Intentional Community Reference Material

Re-Imagining Utopia

An ABC series about Intentional Communities

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/utopias/resources/resources.htm

A list of books, reports, videos and other publications focusing on intentional communities is listed below. A guide to online resources is available here 

and, with audio option:

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/lm/stories/s981221.htm


Australian Books

Beginners Guide to Intentional Community
This DIY manual, published in 2001, came out of several Intentional Communities Conferences & Gatherings, and was put together by members of communities across Australia
www.shoalhaven.net.au/~romaine/ecovillage/documentation/ICManual.doc

Ecovillages & Communities Directory: Australia & New Zealand
Contains information on 36 communities, their size, age and primary focus, history, how they deal with issues like shelter, food, water, energy use, spirituality, community 'glue', work and outreach activities. It also includes contact information for each community and whether or not the community accepts visitors/woofers. Published by the Global Ecovillage Network Oceania & Asia (GENOA) Inc.

Alternative Australia: Communities of the Future? Peter Cock.
The original survey of Australia's intentional communities movement. Quartet Books, Melbourne, 1979 ISBN: 0 9081 2809 6.

Herrnhut: Australia's First Utopian Commune, William J. Metcalf and Elizabeth Huf
The story of Johann Friedrich Krumnow and his followers, who fled Germany in the 1800s to escape religious oppression and sought a safe haven in western Victoria for their radical Christian, mystic and communist way of life. Melbourne University Press, March 2002, ISBN 0 522 84993 8.

The Gayndah Communes: from Aborigines and Squatters through Communes to Rural Depopulation in the Gayndah Area, Bill Metcalf.
The story of three rural communes which were set up to the north and east of Gayndah, in Queensland's Burnett District, during the 1890s and which took their inspiration from the utopian activist William Lane. Central Queensland University Press, 1998. ISBN 1 875998 49 7.

Shared Visions, Shared Lives: Communal Living Round the Globe, Bill Metcalf.
Stories of people living in fifteen communities. Intimate accounts of successes, failures and dreams in the 1990s. Findhorn Press 1996. ISBN 1 899171010.

From Utopian Dreaming to Communal Reality: Cooperative Lifestyles in Australia, Bill Metcalf. Ten personal essays by members of Australian intentional communities, talking about the ideas that inspired them and the ups and downs of communal life. University of NSW Press, Sydney, 1995. ISBN 0 868400 87 4.

Communes In Rural Australia: the movement since 1970, Margaret Munroe-Clark. A field study of 36 Australian intentional communities with a report on the various forms of settlement and who lives there. Uses the work of Benjamin Zablocki to analyse social change and decision making processes. Hale and Iremonger in association with the Ian Buchan Fell Research Centre, Dept Architecture Sydney University, 1986. ISBN 0 86806 219 7.

Belonging in the Rainbow Region: Cultural perspectives on the NSW North Coast, Helen Wilson (ed). A range of writers look at the social and cultural impact of alternative lifestyle settlers of the 1970s on the Rainbow Region of north-east NSW. Includes a chapter on intentional communities. Southern Cross University Press, Lismore, 2003, ISBN 1 875855 61 0.

Australian Community Studies and Beyond, Ron Wild, Allen & Unwin, Sydney: 1981.



Australian Reports and Monographs

State Environmental Planning Policy No 15: Rural Landsharing Communities, NSW State Government, 1998.

Rural Settlement: Guidelines on Rural Settlement on the North Coast of NSW, NSW Dept of Urban Affairs and Planning, 1995. ISBN 07 7310 6223 X.

Rural Land Sharing Communities: An Alternative Economic Model?, E. A. Sommerlad, P.L. Dawson, J.C. Altman, Bureau of Labour Market Research, A.G.P.S. Canberra 1985.

Low Cost Rural Resettlement, Scott Williams (ed). A beginners guide to low cost rural resettlements. Covers land selection, legal options for owning land, housing alternatives, and intentional community development practices including governance. Australian Rural Adjustment Unit, ARUA Publication no 133, University of New England, Armidale, 1983.

