Resilient Ideas: Low-Impact Urban Living

The challenges of creating urban ecovillages can also be great advantages.

Founded after the civil unrest of April 1992, L.A. Eco-Village shows how low-impact living can also be a model for urban neighborhood self-reliance.

The 40 members of this intentional community live in a diverse working-class neighborhood a block away from one of the most congested traffic corridors in Los Angeles. They’re converting two apartment buildings to a limited-equity housing cooperative and community land trust.

Many residents have trained in building skills to repair and eco-retrofit their own units. The surrounding two blocks have been transformed with a park, vegetable gardens, orchards, and permeable sidewalks.

“The challenges for urban ecovillages are also our greatest advantages,” says co-founder Lois Arkin, noting that working with public agencies and elected officials has enabled ecovillagers to influence public policy in the direction of more sustainable communities. Above, a gate made of old bicycle parts and, at right, drastic traffic-calming measures outside the residences.

Check out a video about LA's Eco-Village here.

Sven Eberlein wrote this article for A Resilient Community, the Fall 2010 issue of YES! Magazine.  His writing on ecocities was included in the Daily Kos “Greenroots” series. His website is

More Resilient Ideas

cob house skylight thumb   la eco-village thumb   bike in snow thumb   mercantile thumb   food thumb
A Hand-Built Home   Low-Impact Urban Living   Bike As You Are   Return of the Mercantile   Processing Food Where the Food Is
beekeeping thumb   rebuild thumb   fruit thumb   turbines thumb   habana outpost thumb
Beekeeping on City Rooftops   Reclaim, Repair, Rebuild   Making Fruit Public   Get Off the Grid   Sunshine on the Menu