Understanding how to move from the present into the future requires tremendous insight and a level of engagement with those intimately involved with the different aspects of transition that is best achieved through direct, personal contact. Below we present the physical components of this transition we find to be key to a successful integration of a process that could otherwise be interpreted as an imposition of external priorities and preferences. While many of these components will be described as definite, we encourage a plasticity of both interpretation and choice in deciding what, where and how each component of the village design is ultimately carried out.
Projects and their Relative Priority
The most important aspect of the transition process is stakeholder involvement. Current stakeholders include the ecosystem, scientists, residents (both permanent and temporary), municipal and national governments, tourists and tour operators, the people of Ecuador, and the people of the world. While each solution and aspect of the transition has been structured to incorporate these diverse voices to the best of its ability, for each case there are perspectives and opinions that have been selected as the most significant in that instance, just as the details of each component of our idealized village are carefully articulated in the proposals found on this website.
Below you will find a timeline, an analysis of how to determine their relative significance, and then a brief piece on how to best optimize the implementation process
Activities to take place during the planning phase
The first year and a half of the village design project has been set aside for planning and understanding. It is important to carefully construct the layout that will best fit each city space that we are rebuilding. The cities are different sizes and the same numbers will not work for each one so we must adapt our general plan to satisfy each of the villages: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Puerto Villamil and Puerto Ayora. Understanding the plan and helping the inhabitants to understand the plan is also an integral part of the design. If the inhabitants understand the reasons behind the building techniques and the new lifestyles, they will be able to better implement and maintain them.
During the planning phase, experimental structures will be built on Isabela. These houses will be used as models to teach those who will be constructing the houses on the other islands about different building techniques. They will also be used to experiment with different ways of reprocessing and recycling materials in an environmentally benign manner. Ideally, these test structures will also be used to familiarize the residential population with this type of structure on a psychological level. We want to help the inhabitants become accustomed to this new house layout. It is our intent to have children assist in the construction of these houses as school projects and to display them where others can view and learn from them.
A similar method of design for the living machine should take place during this first year. Determining exactly which endemic species will be best suited to each design is something that the researchers on the islands will have to do. As different options evolve, small-scale models will be built in the schools. The successful models will be used to treat the waste associated with the school. This will increase the populationís sense of ownership as relates to this work and thus facilitate their acceptance of the process and its reliability.
During the second and third years we will offer training workshops to teach the inhabitants about the new green ways of living, constructing the new homes, and agriculture. Part of the workshops shops will involve construction with materials from the current structures. To acquire these materials, the houses and other buildings will have to be abandoned. The people will not be paid for the products however they will not be charged for their new homes. Plans will be made that explain how each type of structure should be handled and the necessary machinery to demolish the structures. Flexibility with these plans are crucial to ensure that the best possible methods are being used.
At the beginning of the third year, construction on the first parallel will begin. We predict that it will take one year to build the first parallel. After that, it should take about six months to build a parallel, necessitating that more than one parallel be pulled together and up at a time. Assuming the inhabitants accept the layout, the process will go more quickly when the people can simultaneously work on the parallels. The construction of each of the three cities will follow similar schedules. The construction on Puerto Villamil on Isabela will start a little earlier. This village will be the easiest to rebuild because it is the most simple and the smallest. It will serve to reinforce the techniques that the inhabitants learned in the workshops.
The total construction is intended to take between ten and fifteen years. We are planning on having a year of discussion to create a framework for this transition. We intend to discuss the plans with the locals, organize the trust and committee, and review the legislation with the Ecuadorian government. Maps of the three cities that are being rebuilt will be made to illustrate their layout. We would like to organize the legislation so that the laws can go through a series of steps to be passed. We also want to ensure that prompt legislative action is available when needed.
There is a beautiful and delicate balance between how much is necessary to inspire people to change and how much will make them lose hope because the task seems impossible. That which we hold constant here is the capacity to move forward; that which changes is the physical structure by which a person or animal might go about pursuing this development. By working the village design in over an extended period of time we hope to hold enough static to provide a comparison and yet still see enough of that changes to appreciate and get behind the results.
One of the most striking qualities of this process is that every person can clearly identify and associate with the impact that they have on the whole system. This comes as a result of the personal involvement each inhabitant has with the construction of the villages. The participation provides people with a sense of purpose. This feeling is often missing from many large-scale problems in which individuals feels that they cannot do anything that will make a difference. Knowing that it is important to the inhabitants that their feelings and opinions are not ignored, we feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to present them with an opportunity to develop an identity for themselves, to give their lives the real meaning that is so often lacking from a western Europeanís radar.
All rights reserved. Webmasters