I can't say I know exactly what this topic is all about but I'd imagine it is along the lines of Intentional Communities.
Not to be confused with the hippie "free love" communes of the 60's and 70's but planned communities that aim towards more conservation, better city planning, and building a better community for its occupants.
There was a group at www.ic.org that did stuff like this
"Intentional Community is an inclusive term for ecovillages, cohousing communities, residential land trusts, communes, student co-ops, urban housing cooperatives, intentional living, alternative communities, cooperative living, and other projects where people strive together with a common vision."
Check out Sully800 too. He's got videos on Sustainable Communities and what-not as well.
At LEAST get something posted. This concept is amongst my FAVIES to see people discuss and contribute knowledge on.
i've been trying to devise a new type of government based on societies control over infrastructure rather than elected officials. I call it communionism lol. its not communism but closer to an ultimate form of democracy. People can report, vote, and make decisions on community needs easily through smart phones, social networking, and open source programming and technology without the expensive and inefficient middle man of government.
Also doing away with currency and instituting populational decisions on resource management would make building populas structures and infrasture a much cheaper and faster process. when i say cheaper i don't mean less money because there would be none but cheaper in the sense that there are less resources having to be utilized in order to achieve the same outcome.
This would also eliminate greed, establishments of power, and corruption. in this system the terms public, government, and citizens would be one in the same. people would be encouraged to do things they love because the things people love will benefit everyone. some people love to fish, some love to build, some love to sew, some love to save people...... the list goes on and on. in my idea of this society people wouldn't be getting paid but they wouldn't be charged either, while privacy and civil liberties are held intact. A complete open source society.
Mankind needs a few thousand more years of growth before greed, corruption, ambition to control etc... could be eliminated.
We have greed and corruption? I never would have guessed. In all seriousness however, it will take thousands of people starving to death for our elected officials to realize the errors of their ways... Even then it will probably require the majority of congressmen and women to be some of those thousands.
Historically, 'intentional communities' are either short lived, or over time, become sub cultures rather than moving the primary culture. Actual cultural changes usually come from a significant event, like a revolution, an invasion, or other dramatic event. The communes of the 60s had a short life span. The Israeli Kibbutz is an interesting phenomenon but still a sub group within the greater Israeli culture.
The Anabaptists have survived and do build intentional communities. I am fascinated by them. My wife has many Amish cousins. The Hutterite branch of the Anabaptist heritage is perhaps the most remarkable in it's community, but is very small and pretty much limited to the Pacific NW and Canada. All these groups, Hutterite, Old Order Mennonite and Amish are certainly intentional and can teach us much, but they are all flawed and remain subcultures or separatist cultures.
I am part of a very intentional community that is over 2,000 year old and our long history is filled with successes and failures. I am not so much interested in government forms and society's shape, but in it's heart. I believe we build the best communities by changing hearts and lives from the ground up, as it were. Having said that, it is not my intent to step you your dream, Aaron. You pursue your passions with all that is in you. I just don't believe greed or corruption can be eliminated from the outside, but happen from the inside.
My humblest apologies if I have changed the subject or taken us down a trail we don't need to travel.
Now, Sustainable Economics is a different matter for me. Western countries, like the USA have, with the best of intentions (I hope), often made troubled developing economies worse by dumping aid rather than helping build sustainable businesses. African and Haitian leaders often beg us to stop dropping rice and corn on them and help farmers build their own economies. Much of what the Urban Farm Guys are doing is translatable to other cultures and I believe should be encouraged. Heifer International, Food for the Hungry and even Samaritan's Purse also have outstanding programs for helping create Sustainable Economic Systems. Food Production and Energy Production are great places to start. I find it an exciting field. Our goal here at East of Eden Farms is to develop sustainable farming practices that can translate from an urban environment to a stone age one. Our motto is: Healing the Earth While We're Feeding the World.
In most of those areas, warfare is the problem. The people in them have survived for thousands of years, and farmed and raised animals to survive. If the fighting and killing could be stopped, more communities could be built up and become self sustainable. In the case of Haiti, while getting communities back on their feet and able to do for themselves is needed, they still need to be fed in the meantime. We do what we can to help, and the same information I found online that got me into aquaponics is available to those leaders. It is their responsibility to work with the people in their nations to get them into shape, we are simply trying to keep them from starving until they do. People have to start taking responsibility for themselves at some point, they can't blame us for not doing enough because we just try to keep them fed when they can't even stop the warfare in their own lands. What's the saying? "God helps those that help themselves"?
I know that there are many areas in which the average person doesn't have power, much less the internet. Yet those leaders have the internet, they can and should be training some of their own people to go out and teach smaller communities and villages better methods of doing things. I'm tired of us getting a bad rap for our "best intentions" when what we are doing is taking care of an immediate need and keeping millions from starving to death. Those leaders blame us because they don't want to accept the responsibility for failing their own people. I sometimes think we could help most by not doing anything, and thereby forcing some to start doing for themselves.
Given the circumstances, I think there is hope for concepts such as Aaron's. I have been tirelessly toiling away at an Intentional Community concept that I believe could take root
In my paranoia, however, I reckon it could eventually be problematic for people who wish to REMAIN in power and may be harassed should it ever take root. But the goal being to become a subculture to a counterculture to the predominant culture.
The current setup just makes things ripe for concepts like this to establish.
Sometimes I wonder if it would do better in Africa... someplace without an already established Big Brother.