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A Primer on LA's Eco-Village

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Last week's post on the goings-on at our city's Eco-Village--which included the dedication of new sidewalks and trees, as well as the community's victory over a proposed school that would have razed many homes--may have prompted some readers to say: "We have an Eco-Village?" For the uninitiated, the Eco-Village neighborhood is a two-block stretch at Bimini Place and White House Way, located due south of Beverly and Vermont that houses about 500 people in 13 historically significant buildings. The Eco-Village intentional community is home to 35 people who attempt to live sustainable lives: socially, economically, and ecologically. And apartments in this section rent for about half of market value.

Lois Arkin founded the Eco-Village project 15 years ago as part of the Cooperative Resources & Service Project, a resource center for small ecological cooperative communities. As part of the Eco-Village's social and economic sustainability, Arkin tells us the intentional residents take part in community dinners, food co-ops, landtrusts, and equity housing co-ops (to name just a few examples.) Ecologically, the group plants trees, uses sustainable building materials, utilizes public transit (most residents don't drive), and employs solar power and watersaving devices.

Interesting fact: Eco-Village residents started the famous Bicycle Kitchen at 706 Heliotrope.

Becoming an intentional Eco-Village resident is a rather arduous process. Arkin tell us it takes up to six months--they want to make sure they find people who are committed to the eco-ness of the village. We smell a reality TV show! Meanwhile, you can learn more at the village's public tours, of which there's one Saturday. Reservations are required; contact info is available at
· Eco-Village Wrap [LA Curbed]
· L.A. Eco-Village [Official Site]