You are on page 1of 20



Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovillage Network

P O Box 1674
Middletown, CA

Silver J. H. Jones

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network


The capital assets of private citizens(2002)

Proposed purpose of SSPEN facilities
Landscape map
An example of a land based ecovi!age facility
Community in%astructure
Administrative and utilities in%astructure
Farming and nourishment in%astructure
Information in%astructure
Business, industrial, and retail in%astructure
Some examples of ocean based aquavi!ages
Financial models
Methods of governance
A brief look into permaculture

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network


Silver J. H. Jones

Copyright © 2002 by Silver (J. H.) Jones. All right, electronic, multimedia, and print, reserved. A publica-
tion of SSPEN - Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovillage Network.

The purpose of this discussion is to provide you with some idea of how much, we the people, have in the
way of resources, and how we can go about reallocating these resources to provide for a long-term sus-
tainable civilization. We begin by estimating what the collective wealth of just one country is - the United
States. We then go on to provide a single example of what an ecovillage might look like.

The capital assets of private citizens (2002 era)

Before we can discuss what earth’s citizens can do with their personal resources, we must establish just
what those resources consist of. In this discussion, we will only focus on the figures provided by the Fed-
eral Reserve in the U.S.A.:
The total stock market investments of all American households in December 1999 was 11.8 trillion dol-
lars. This figure does not include traditional bank checking and saving accounts, certificates of deposit,
annuities, or mature life insurance policies.

The estimated total value of the bond market is ~ 30 trillion, but we were unable to determine what per-
centage of this total figure is held by individual investors. We will use 1/3 as a rough estimate of the per-
centage held by individual investors.

As a result of the stock market decline from 1999-2002, the 11.8 trillion figure has now dropped to 8.1
trillion dollars as of September 2002.

The total value of personally held real estate in the U.S.A is 13.4 trillion dollars as of September 2002.

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

If we combine these figures for September (2002 during a deep recession) we have a figure that repre-
sents the personal capital assets of the American public ~ 33 trillion dollars. This figures does not in-
clude any small business or corporate holdings.

This 33 trillion dollar figure is an important figure which is pertinent to our discussion, because this is
money that is totally under the control of private citizens. It can be moved or reallocated at the personal
discretion of these individuals or households. If we make the worst case assumption, that any attempt to
establish new and innovative ecovillage communities will receive no support from any other source of
funding other than the people actually involved in establishing these communities, this figure then repre-
sents the total pool of money potentially available for reinvestment. This is a substantial sum of
money. We do not anticipate that the entire American public will decide tomorrow to totally reinvent their
lives and reallocate their capital. However, this figure is still an important one, because even a small por-
tion of this sum, reallocated to new purposes, could provide a chance for considerable social change. If
these initial experiments prove successful, we could anticipate larger percentages of this capital pool
flowing into new communities over an extended period of time in this century.

If one were to total up similar figures for countries in the European Economic Union, Australia, Canada,
South America, Asia, and the Middle Eastern nations, we would be looking at an enormously impressive

Proposed purpose of SSPEN facilities

The following information is presented to provide at least some example of how to go about setting up an
SSPEN project. Any given project will of course differ in many respects from the following example, but
at least it will provide some general guidelines as to how to begin to organize such a project. We highly
recommend that you post your project on a web site, as this is probably the most efficient manner to no-
tify others and attract the money, talent, skills, financing, and partnerships that will be necessary to com-
plete your project.
It is important that every SSPEN project have at least a preliminary proposal describing the nature of the
project. The project proposal should include the following information:
• Information on the land development proposal should include the amount of land involved, the geo-
graphical and geological classifications of the land, the topology, the elevation, the soil, the mineral
content, the type of terrain, and the surface and subterranean water supplies. If oil, gas, or geothermal
sources are available, these should be included. Current zoning information should also be included.

• Each project should include a description of the surrounding community, and the facilities available
within that community.

• The current financial status of the land, owned outright, or the portion of the ownership which is mort-

• Provide the general location of your facility.

