Italy's Greensburg, Kansas

While Greensburg, Kansas may have fallen off the media radar just a bit, the Midwestern town’s determination to rebuild green after an EF5 tornado leveled it in 2007 still provides a lot of inspiration. While I can’t say it for certain, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that Greensburg’s vision provided a model for the tiny village of Pescomaggiore, Italy.

In April, 2009, Pescomaggiore was destroyed by a massive earthquake in the L’Aquila region. Like residents of Greensburg, village members decided not only to rebuild their home, but to do it largely themselves, and with sustainable materials. They formed the organization EVA (an acronym for a phrase that roughly translates as “do-it-yourself eco-village”), accepted a donation of land from “three generous neighbors,” and set out to build a seven-house project with natural and sustainable materials and elements. Each of these houses features:

  • A wooden structure
  • Strawbale walls
  • Wood-burning stoves for heat
  • Solar panels for electricity

The project also features rainwater recovery and constructed wetlands for plant irrigation.

One of the most impressive features of this project is the funding: the citizens of Pescomaggiore solicited donations online, and also received in-kind support from lawyers and architects. By sticking to locally-available resources, they’ve been able to complete the project at a low cost, and without any financial support from Italy’s national government (which took a lot of heat for its overall response to the earthquake).

Want to find out more about what this little village is doing to green itself? In addition to EVA’s site, the project has a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and a Flickr photo gallery. If you’d like to learn more about what happened in Greensburg, check out the first few episodes of THE GOOD FIGHT web series.

Impressed? I sure am… let us know what you think about this project, and tell us about others…

via IPS News


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Image: A building damaged in the L’Aquila earthquake Credit: Ra Boe at Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license