You piqued my interest with your question! Many years ago (though I
hate to admit how long!) I graduated from a very non-traditional
college which focused primarily on the concepts of human ecology,
sustainable living, environmental awareness and peaceful co-existence.
I can remember several visits from the founder of the Findhorn
community in Sweden, and my sense of interest and awe as he showed
slides of the developing community. I also had to smile at your
mention of the Farm in Tennessee. During my first pregnancy, I became
a firm devotee of natural childbirth. The Farm midwives collaborated
on one of the first books concentrating on home birth, and I read that
book cover to cover many times during those nine months! I have
relived a lot of my youth while researching your question and my
interest in intentional communities has been revived once again. Thank
you for a delightful foray!
The concept of "Intentional Community" is not new. A nice overview of
this trend can be found in the article, "Intentional Communities:
Today?s Social Laboratories," by Geoph Kozeny.
"Most people are surprised to learn that a majority of today?s "unique
new ideas" about living in community are neither new, nor unique--they
only seem so because the stories are seldom covered in history texts
or discussed in the daily news. For many, "intentional community" is
synonymous with the hippie communes of the '60s, but that notion is
extremely misleading--the '60?s communes were just one large blip in a
long and impressive history of intentional communities. The fact is,
efforts to create new lifestyles based on lofty ideals have been with
us for thousands of years.....
Intentional communities are also not just for the young, the
teva-wearing, or the dreadlocked!. The concept is once again catching
the attention of the aging baby-boomers, many of whom took part in
some aspect of communal living during their late teens or early
twenties, but who then got swept up into the rush of inpersonal
suburbia when "real life" took hold.
A recent article in the AARP magazine (imagine!) covers this growing
trend among those of us who have are now considered "mature"! I had
thought I was far removed from my "hippie" days, but I found my mind
racing once again as if I was a young twenty-year old!
Read "Rethinking the Commune," by Barry Yeoman, March & April 2006
See some Questions about Intentional Communities
COMMUNITIES and WEBSITES
Intentional communities include such variations as ecovillages,
cohousing networks, sustainable communities and
environmentally-sensitive planned developments, etc. I have included a
variety of websites which contain information, directories, articles,
and forums pertaining to a intentional communities.
You have asked which communities are the most modern and the most
upscale, and for any new trends in the area of intentional
communities. Since only you know the exact parameters which appeal to
you, I suggest you have some fun looking at the Intentional
Communities Organizations website where you can search for communities
by location, emphasis, and design.
I would venture to say that you will find the most modern and upscale
version of intentional communities under the "Co-housing" subgroup.
Even though some of these co-housing groups exist in suburban
settings, they form an oasis unto themselves. Have a look at the
Arboretum community in Madison, Wisconsin which I linked to under the
heading of Co-housing, below.
The IC.org website is chock full of information, including an
exhaustive list of Intentional Communities around the world. You can
search for communities by numerous parameters with the "advanced
search" option. While I did not find any communities with a Chopra
endorsement, you can also select for "spiritual path" in your search.
This might bring up a community of interest for you.
"Intentional Community is an inclusive term for ecovillages,
cohousing, residential land trusts, communes, student co-ops, urban
housing cooperatives and other related projects and dreams..
International Directory of Intentional Communities
Advanced Search Option
By Map Location - scroll to the regions you wish to search
Intentional Community REACHbook Postboard
"REACH is for people looking for community, communities forming, and
communities looking for people, as well as a place to post about
resources or just to say hi!
Directory of Intentional Communities and Ecovillages in Europe
"The Federation of Egalitarian Communities is a network of communal
groups spread across North America. We range in size and emphasis from
small agricultural homesteads to village-like communities to urban
group houses. We share a set of core principles including nonviolence,
egalitarianism, and participatory decision-making."
See the FEC Website
The Cohousing Movement
"Cohousing communities combine the advantages of private homes with
the benefits of more sustainable living, including shared common
facilities and ongoing connections with neighbors. These intentional
neighborhoods, created and managed by residents, offer an innovative
solution to today's environmental and social challenges."
See the Cohousing Network website
** Obviously, many of these communities are forming in suburban areas
where amenities are available but the principles attendant with
intentional communities are still shared.
See the latest communities forming under the News page:
"New group in Washington, DC area - The Chesapeake Cohousing Group is
looking for a 15- to 30-unit site."
