Blueprints for Sustainable Communities
Edited by Steffen Bohm, Zareen Pervez Bharucha, Jules N. Pretty
Routledge – 2014 – 288 pages
The world faces a ‘perfect storm’ of social and ecological stresses, including climate change, habitat loss, resource degradation and social, economic and cultural change. In order to cope with these, communities are struggling to transition to sustainable ways of living that improve well-being and increase resilience. This book demonstrates how communities in both developed and developing countries are already taking action to maintain or build resilient and sustainable lifestyles. These communities, here designated as ‘Ecocultures’, are exemplars of the art and science of sustainable living. Though they form a diverse group, they organise themselves around several common organising principles including an ethic of care for nature, a respect for community, high ecological knowledge, and a desire to maintain and improve personal and social wellbeing.
Case studies from both developed and developing countries including Australia, Brazil, Finland, Greenland, India, Indonesia, South Africa, UK and USA, show how, based on these principles, communities have been able to increase social, ecological and personal wellbeing and resilience. They also address how other more mainstream communities are beginning to transition to more sustainable, resilient alternatives. Some examples also illustrate the decline of ecocultures in the face of economic pressures, globalisation and climate change. Theoretical chapters examine the barriers and bridges to wider application of these examples. Overall, the volume describes how ecocultures can provide the global community with important lessons for a wider transition to sustainability and will show how we can redefine our personal and collective futures around these principles.
1. The Challenge of Sustainability
2. What are Ecocultures? An Introduction and Analytical Framework
Section 1: Traditional Ecocultures
3. Traditional Ecocultures and the Planetary Community
4. How Himalayan Communites Cope with Climate Change
5. Resilience and Returning to Country: Rainforest Aboriginal People of the Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia
6. Environmental Knowledge in Motion: Ingenuity and Perserverance of Hunters in Nothern Greenland
7. A Case Study of the Najau in Indonesia
8. Ice Fishing Cultures of North Karelia, Finland: The Case of the Puruvesi Winter Seining
Section 2: Emerging Ecocultures
9. Reflecting on Emerging Ecocultures
10. Facilitating Sustainability at the micro level: A case study of the Bristol Green Doors
11. Evolving the Ecovillages concept in Detroit
12. Socioecological Resilience at Céu Do PatriarcaEcovillage, South Brazil
13. Barriers and Bridges to Transition: The case of Transition Town Tooting
14. Urban sustainability in South Africa
Section 3: The Future of Ecocultures
15. Ecocultures of Transition
16. Transforming development in the Global South
17. Growing Ecocultures into the Future
Steffen Bohm is Professor of Management at Essex Business School, University of Essex, Colchester, UK.
Zareen Bharucha is Research Officer at the interdisciplinary Centre for Environment and Society, University of Essex, Colchester UK.
Jules Pretty is Professor of Environment and Society and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Essex, Colchester, UK.