Topic: 3. GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY IN THE ECOCITY Title: Autonomy & AudaCity What about us?

When our governments move too slowly; when our laws, regulations, codes, and policies straightjacket any progress in red-tape; when incentives are backwards and counterproductive; how could we wait? We: as people, as communities. This presentation offers insights and options gathered from Amsterdam to Sarajevo. Author(s): G. Crawford Institute(s): The Evergreen State College, Olympia, United States Text: Could autonomy be our next frontier? Many of us find it to be a logical, passionate, and obvious reaction to our predicament. Many of us believe autonomy to be an imperative, an obligation; even, inevitable. In these days of global catastrophe -of urban, suburban, rural, and village decay . . . these days which threaten the health, wellbeing, and sanctity of everything -the rivers, the lakes, the oceans / the flora and the fauna / the atmosphere, the soil / cultures, languages, traditions . . . yes, indeed, our cities . . . When so many of us are struggling to eat, struggling to drink clean water, struggling to find housing; when so many projects need space to happen . . . What life is this. Do we really expect ourselves to wait? To be provided for; to be looked after; to be dealt with?

How could we possibly not be audacious? Where then is the fire of innovation, of newness . . . Where is our power? Where is our autonomy? The new, the bold, the daring . . . The cutting edge . . . The fresh fringe . . . Where are our fearless adventurers? Our lion-hearts? Our spirited experimenters? Our dauntless inventors? It´s high-time to seize the initiative. It is time to commandeer our autonomy. As a student at The Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington United States, I am granted a very special opportunity; to design my own course curriculum and to study anywhere I choose . . . For three months, I pinball´d Europe . . . visiting and documenting various forms of ecological lifestyles including a neighborhood where the residents are involved in the entire process of their home: planning, design, and construction (Amsterdam), occupations worth millions of euros (Paris and Amsterdam), a secret temple complex built underground (northwest Italy), and more projects where people are taking control of their lives. This presentation is designed to share insights gathered from a number of European cities and projects. Namely: what tactics people are using to take responsibility, to take action; what strategies they are using to provide themselves with housing, food and water; what ways they are realizing their own power, their own ability to

provide for themselves; to support each other; to live sustainable, fulfilling, energetic, ecological and healthy lives. This presentation aims to disclose our autonomy. Keywords: Adaptation, Arts and culture , Citizen participation , Self-sufficiency, Social innovation, Urban social movement Track: Community engagement / citizen and youth participation

How will this session help participants to create Ecocities? (50 words or less)

This presentation aims to inspire and educate; to reveal and celebrate the significance and applicability of several tangible, selfimposed, self-initiated urban reassessment and improvement initiatives. These living examples illustrate expansive possibilities. We can lead both healthy and interesting lives, which we create by liberating and harnessing our autonomy.

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