• Easement rights must also be addressed.

Landscape map
Visual materials such as photographs and maps are very important to help others to visualize and under-
stand the size and scope of your project. We would suggest the following visuals be posted on a web site:

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

• It is advisable to have as much visual information available as possible.

• Try to provide an aerial photograph or Google Earth image of the land, minimally, and hopefully a
number of photographs from many different angles.

• Provide photographs taken from the ground of interesting perspectives of the lands topology.

• Shoot some video footage, and place some compressed video clips on the projects web site.

• Provide examples of the different kinds of flora and fauna resident on the land.

A thorough evaluation of the natural resources resident on the land should be conducted and presented on
a web site. Some examples of resources available to projects consist of the following:
• Land -Nine hundred acres of land consisting of valley with surrounding mountains on three sides in a
U shaped configuration. A creek with running water down the middle of the valley.

• Water - A running creek down the center of the valley. An underground water table of unknown status.

• Minerals - Any substantial mineral content should be inventoried.

• Wind -Wind on the high hill tops which could be tapped for energy generation.

• Wood - Heavily wooded areas on all three hillsides.

• Geothermal - Can provide a potential source of power generation and heating.

• Sun Exposure - Potential solar power generation.

An example of a land based ecovillage facility

We have provided the following as an example of a SSPEN project. This particular project is one that in-
corporates a working community living within the project, and a number of guest facilities that provide a
resort, vacation, conference, spiritual retreat experience, and various interface with the general public.
The approximate acreage for this project is 1000 acres.

Community infrastructure
A number of facilities are planned for the facility. Each of the components plays a fundamental role in the
overall symbiotic environment. Those facilities with a (IP - income producing) following their names are
considered as potentially financial income producing facilities:
Meditation Center (IP)
• large central meditation room
• smaller rooms for workshops, training, specialization
• sound systems
• art display
• lighting systems

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

Yoga Center (IP)
• large central yoga performance room
• smaller rooms for workshops, training, specialization
• sound system
• lighting systems

Exercise Center (IP)

• weight rooms
• aerobic rooms
• showers
• lockers
• sound system

Theater Center (IP)

• main dance or theater performance area
• smaller rooms for workshops
• sound systems
• computer controlled lighting
• back stage area
• makeup and dressing rooms

Music Center (IP)

• standard recording studio
• broadcast studio
• reception area
• workshop rooms
• multichannel music geodesic dome theater (16 to 120 channels of sound in the geodesic facets)
• live performance capacity
• retail center
• broadcast infrastructure
• internet streaming facility
• multiple computer controlled lasers
• multiple stage, disco, and area lighting systems - all computer controlled

Conference Center (IP) (real time, broadcast, and reception) (IP and free)
• large main conference center
• multiple teleconferencing screens
• large screen projection facilities
• sound systems
• video systems
• computer systems
• recording systems
• audio and video archiving facility
• smaller rooms for special focus groups
• internet streaming facilities

Virtual Reality Center (IP)

• community performance room
• holographic systems
• lasers
• sound systems
• video systems
• computer systems
• small group interaction rooms

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

• individual terminals

Internet Network Connection Hub (IP) (broadcast, reception) • outdoor theater (IP or free)
• stage area
• backstage area
• seating area
• standing area
• sound systems
• lighting systems

Bookstore and Multimedia Center (IP)

• hard copy books
• e-books
• software

Child Care Center (IP or free)

• play area
• education area
• identification and sign in area
• ecology training

Non-edible Gardens
• special garden areas
• sculpture
• seating and rest areas

Camp Grounds (IP)

• tent unit areas
• lockers
• fire pits
• camp stove area
• waste deposits areas
• water taps
• showers

Parking Area
• permanent residents
• guest parking
• truck loading areas

Entrance and Information Center

• sign in area
• billing
• schedule of events
• maps
• directions
• parking directions
• lost and found center
• UPS/Fedex receiving and departure area

Hiking and Biking Trails (IP)

