“An abandoned military village in Germany could get a new lease of life as a hippy commune fit for the 21st Century.
“Patrick Henry Village, near the German city of Heidelberg, was not born to hippy ideals.
“In fact, it was opened by the US Army as a military base after World War Two, and was described by those who lived and worked there as a tiny slice of 1950s America transported to Europe.
“The vision, says Prof Carlo Ratti – who runs the design company Carlo Ratti Associati and heads up the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Senseable Cities lab – is to transform it into an “experiment for future living”.
“We started this project with a question, ‘What would a commune based on digital sharing look like?’ And an island of America in Europe seemed like a good test bed.”
“For Prof Ratti, a communal way of life is not just more sustainable but more sociable.
“So why not create a like-minded community where it is easy to connect with people and sharing is the glue?”
Our own Findhorn community is quoted in this article as one such model of experimental living:
“Findhorn eco-village: set up in the 1960s, this village in Scotland decided in the 80s to concentrate on being an environmentally friendly community and now claims to have the smallest environmental footprint of any town in the modern world. Buildings are made from found materials – such as whisky barrels – and the village is powered by a wind turbine and a water treatment plant that makes use of algae, snails and plant life to purify the community’s water supply.”
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