 

Other print publications

Eurotopia: Directory of Intentional Communities and Ecovillages in Europe (English language version)
Lists 336 intentional communities in 23 European countries with detailed descriptions of each one. It includes useful reference material like a list of communities organisations, maps, a brief history of intentional communities, and an article on how to visit a community. Edited by Hagmaier, Kommerell, Stengel, and Wurfel. Published 2000, by Silke Hagmaier Verlag, ISBN: 3 00 00708 0 X.

Communities Directory: A Guide to Intentional Communities and Cooperative Living
A guide to 'over 700' intentional communities mainly in the United States, although many European communities are listed. Includes a range of other resources such as US maps and articles. Published by the Fellowship for Intentional Communities, 3rd Revision edition (April 2000) ISBN 0960271481.

Toward Sustainable Communities: Resources for Citizens and Their Governments, Mark Roseland, Maureen Cureton, Heather Wornell, Hazel Henderson. A practical guide to community planning issues such a transport, waste systems, decision making and the like. New Society Publishers; (April 1998) ISBN 086571374X.

Voices from the Farm: Adventures in Community Living, Rupert Fike (Editor). Personal accounts of living on The Farm, a large, 33 year old community in Summertown, Southern Tennessee. Book Publishing Co; (May 1998) ISBN 157067051X.

Communes and Green Vision: Counterculture, Lifestyle and the New Age, David Pepper. A survey of the environmental ideals and eco-practices of over 80 members of 12 intentional communities in the UK. Green Print, London, 1991. ISBN 1 854250 51 5.

Is It Utopia Yet?: An Insider's View of Twin Oaks Community in Its Twenty-Sixth Year, Kat Kinkade, Jonathan Roth (Illustrator), Kathleen Kinkade What makes a community work in the long run? One assessment from a resident of one of the USA's oldest communities. Twin Oaks Publishing; 2nd edition (August 1994) ISBN 0 964044 50 1.

The 60s Communes: Hippies and Beyond, Timothy Miller. A thorough account of the main sites of the communal movement - lots of scholarly notes. Syracuse University Press (December 1999) ISBN 0815628110.

Getting Back Together, Robert Houriet. A journalist's account of his travels in North American communes during the late 60s and 70s - a mite sensational but a gripping and moving historical account of these pioneers of alternative lifestyles. Avon Books, New York, 1971 (out of print).

Utopian England: community experiments, 1900-1945, Dennis Hardy An intellectual exploration of intentional community building, with a focus on the key thinkers who inspired these alternative lifestyles. Routledge, 2000, ISBN: 0419246703

The Quest for Utopia in Twentieth-Century America, vol. 1, 1900-1960, Timothy Miller The strength of Miller's survey is the way he charts continuity in the ideas and the sites of communal movements. Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, 1998, ISBN: 0815627750

 

Videos

Togetherness (Tillsammans), 2001 dir. Lukas Moodysson. A Swedish feature film which captures life on a Swedish commune in the mid 70s, and how the members and their children deal with a time of "free love, Marxist-Leninist theorizing, vegetarianism, open marriages, and driving around in beat-up Volkswagen vans with brightly painted flowers on them".

Nearly Normal Nimbin, dirs. Jeni Kendell, Paul Tait
A trilogy of nostalgic, funny documentaries about the social evolution of Nimbin, in rural NSW, after the alternative lifestyles movement arrived the 70s.
Episode One: Back to where it all started - the 1973 Aquarius Festival. Purity, Nudity, Peace, Love and plenty of Brown Rice.
Episode Two: The town and what a melting pot it has become. The artists and craftspeople, and the hemp.
Episode Three: Growing up, being a teenager, relationships, the non-nuclear family. Dealing with today and looking to tomorrow.

