There is certainly no shortage of ideas for grassroots community development. Even in Cincinnati, Enright Ridge Urban Ecovillage and Our Harvest Coop stand as unique pursuits of sustainable communities not just in Cincinnati but nationally. Similarly, Good Guy Loitering, which seems to have roots in Cincinnati, is a novel take on community engagement http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYwMWnMtTFw
Writing from BLOC Coffee Company in Price Hill, I notice a posting for a monthly community potluck. “Bring a dish, or don’t…eat with friends, or enemies” reads the flyer. It seems that more and more are growing dissatisfied with the types of assembly or association available to them or, at least, more are stepping up to offer alternatives through business ventures, intentional communities, etc. Is it possible that we’re returning to some legitimate capacity for community care and participation? I suspect so. Yet, the inertia of seek-private$$-and-disassociate-from-community is behemoth.
I’m entering into an era of experimentation, seeking an alternative to dissociation from community. Our ecohouse project is an obvious manifestation of this, representative of the best intentions for living with others for Robbie, Nick, myself and others. This ecohouse project is the convergence of a number of rough utopian ideas in response to the anomie, environmental devastation, and inequality of modern urban life.
Sketching out an utopian vision for the ecohouse in Mt Auburn is exciting and necessary work. We talk of utopia to feed our excitement for this work and to bait our day-to-day thoughts, discussions and actions. I am fortunate, first, for the capacity to daydream and second, for the opportunity to enact and facilitate some pieces of that daydream. For Enright, for Our Harvest, for the Earnshaw Ecohouse and for all utopian pursuits, I daydream of enduring support and enthusiasm and overwhelming participation to overcome inertia.
Suggested reading: The People’s Playground @Jacobin Magazine