• designated hiking trails

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

• designated biking trails
• bike parking and locking areas

Landscape Viewing Areas

• selected prime landscape lookout areas on or off the hiking trails

Guest Housing (IP)

• simple guest rooms for families, couples, and individuals
• grounds
• common lounge areas
• shared shower and bathroom facilities for small rooms

Telescope Facility (IP)

• computer controlled telescope
• internet interface
• computer terminal with solar, satellite, and geophysical observatory sites

Spa (IP)
• therapeutic baths
• message
• steam room
• skin treatments
• nutritional education center

Writers Retreats (IP)

• small private rooms
• community lounge

Time Share Housing Facility (IP)

• apartments or condo units owned by the community and individuals
• community units would be rented to visitors from other intentional communities who came to your
community for extended visits
• personally owned units would be owned by community members who traveled a good portion of the

Permanent Community Housing

• the homes, condominiums, and apartments of the permanent residents of the community

Administrative and utilities infrastructure

Administration Center
• scheduling
• planning
• construction administration
• accounting
• check and bill processing
• credit card and debit card processing
• advertising

Architectural Design Center (IP) (IP if commercialized)

• design center
• design approval

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

Construction Center (IP) (IP if commercialized)
• wood shop
• metal shop
• cement shop
• fabrication center
• ceramic center
• machine and tool storage area

Power Control Centers

• grid power
• solar power
• hydroelectric power
• wind power
• geothermal power
• power network
• over unity power
• biomass power
• biofuel production area

Water Storage and Control Centers

• surface water and storage
• sub-surface water
• purification facilities
• distribution points
• agricultural irrigation

Waste Management
• septic systems
• gray-water usage and handling
• black-water usage and handling
• recycling collection and storage
• recycle processing
• biohazard area for storing fuels and other potentially harmful substances

Grounds Maintenance
• private road maintenance
• hiking trail maintenance
• tree and brush manicuring
• landscape maintenance

Security Center
• patrol of grounds
• dispute arbitration center
• search and rescue
• emergency notification

Fire Control Center

• emergency notification
• fire equipment storage
• fire equipment maintenance
• volunteer training

Building Maintenance
• painting facilities

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

• weather proofing
• roofing
• cement works
• heating and air conditioning
• inspection

Administrative Staff and Governance Buildings

• offices for administrative staff
• community documents center
• governing council meeting area

Farming and nourishment infrastructure

Food Gardens (IP)
• seed storage
• irrigation
• tools area
• food processing area
• food storage facilities
• composting facilities
• hydroponics
• algae
• greenhouses

Nourishment Centers (IP)

• full restaurants
• cafes
• kitchens
• health food store

Information infrastructure
Internet Network and Control Center (IP)
• computational grid (main processing system)
• clustered servers
• network
• caching servers
• storage
• backup
• satellite communications
• backbone fiber connection (T1, T2, T3)
• metro-fiber distribution
• temperature control
• power regulation
• local intranet
• global extranet
• teleconferencing facilities
• multimedia broadcast
• multimedia reception
• web site servers
• wireless internet service

Internet Communications Center for Visitors (IP or free)

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

• internet terminals for checking e-mail and general web surfing by guests
• Skype, AIM, VOIP, etc.
• telephone system

Publishing Center (IP)

• book and magazine graphics mark-up office
• editing office
• photography office
• e-publishing office
• hard copy publishing office
• printing facilities
• print on demand

Business, industrial, and retail infrastructure

Coop Banking and Investment ecoMall
• Larger ecovillages could establish their own banking system, offering mortgages, insurance, and busi-
ness loans within the residential and commercial portions of the community.
• coop investment brokerage facility
• By establishing a cooperative investment brokerage service, the citizens of the ecovillage could pur-
chase stocks, options, and bonds at much lower commissions and spreads - equivalent to the fees insti-
tutional investors receive, as opposed to the higher fees payed by retail investors. Individuals would still
control their own portfolios, but purchases and sales would be grouped whenever possible so that the
investors would receive the lower institutional commission fees. The community could also choose to
offer skilled financial advisors to its citizens through this facility.

