Inspired by the eco-village movement and Permaculture, the Trust was set up in 1993 as a charitable organisation to encourage and help people to live in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way. After several years of trying to make a difference, we accepted that we had to design and build some examples of what we were talking about to serve as working examples.
In those days we prioritised the environmental impact of the buildings as being the focus of what we did and built some places as good examples of eco-development.
Having done this we realised that it wasn’t about the buildings at all. Reducing carbon footprints is all about good community, sharing and being neighbourly. Making good places to live is also all about encouraging community, providing safe and attractive shared spaces that improve well-being. We discovered that it is the spaces between the buildings that are more important than the buildings themselves.
With this in mind the, Trust has designed and built a number of developments that we hope can serve as good examples. For us good places to live need to be attractive, sustainable and viable to be able to make a difference. The big opportunity lies in the regeneration of existing places to change the dominance of vehicles and bring the shared spaces between homes back to life.