Sieben Linden Ecovillage
„Sieben Linden Ecovillage“ aims to establish a socially and environmentally progressive model settlement – both a village and a community. The settlement is planned as a living and working space for 300 people of all age groups, social als cultural backgrounds. The ecovillage wants to enable its inhabitants to live self-governed and, to some degree, self-sufficiently. We finance our lifes individually but share some costs, like for food or utilities. Our own organisations provide some jobs, but a good part of our members have to find paid work outside of the community.
In 1997, we have started to build the model settlement as an autonomous spatial unit, located on a 22 hectar plot outside of the village Poppau. Since then, the village has grown. We now have several big houses, each for several community members and all built with high ecologic standards. Our houses are being build with mostly local materials, many with straw bale insulation and mud plastering. Many of us still live in trailers, however. We run a thriving seminar center, a forest kindergarten, some mailorder businesses, a big garden.
As a community, we have a council system to enable all members to participate in decision making while trying to stay somewhat efficient in the process. We gather at least twice a year for periods of five days or more for „intensive times“ to reconnect and discuss the general path we are taking. Ecologic living is definitely a value we all share, but a sense of community is also very strong.
We integrate new members through a process of getting to know each other and a trial period, which has to be preceded by participating in a two week seminar we call „community course“. Full members eventually buy about Euro 12,000 worth of shares when they join.