Industrial and Service ecoMall

• A separate industrial mall removed from the residential areas would be desirable. The use of higher
voltages, chemicals, and materials which require special handling require a separate facility. Noise and
potential pollution control are much more easily handled in a separate facilities.
• The portion of the business sector which is more service related could also have a small mall separate
from the industrial sector.

Medical ecoMall
• If the community was large enough to support its own medical facility, it would be desirable to have a
medical, dental, and veterinary facilities. In smaller ecovillages, these facilities could be part time facili-

Retail ecoMall
A retail mall could provide an outlet for community business products, to the external surrounding com-
munity, and to the communities citizens. The placement of the mall should be outside the community, or
on the edge of the community, to avoid additional traffic and parking problems.

What we envision here are small malls, and in smaller communities these may be unnecessary, in medium
sized communities they could all be combined into a single complex.

Some examples of ocean based aquavillages

It is unfortunate that earth’s population is growing at such an astounding rate, and this condition must be
addressed and corrected as soon as possible, but in the mean time we must address and allow for this
population explosion in a serious manner. The oceans provide the most obvious terrestrial expansion
zone, to absorb future population growth. We will refer to this new form of microsociety or ecovillage as

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

an aquavillage. An aquavillage, just like its land based cousin, will be an ocean based microsociety cen-
tered around the common theme of eco-friendly civilization. With ever decreasing land resources, in the
future we can and must create viable microsocieties that are capable of existing almost exclusively on
ocean resources. Maneuverable, floating, and anchored ocean cities on the scale of 30,000 to 50,000 per-
son populations are feasible. These aquavillages must be as self-sustaining as possible, thereby placing as
little demand as possible on existing land resources. If you think such possibilities are far fetched consider
the project FreedomShip ( Although this example is not quite what we have in
mind for our aquavillages, it can still be very instructive to look at this proposal. The FreedomShip pro-
ject is a proposal to build a massive cruise ship type vessel that will circumnavigate the world over a two
year period, spending most of its time just beyond the 12 mile national limit around national shorelines.
The ship will have its own airport, supporting airplanes with up to 40 passengers, ferryboat service, and
personal cars will be stored on ship. The vessel will include libraries, schools, a hospital, restaurants, ho-
tels, entertainment facilities, offices, warehouses, light manufacturing, and assembly facilities, and 25
stories of individually owned residential apartments. This floating city will be 4,500 feet long, 750 feet
wide, and 350 feet high. The ship will include 1.7 million square feet of commercial space for businesses,
and a luxury shopping mall. The ship will support 40,000 permanent residents, 15,000 hotel guests,
20,000 employees, and as many as 30,000 visitors on any given day. It is estimated that it will take 44
months to build and launch this floating city. The scale of this project will require completely new con-
struction techniques, more along the lines of high rise apartment buildings, than the more common ship
building techniques. Even though this facility was not designed to be self-sufficient, it certainly qualifies
as an example of a microsociety. Because this particular project is a for profit commercial enterprise and
has no mission statement about it ecological perspective we cannot classify it as an ecovillage. But with a
little imagination one can easily imagine something similar, but designed around an intentional eco-
friendly theme similar to what we have been exploring in our land based ecovillages.

The Seasteading Institute ( is another organization that is proposing homesteading

the oceans of the world by setting up independent micro-nations outside the 12 mile limits of national
ocean shore buffers zones. This is a relatively new organization, but it presents very interesting possibili-
ties. They are using an open forum to design and develop the concepts involved in this proposal.

With the addition of an eco-friendly theme, the addition of some clean energy strategies like solar, wind,
and ocean temperature differential generators, and some aquaculture vegetable and fruit farming, and sea
farming and harvesting facility, such a vessel could easily be classified as a proper eco-friendly aquavil-
The Venus Project ( designed by Jacque Fresco has also proposed a highly
cybernetic approach to both land based and sea based eco-friendly ecovillages for both land, the shore,
and the ocean.
The oceans are a vast resource that we have not fully explored, and we can no longer afford to continue
this oversight.