"Arboretum Cohousing (WI) signs final purchase agreement -
"Representatives from Arboretum Cohousing in Madison, WI signed a
final purchase agreement with St. Marys hospital for more than a dozen
properties. The 40-unit delvelopment will feature a mix of townhouses,
disabled-accessible flats and existing single-family homes The group
will tear down eight older units to construct two new buildings. Five
other homes will be remodeled by their new owners. Visit Arboretum for
"New community forming in Hollister, CA - "Developer Tod DuBois has a
2.5 acre site for a new 25-35 household multi-generational
mixed-income cohousing project. The site has 15 acres of park on two
sides of the property, mountain views, large trees, and is within
walking distance of downtown Hollister. The professional team also
includes Abraham Paiss & Associates."
read "COHOUSING COMING OF AGE - 'Intentional communities' one answer
to an increasingly alienated society," by Charles Smith, Special to
The Chronicle. February 9, 2002
See the Global EcoVillage website
"Ecovillages are urban or rural communities of people, who strive to
integrate a supportive social environment with a low-impact way of
life. To achieve this, they integrate various aspects of ecological
design, permaculture, ecological building, green production,
alternative energy, community building practices, and much more."
A modern concept of this philosophy in action can be seen on the
Global EcoVillage Company website:
"The main purpose of the Global EcoVillage Company (GEV) is to design
and build modern EcoVillages which are ecologically sustainable. (with
2,500 to 5,000 population), This primary goal is at the core of all
policies and decisions made in designing and building the
"GEV plans to create similar ecologically, socially, and economically
sustainable communities in other environments around the world, with
the intention of propagating the values, goals, designs, and marketing
the lifestyle offered by the GEV model of EcoVillage design."
Read "Are EcoVillages the Future?" Review by Beth Fiteni
"This fall, I decided to make a visit to Farm Sanctuary in upstate New
York to refresh my vegetarian spirit. I opted to stay in Ithaca, about
an hour away, in a bed and breakfast called Frog?s Way that was listed
on an Ithaca B&B website. It described itself as part of an
"EcoVillage," which intrigued my inner environmentalist. It ended up
being the highlight of my trip."
"This ecovillage, also referred to as a co-housing development, was
created by a group of individuals who decided to purchase 175 acres of
land communally about one and a half miles from downtown Ithaca, on a
hill overlooking a beautiful view of the Cayuga Lake area. There are
two groups of houses there now, built in 1997 and 2004 respectively,
all energy efficient, with attractive modern architecture, and many of
them powered by solar panels. The community is strictly walkable,
meaning no cars allowed inside, so instead of a parking lot in between
two rows of houses like a typical condominium layout, there is a
common green area with gravel paths that is safe for children to play
in. Cars are parked under a pavilion just outside the community, and
many of them, I noted, are efficient electric-hybrids."
Sustainable communities bring in "some" of the concepts of intentional
communities. Many are small and rural in scope, but the concepts are
beginning to ensnare larger communities which understand the value of
environmental integrity and community involvement. While this may not
be what you are looking for, it is still nice to see this trend
developing throughout the world.
See The sustainable communities website
Scroll down to Sustainability:
"This new branch of the movement is focused on the Ecological
Revolution and the Restoration of The Earth. We are now carrying a
Global Vision of an Earth Restored and a World at Peace to carry this
great momentum we have been building in the Intentional Communities
movement for so long now over into the new Sustainable Communities
Movement which alone may be able to take us the rest of the way back
to the Garden of Eden."
Large, suburban communities:
"Imagine what a safe, livable, healthy community might look like.
Around the country citizens are coming together to create a vision of
what their community might be and to develop steps toward making these
visions come true. Alternatively called "healthy," livable" or
sustainable communities, these efforts are integrative, inclusive and
participatory. In many communities -- large and small, rural and urban
-- issues are being addressed in an interconnected manner. They are
demonstrating how innovative strategies can produce communities that
are more environmentally sound, economically prosperous, and socially
equitable. Find out what's happening in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and
Seattle, Washington; what the Green Institute is doing in the Phillips
Neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minnesota;..."
Read about Sustainable Communities on the Network website
Intentional Community Forum
Read "THE ECOVILLAGE MOVEMENT." Permaculture Magazine
You might also be interested in looking over the Greenhomebuilding website
I hope these resources help you to discover a variety of intentional
communites located all over the world!
Let me know if you need any further help, and I will see what I can
do! Otherwise, have fun exploring these sites!
Chopra AND intentional Communities
Fellowship for Intentional Community
non-sectarian living community
modern sustainable communities
modern AND intentional communities
suburban AND intentional communities
intentional village sustainable
upscale intentional community
upscale intentional cooperative communities
newest trend in intentional community
trends in cooperative living
suburban cooperative living