.25

250

±0.00 -0.25

+5.71

4,250

+5.71

329

900

2,567

3

B

±0.00 -0.25

+3.55 +2.68

+2.00

4 +3.55 +2.68

+2.00

2,350

2,350 250

329

+2.00

+2.00

B

28° +2.00

250

+2.00

2,350

A

900

1,491 2,567

©

4,250

1:50

1,491

Töö nr :

Joonis : A.3

©

1:50

+2.00

Kuup. : 29-Dec-17

Töö nr :

Joonis : A.4

+2.68

+2.68

B

28°

+2.68

A

B West 2

+5.71

+3.84

900

+3.55

+2.00

+3.84

Tile roof

4,000 Eststein Elegant Plus 250 Roads for tiles 45x35mm 800Laths 45x45mm 1,000 Hunton 18mm Rafters 45x195mm 4,250 125 Insulation 200mm Vapour barrier Laths 45x45mm Panels 18x145

800

125

1.Floor

Sweden

A

Objekt : New building

+2.00

A

Peter Hagerrot

+5.71

1,000

28°

Tellija :

+2.68

±0.00 -0.25

Projektijuht :

Husbygget delsfinansierat av Leader

Projekteerija :

A

Vastutav spets. :

B

2.Floor

Objekt : New building

Peter Hagerrot

Sweden

Tellija :

Projektijuht :

Projekteerija :

West

VU-01

250

+5.71

±0.00 -0.25

125

4,500

+3.84

1

B

250

250 950

2,500 2,000

A 1,200

250

200

1

1

A-04

4,000

+5.71 1,200

Tender Ehitus OÜ Jaama 19, 46606 Tudu, LääneVirumaa Reg.kood:10061988

950

125

1,200 1,888

1,200 1,888

Tender Ehitus OÜ Jaama 19, 46606 Tudu, LääneVirumaa

A-04

250

2

2

250

125

250

L-1-3

A-01

±0.00 -0.25

Wooden/Frame gabel walls 145mm Laths 45x18 Hunton 18mm Frame 45x145mm Insulation 200 Tile roof Vapour barrier1 1 Tile roof Eststein Elegant Plus Laths 45x45mm Elegant Plus Roads for tiles 45x35mm PanelsEststein 18x45mm Roads for tiles 45x35mm Laths 45x45mm Laths 45x45mm Hunton 18mm Ceiling Hunton 18mm Rafters 45x195mm Laminate 8mm Rafters Insulation 200mm PLP TG4 22mm45x195mm Insulation 200mm Vapour barrier Beams 45x245mm Vapour barrier Laths 45x45mm Insulation 100mm Laths 45x45mm Panels 18x145 Vapour barrier Panels 18x145 Laths 35x45 Panels 18x145mm 2 Wooden/Frame gabel 2 Wooden/Frame gabel walls 145mm walls 145mm Laths 45x18 Hunton 18mm Flat log walls 250mm Laths 45x18 Hunton 18mm Frame 45x145mm Frame 45x145mm Insulation 200 Insulation 200 Vapour barrier Vapour barrier Laths 45x45mm Laths 45x45mm Panels 18x45mm Panels 18x45mm 3 Ceiling 3 Ceiling Laminate 8mm Laminate 8mm PLP TG4 22mm PLP TG4 22mm Beams 45x245mm Beams 45x245mm Insulation 100mm Insulation 100mm Vapour barrier Vapour barrier Laths 35x45 Laths 35x45 Panels 18x145mm Panels 18x145mm

4

4 Flat log walls 250mm Flat log walls 250mm

Section 1-3

4,250

1:50

Objekt : New building

©

Sweden

A

A

B

B

Tellija : Tender Ehitus OÜ Jaama 19, 46606 Tudu, LääneVirumaa Reg.kood:10061988

Peter Hagerrot

APRIL

Töö nr :

Projektijuht :

Joonis : A.10

Projekteerija :

Kuup. : 29-Dec-17

Vastutav spets. :

GSPublisherVersion 0.0.100.100

Section 1-3 Objekt : New building

Section 1-3

Objekt : New building Sweden

1:50 1:50

©

©

Grundarb vatten oc som fäste plintar i f utrycknin


62

bete tillsammans med Tomas i maj. Massor grävdes bort, ch el kablar drogs till huset. Vi flyttade stenar och gjöt plintar es i berggrunden. Som detalj lade vi två hörnstenar istället för framhörnen. Arbetet pågick med endast lite huvudvärk, och en ng till skogen för att släcka en skogsbrand i gårdens skog.

Huset kom i paket på två lastbilar. Den ena var för stor för att ta sig in på gården, men den andra rymdes precis in mellan traktor garagen. Det var som lego för vuxna, och tack vare det utförliga förarbetet gick resande av huset som en dans på rosor. Den estiniska arbetsgruppen var mycket proffessionella och trevliga. Arbetsplatsen kändes säker och tydlig.

TIDSLINJE FÖR UTVECKLING AV VOLONTÄRSBASEN

Då våra estninska kamrater lämnade oss gjorde Peter elarbetet, vi fick isolering av returpapp insprutat i tak och golv, och sedan tog volontärerna sig an inner tak och -golv. Julian hjälpte med handledning och putsade upp det gamla fina fönstret. Sakta men säkert började platsen få sin karaktär och vi började kunna se verksamhetens påverkan på platsen.

JUNI Fotografier: förarbete av Tender Ehidus, resten av Edward Tallberg Planritningar av Tender Ehidus Presentation gjord av Edward Tallberg i samarbete med EVS crew.

Profile for Peter Tallbergström

Designing with diversity - Case study of Charlottendal Gård  

Masters thesis in Landscape Architecture at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Designing with diversity - Case study of Charlottendal Gård  

Masters thesis in Landscape Architecture at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

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