Re: Population stats for villages
From: Tree Bressen (
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 16:05:58 -0800 (PST)

Mark wrote:
Which are the top 5 largest cohousing and/or ecovillages, in terms of
number of people, in the US or Canada?

Elke wrote:
It depends on what you mean by ecovillage.  There's not a clear
definition of it.  Some people consider Twin Oaks and even Ganas (both
have a poulation around 90)to be ecovillages  because the way they are
set up encourages or sometimes neccesitates sharing resources and
recycling, though they are much less strict than some place that call
themselves ecovillages, like Dancing Rabbit, which does not allow
private ownership of motor vehicles, I believe.

Ditto Elke on it depends on the definition. I definitely consider Twin Oaks to be an ecovillage at least as much as anywhere else in the US, because it has long had an emphasis on ecology and because its actual practices are far more ecological than many other places that call themselves ecovillages. Also it has included ecovillage in its self-definition since that term came into use in the 1990s. Just to be clear, Twin Oaks (like DR) prohibits private vehicle ownership. (For those who aren't familiar with Twin Oaks, it's a '60s era commune in Virginia that continues to thrive today, including full sharing of income. See for more info.)

Ganas is another long-time intentional community. I don't personally think of Ganas as an ecovillage, because my impression is that ecology has not been a significant value influence there, but since has Elke lived there for many years i think she'd know better than i would.

It's interesting to hear the question framed as "cohousing and/or ecovillages," as these models have developed separately but with some overlap (e.g. Ithaca). Does the question include religious communities or only secular? Because there are lots of large religious communities and i bet some of them have done a bunch of eco-stuff either by "accident" (through sharing resources) or by design.

Good luck in your search, cheers,



Tree Bressen
1680 Walnut St.
Eugene, OR 97403
(541) 484-1156
tree [at]

  • re:pop stats elke lerman, December 2 2004
    • Re: Population stats for villages Tree Bressen, December 8 2004

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