Revitalising a declining rural community by developing a sustainable ecovillage through learning and networking.
After years of demographic and economic decline in the small community of Röstånga, several development projects were realised, e.g. building a bike track, setting up a development agency and starting a local bus service. These investments attracted people to the area as a place to live and work. However, there was limited housing available. Hence, the decision was made to invest in the construction of a sustainable ecovillage. This effort required establishing a network for cooperation among multiple actors, setting up a promotional campaign for attracting newcomers, learning new technical skills and maintaining good communication with local people.
An ecovillage was established with approximately 30 new households.
New people are moving to Röstånga and the ecovillage will create possibilities for people to work locally and create employment.
The ecovillage was designed in a way that minimises its ecological footprint. Sustainable sources for energy and heat are used. Food production is integrated with the new housing. Food waste is used for heating and the by-product is applied to the soil, so the nutrients are cycled back into the ecosystem. A greenhouse was built with an aquaponics system where fish are raised and vegetables and mushrooms are also produced.
The project created new forums for sustainable development and local development. The knowledge gathered during the project is available to anyone interested and would be transferable to other rural areas.