A full appraisal of just how much we can do with our oceans without harming their long-term viability
should be a high priority. We must learn to farm our oceans and not just pillage them. We must find ways
to increase our oceans productivity which include replenishing techniques, and we must preserve and pro-
tect the coral reefs which are presently in a serious state of degeneration.

Financial models
It is important to provide a financial plane which lays out the purposed methods by which the community
intends to develop its project financially. The following may apply to many different types of communi-

• How the funding to purchase the land is going to be handled, if the land has not already been purchase?

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

• If the land has already been purchased, is it owned outright, or mortgaged?
• How will new, or additional ownership, or partnerships be handled?
• Will the model involve legal statuses, such as incorporation, foundations, non-profit status, or various
types so trusts?
• In what manner will funding for ongoing, and additional new development of the land be handled?
• In what manner will the taxes and the expenses for the upkeep of the land and the facilities be shared or
• How will revenues, profits, and all other forms of income from the operation of the community facili-
ties be shared?
• State the manner in which the project will be preserved beyond the lifetimes of the individual owners.
• Provide guidelines which state what will be acceptable and unacceptable usages and practices on the
land, and guidelines for the preservation of the natural resources on the land.

Methods of governance
Some broad outlines of how the governance of the land and facilities will be conducted is important. Ob-
viously this can be almost any system the members of the community wish to initiate, and can be changed
and modified at any time, subject to a vote to change the methods of governance by the community mem-
(not completed)

A brief look into permaculture

Since the vision and presentation of ecovillages we have presented here is somewhat more technological
than the average person would expect when coming to a web site on this topic, we will attempt to balance
our presentation by providing some information from an excellent source of practical information about
how to set up ecovillages in all types of climates and geological terrains. We highly recommend the book,
Permaculture - A Designers’ Manual (ISBN 0- 908228-01-5) [1] to anyone attempting to establish an
ecovillage community, or to anyone attempting to improve an already existing ecovillage. This book pro-
vides an extremely well thought out and tested series of models for ecovillages designed for various types
of combinations of climate and geology.
Permaculture, as defined by a direct quote from this excellent book, is [2]:
“Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally produc-
tive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmoni-
ous integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-
material needs in a sustainable way. Without permanent agriculture there is no possibility of a stable so-
cial order.

Permaculture design is a system of assembling conceptual, material, and strategic components in a pattern
which functions to benefit life in all its forms.

The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and
thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless action; of looking at systems in all their
functions, rather than asking only one yield of them; and of allowing systems to demonstrate their own

Just to give you some idea of what this 576 page book goes into we have provided a copy of the Contents

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network


Chapter 1 - Introduction
The philosophy behind permaculture
Permaculture in landscape and society

Chapter 2 - Concepts and Themes in Design

Science and the thousand names of God
Applying laws and principles to design
Cycles: a niche in time
Pyramids, food webs, growth and vegetarianism
Complexity and connections
Order or chaos
Permitted and forced functions
Time and yield
Principle summary

Chapter 3 - Methods of Design

Analysis: Design by listing characteristics of components
Observation: Design by expanding on direct observation of a site
Deduction from nature: Design by adopting lessons learned from nature
Options and decisions: Design as a selection of options or pathways based on decisions
Data overlay: Design by map overlay
Random assembly: Design by assessing the results of random assemblies
Flow diagrams: Design for work places
Zone and sector analysis: Design by the application of a master pattern
Zoning of information and ethics
Incremental design
Summary of design methods
The concepts of guilds in nature
Succession: evolution of a system
The establishment and maintenance of systems
General practical procedures in property design
Principle summary

Chapter 4 - Pattern Understanding

A general pattern model of events
Matrices and the strategies of compacting and complexing components