Future of Paradise, dir. Michael Murray. This documentary follows David Kanaley, a town planner with Byron Shire Council, on a research trip through Europe looking at successful ecovillages and meeting the people who live there.

Going Tribal, dir. Michael Murray. A documentary about the 'feral' movement in rural Australia, cousins of the 'New Age Travellers' in Britain and the 'Rainbow Tribe' in the USA, who disdain materialism, worship an earth-based, pagan religion and live in harmony with nature.

 

Journals and academic networks

Communal Studies Association
Provides a forum for the study of intentional communities, past and present. Part of its mission is to communicate successful ideas developed through communal living.
http://www.communalstudies.info/

H-Net communal societies network
A resource site and discussion portal for those interested in the study of intentional communities.
http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~commsoc/

Communal Societies: Journal of the Communal Studies Association
'Communal Societies' provides an outlet for papers representing original research and analysis of historic and current communal groups.
http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/CSA/CSAhomepglinks/CSAJournals/ComSoc.html

Utopian Studies journal
A biannual journal publishing papers on utopias, utopianism, utopian literature, utopian theory, and intentional communities. Published by the Society for Utopian Studies at the University of Toronto.
http://www.utoronto.ca/utopia/journal/index.html

 

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Australian Books

Beginners Guide to Intentional Community
This DIY manual, published in 2001, came out of several Intentional Communities Conferences & Gatherings, and was put together by members of communities across Australia
www.shoalhaven.net.au/~romaine/ecovillage/documentation/ICManual.doc

Ecovillages & Communities Directory: Australia & New Zealand
Contains information on 36 communities, their size, age and primary focus, history, how they deal with issues like shelter, food, water, energy use, spirituality, community 'glue', work and outreach activities. It also includes contact information for each community and whether or not the community accepts visitors/woofers. Published by the Global Ecovillage Network Oceania & Asia (GENOA) Inc.

Alternative Australia: Communities of the Future? Peter Cock.
The original survey of Australia's intentional communities movement. Quartet Books, Melbourne, 1979 ISBN: 0 9081 2809 6.

Herrnhut: Australia's First Utopian Commune, William J. Metcalf and Elizabeth Huf
The story of Johann Friedrich Krumnow and his followers, who fled Germany in the 1800s to escape religious oppression and sought a safe haven in western Victoria for their radical Christian, mystic and communist way of life. Melbourne University Press, March 2002, ISBN 0 522 84993 8.

The Gayndah Communes: from Aborigines and Squatters through Communes to Rural Depopulation in the Gayndah Area, Bill Metcalf.
The story of three rural communes which were set up to the north and east of Gayndah, in Queensland's Burnett District, during the 1890s and which took their inspiration from the utopian activist William Lane. Central Queensland University Press, 1998. ISBN 1 875998 49 7.

Shared Visions, Shared Lives: Communal Living Round the Globe, Bill Metcalf.
Stories of people living in fifteen communities. Intimate accounts of successes, failures and dreams in the 1990s. Findhorn Press 1996. ISBN 1 899171010.

From Utopian Dreaming to Communal Reality: Cooperative Lifestyles in Australia, Bill Metcalf. Ten personal essays by members of Australian intentional communities, talking about the ideas that inspired them and the ups and downs of communal life. University of NSW Press, Sydney, 1995. ISBN 0 868400 87 4.

Communes In Rural Australia: the movement since 1970, Margaret Munroe-Clark. A field study of 36 Australian intentional communities with a report on the various forms of settlement and who lives there. Uses the work of Benjamin Zablocki to analyse social change and decision making processes. Hale and Iremonger in association with the Ian Buchan Fell Research Centre, Dept Architecture Sydney University, 1986. ISBN 0 86806 219 7.

Belonging in the Rainbow Region: Cultural perspectives on the NSW North Coast, Helen Wilson (ed). A range of writers look at the social and cultural impact of alternative lifestyle settlers of the 1970s on the Rainbow Region of north-east NSW. Includes a chapter on intentional communities. Southern Cross University Press, Lismore, 2003, ISBN 1 875855 61 0.

