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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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Sustainable living revealed

“We seem to like to talk about it, and very few of us are doing it,” Professor Declan Kennedy boldly stated in regards to making eco-villages a community standard.

In a speech presented by the Santa Barbara Permaculture Network, Kennedy professed his knowledge of “Eco-villages and the Global Future.” He spoke Saturday night to an eager audience who filled City College’s Fe Bland Auditorium.

With a heavy Irish accent, Kennedy spoke slowly, narrating a prepared slideshow on Eco-villages and his contribution to the counter-culture establishments.

He explained that Eco-villages are communities that function as a supportive social environment with a low-impact way of life. They offer a synergy constructed of various aspects of ecological design, alternative energy, green production, Permaculture and more.

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The first half of the speech Kennedy discussed the importance of design, and the components that are integral to the function of Eco-villages.

“I say everybody is a designer!” Kennedy exclaimed.

Kennedy, who is an urban planner, ecologist, co-founder of the Permaculture Institute of Europe and the Global Eco-village Network, has been tending to his love of ecological urban design for thirty-four years.

He currently is spreading the word about Eco-villages and their importance to the global community. He also resides in an Eco-village in Steyerberg, Germany that he and his wife co-founded in 1982.

Kennedy paced back and forth between the audience and the screen that displayed pictures of various Eco-villages throughout Europe claiming “peace, creativity, and tolerance” as the key factors that are present in his Eco-village at Lebensgarten.

The speech was kept at a personable level as audience members were allowed to interrupt the presentation at any moment they might have a question. Laughs roared as one man’s cell phone rang ironically shortly after Kennedy addressed the need to eliminate “electrosmog” in communities. Sticking to his convictions, Kennedy asked “can we have that one turned off?”

Design features ranged from using kiwis as climate control to air-conditioning without electricity, via pipes in the ground.

The informative speech lasted an hour and a half. Kennedy closed with an image of 17 people from various countries who have worked towards building Eco-villages.

They all “learned to do their own thing,” were Kennedy’s final words of inspiration. He then invited the audience to learn more in his six-hour, Eco-village workshop, which was held Sunday at City College.

A wide variety of supplemental literature on Eco-villages and Permaculture was available after the speech in the form of brochures and books.

For more information on Professor Declan Kennedy and Eco-villages visit his Web site at

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