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

Properties of media
Boundary conditions
The harmonics and geometries of boundaries
Compatible and incompatible borders and components
The timing and shaping of events
Flow over landscape and objects
Open flow and flow patterns
Toroidal phenomena
Dimensions and potentials
Closed (special) models; accretion and expulsion
Branching and its effects; conduits
Orders of magnitude in branches
Order and dimensions
Classification of events
Time and relativity in the model
The world we line in as a tessellation of events
Introduction to pattern applications
The tribal use of patterning
The mnemonics of meaning
Patterns of society
The arts in the service of life
Additional pattern applications
References and further reading
Designers’ checklist

Chapter 5 - Climatic Factors

The classification of broad climate zones
Patterning in global weather systems; the engines of the atmosphere
Landscape effects
Latitude effects
Designer’s checklist

Chapter 6 - Trees and Their Energy Transactions

The biomass of the tree
Wind effects
Temperature effects
Trees and precipitation
How a tree interacts with rain

Chapter 7 - Water
Regional intervention in the water cycle
Earthworks for water conservation and storage

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

Reduction of water used in sewage systems
The purification of polluted waters
Natural swimming pools
Designers’ checklist

Chapter 8 - Soils
Soils and health
Tribal and traditional soil classifications
The structure of soils
Soil and water elements
Primary nutrients for plants
The distribution of elements in the soil profile
pH and soils
Soil composition
Soil pores and crumb structure
Gaseous content and processes in soils
The soil biota
Difficult soils
Planet analysis for mineral deficiencies; some remedies
Biological indicators of soil and soil conditions
Seed pelleting
Soil erosion
Soil rehabilitation
Soils in house foundations
Life in earth
The respiration of earth
Designers’ checklist

Chapter 9 - Earthworking and Earth Resources

Planning earthworks
Planting after earthworks
Slope measure
Levels and leveling
Types of earthworks
Earth constructs
Moving the earth
Earth resources

Chapter 10 - The Humid Tropics

Climatic types
Tropical soils
Earthshaping in the tropics
House design
The tropical home garden
Integrated land management
Elements of a village complex in the humid tropics
Evolving a polyculture

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

Themes on a coconut-or palm-dominant polyculture
“Animal tractor” systems
Grassland and range management
Humid tropical coast stabilization and shelterbelts
Low island and coral cay strategies
Designers’ checklist

Chapter 11 - Dryland Strategies

Landscape features in deserts
Harvesting of water in arid lands
The desert house
The desert garden
Garden irrigation systems
Desert settlement -- broad strategies
Plant themes for drylands
Animal systems in drylands
Desertification and the salting of soils
Cold and montane deserts
Designers’ checklist

Chapter 12 - Humid Cool to Cold Climates

Characteristics of a humid cool climate
Landform and water conservation
Settlement and house design
The home garden
Berry fruits
Glasshouse growing
Farm forestry
Free-range forage systems
The lawn
Cold climates
Designers’ checklist

Chapter 13 - Aquaculture
The case for aquaculture
Some factors affecting total useful yields
Choice of fish species (varieties, food, health) and factors in yield

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

Fish pond configurations and food supply
Farming invertebrates for fish food
Channel, canal, chinampa
Yields outside the pond
Bringing in the harvest
Traditional and new water polycultures
Designers’ checklist

Chapter 14 - The Strategies of an Alternative Global Nation

Ethical basis of an alternative nation
A new United Nations
Alternatives to political systems
Bioregional organization
Extended families
Trusts and legal strategies
Developmental and property trusts
Village development
Effective working groups and right livelihood
Money and finance
Land access
An ethical investment movement
Effective aid
References and resources

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

1. Mollison, Bill. PERMACULTURE-A Designer’ Manual, Tagari Publication, 1988.
2. Mollison, Bill. PERMACULTURE-A Designer’ Manual, Tagari Publication, 1988, p. ix - x.
3. Mollison, Bill. PERMACULTURE-A Designer’ Manual, Tagari Publication, 1988, p. v - viii.

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network

Systemic Symbiotic Planetary Ecovi!age Network