Australian Community Studies and Beyond, Ron Wild, Allen & Unwin, Sydney: 1981.



Australian Reports and Monographs

State Environmental Planning Policy No 15: Rural Landsharing Communities, NSW State Government, 1998.

Rural Settlement: Guidelines on Rural Settlement on the North Coast of NSW, NSW Dept of Urban Affairs and Planning, 1995. ISBN 07 7310 6223 X.

Rural Land Sharing Communities: An Alternative Economic Model?, E. A. Sommerlad, P.L. Dawson, J.C. Altman, Bureau of Labour Market Research, A.G.P.S. Canberra 1985.

Low Cost Rural Resettlement, Scott Williams (ed). A beginners guide to low cost rural resettlements. Covers land selection, legal options for owning land, housing alternatives, and intentional community development practices including governance. Australian Rural Adjustment Unit, ARUA Publication no 133, University of New England, Armidale, 1983.

 

Other print publications

Eurotopia: Directory of Intentional Communities and Ecovillages in Europe (English language version)
Lists 336 intentional communities in 23 European countries with detailed descriptions of each one. It includes useful reference material like a list of communities organisations, maps, a brief history of intentional communities, and an article on how to visit a community. Edited by Hagmaier, Kommerell, Stengel, and Wurfel. Published 2000, by Silke Hagmaier Verlag, ISBN: 3 00 00708 0 X.

Communities Directory: A Guide to Intentional Communities and Cooperative Living
A guide to 'over 700' intentional communities mainly in the United States, although many European communities are listed. Includes a range of other resources such as US maps and articles. Published by the Fellowship for Intentional Communities, 3rd Revision edition (April 2000) ISBN 0960271481.

Toward Sustainable Communities: Resources for Citizens and Their Governments, Mark Roseland, Maureen Cureton, Heather Wornell, Hazel Henderson. A practical guide to community planning issues such a transport, waste systems, decision making and the like. New Society Publishers; (April 1998) ISBN 086571374X.

Voices from the Farm: Adventures in Community Living, Rupert Fike (Editor). Personal accounts of living on The Farm, a large, 33 year old community in Summertown, Southern Tennessee. Book Publishing Co; (May 1998) ISBN 157067051X.

Communes and Green Vision: Counterculture, Lifestyle and the New Age, David Pepper. A survey of the environmental ideals and eco-practices of over 80 members of 12 intentional communities in the UK. Green Print, London, 1991. ISBN 1 854250 51 5.

Is It Utopia Yet?: An Insider's View of Twin Oaks Community in Its Twenty-Sixth Year, Kat Kinkade, Jonathan Roth (Illustrator), Kathleen Kinkade What makes a community work in the long run? One assessment from a resident of one of the USA's oldest communities. Twin Oaks Publishing; 2nd edition (August 1994) ISBN 0 964044 50 1.

The 60s Communes: Hippies and Beyond, Timothy Miller. A thorough account of the main sites of the communal movement - lots of scholarly notes. Syracuse University Press (December 1999) ISBN 0815628110.

Getting Back Together, Robert Houriet. A journalist's account of his travels in North American communes during the late 60s and 70s - a mite sensational but a gripping and moving historical account of these pioneers of alternative lifestyles. Avon Books, New York, 1971 (out of print).

Utopian England: community experiments, 1900-1945, Dennis Hardy An intellectual exploration of intentional community building, with a focus on the key thinkers who inspired these alternative lifestyles. Routledge, 2000, ISBN: 0419246703

The Quest for Utopia in Twentieth-Century America, vol. 1, 1900-1960, Timothy Miller The strength of Miller's survey is the way he charts continuity in the ideas and the sites of communal movements. Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, 1998, ISBN: 0815627750

 

Videos

Togetherness (Tillsammans), 2001 dir. Lukas Moodysson. A Swedish feature film which captures life on a Swedish commune in the mid 70s, and how the members and their children deal with a time of "free love, Marxist-Leninist theorizing, vegetarianism, open marriages, and driving around in beat-up Volkswagen vans with brightly painted flowers on them".

Nearly Normal Nimbin, dirs. Jeni Kendell, Paul Tait
A trilogy of nostalgic, funny documentaries about the social evolution of Nimbin, in rural NSW, after the alternative lifestyles movement arrived the 70s.
Episode One: Back to where it all started - the 1973 Aquarius Festival. Purity, Nudity, Peace, Love and plenty of Brown Rice.
Episode Two: The town and what a melting pot it has become. The artists and craftspeople, and the hemp.
Episode Three: Growing up, being a teenager, relationships, the non-nuclear family. Dealing with today and looking to tomorrow.

Future of Paradise, dir. Michael Murray. This documentary follows David Kanaley, a town planner with Byron Shire Council, on a research trip through Europe looking at successful ecovillages and meeting the people who live there.

Going Tribal, dir. Michael Murray. A documentary about the 'feral' movement in rural Australia, cousins of the 'New Age Travellers' in Britain and the 'Rainbow Tribe' in the USA, who disdain materialism, worship an earth-based, pagan religion and live in harmony with nature.

 

Journals and academic networks

Communal Studies Association
Provides a forum for the study of intentional communities, past and present. Part of its mission is to communicate successful ideas developed through communal living.
http://www.communalstudies.info/

H-Net communal societies network
A resource site and discussion portal for those interested in the study of intentional communities.
http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~commsoc/

Communal Societies: Journal of the Communal Studies Association
'Communal Societies' provides an outlet for papers representing original research and analysis of historic and current communal groups.
http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/CSA/CSAhomepglinks/CSAJournals/ComSoc.html

Utopian Studies journal
A biannual journal publishing papers on utopias, utopianism, utopian literature, utopian theory, and intentional communities. Published by the Society for Utopian Studies at the University of Toronto.
http://www.utoronto.ca/utopia/journal/index.html

For further information on Intentional Communities refer to the online resources listed below. A list of books, reports, videos and other publications focusing on this subject is also available here


ABC Online reports

Aldinga Arts EcoVillage - Earthbeat Broadcast 8/6/2002
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/earth/stories/s575296.htm

Co-housing - Future Dimensions Broadcast 6.30pm on 28/8/2002
http://www.abc.net.au/dimensions/dimensions_future/Transcripts/s661696.htm

Swedish Ecovillage - Earthbeat Broadcast 22/04/00
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/earth/stories/s122997.htm

 

Other online resources

Beyond Sustainability
Author and researcher Dr David Holmgren joined Bill Mollison as the co-founder of the permaculture movement in Australia. Holmgren's eco-village community 'Melliodora' at Fryers Forest in Victoria is testimony to 25 years of sustainable living. His book 'Principle and Pathways: Beyond Sustainability' is regarded as an important text for developing communities.
http://www.holmgren.com.au

Children of the Dream
Photos and stories of the original Nimbin Aquarians, communitarians and other Rainbow Region change agents. These are a large part of a photo-documentary exhibition being held at the Nimbin Regional Gallery from Friday 2nd - Sunday 25th May 2003, as part of the Aquarius festival 30th anniversary.
http://www.users.bigpond.com/differentlyfocused/index2.html

Cohousing
Cohousing Research and Education Queensland University of Technology.
http://www.bee.qut.edu.au/people/meltzer/index.htm

Dunn's Farm
Community of environmental activists formed to protect and restore their property which is located on the edge of Toonumbar National Park.
http://www.dunnsfarm.org

Earthwise
Visit permaculture designer Robyn Francis' Earthwise Resource Development Australasia (ERDA).
http://www.earthwise.org.au/

Eco village planning
Byron Shire Council's resources on eco-village building are invaluable to anyone contemplating this form of intentional community.

 "What is an Eco-village Anyway?"
Extract from article written for TROPO magazine, by David Kanaley, September 2001
http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/pdfs/natural_lane/nl_other/nl_investigations.pdf
 Conversion of Approved Rural Landsharing Multiple Occupancy Developments to Community Title Developments
http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/pdfs/enviro_planning/mo_to_community_title_2.pdf
 Information Sheet
http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/pdfs/enviro_planning/add_info_mo.pdf
 A glance at the investigation into siting an eco-village at 'Natural Lane'
http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/pdfs/natural_lane/nl_other/nl_investigations.pdf

 And a provocative counterpoint to
"Ecovillages: a viable idea constrained by poor rural economies."
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/2003/Jan03/Grayson.htm

GENOA
Community designer Max Lindegger has established the Global Ecovillage Network Oceania-Australia.
http://genoa.ecovillage.org/

Global Crisis
A dissertation by Ted Trainer on the need for societal change adapted and updated from Abandon Affluence: London, Zed Books, 1985. Trainer's work is widely quoted and debated in sustainable communities forums.
http://users.tpg.com.au/users/resolve/globalcrisis/part1.html

Debating the Significance of the Global Eco-village Movement
Ted Trainer's reply to criticism of his approach.
http://www.democracynature.org/dn/vol8/takis_trainer.htm

Intentional communities
A richly researched site on community studies developed by Ian Hughes, from Sydney University's faculty of Health Sciences.
http://www2.fhs.usyd.edu.au/bach/pub/community/intencom.htm

Is There a Future for Alternative Lifestyles?
An essay for the Diggers and Dreamers communal living site by Australian communities historian and researcher Bill Metcalf.
http://www.diggersanddreamers.org.uk/Articles/199207.htm

Moora Moora
Moora Moora is a co-operative residential community made up 40 adults, and 17 children living in six small hamlets located on a co-operatively owned 245 hectare (600 acre) property in Victoria.
http://mooramoora.org/

Pinakarri Community
Established in 1991, Pinakarri Community is Western Australia's first house co-operative with a mix of public rental and private home ownership, based on co-housing principles. Pinakarri is an Aboriginal (Nyangamarta) word meaning "deep listening".
http://www.pinakarri.org.au/

The Melbourne Cohousing Network
The Melbourne Cohousing Network, run by Hans Tilstra, is a nonprofit network of people interested in developing cohousing projects in Victoria.
http://home.vicnet.net.au/~cohouse/

Tui Land Trust
A community of some 40-50 people in Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Tui Land Trust is a thriving community which adopted Maori-based conflict resolution practices and an earth centred spirituality. This essay is by Robina McCurdy, a community co-founder who works internationally in community development and permaculture design.
http://partnering.inet.net.nz/a/towards.htm

Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF)
This is a form of work and cultural exchange which thrives on intentional communities. People can travel, live and work as family with host farmers.
http://www.wwoof.com.au/

 

Global resources

Cohousing
An international website devoted to communal housing design.
http://www.cohousing.org/

Economads
A weblog by travellers visiting intentional communities around the world.
http://www.economads.com/evolulog.php

Fellowship for Intentional Communities
A North American body with a comprehensive website, including resources for budding communitarians. Highly recommended.
http://fic.ic.org/

Findhorn Community
One of the older contemporary intentional communities in Europe, Findhorn is a place built on New Age spiritual exploration and a humanist vision. Its foundation runs a variety of educational programs and it welcomes thousands of visitors every year.
http://www.findhorn.org/

Self governance
What form of government do you support? How do you fall on key questions of governance? You can define your basic political philosophy using this easy quiz.
http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html

Sociology of Everyday Life
A wonderful reading list of books that look at the individual and the communal in contemporary society, compiled by the University of Canterbury's sociology department.
http://www.soci.canterbury.ac.nz/soci/soci225/refs/ref16.htm