Spectrum for 20 May 2001: Close to Paradise
While the Auckland Region struggles to fit another million people into its boundaries over the next fifty years, one group of enterprising folk has come up with what it believes is the perfect answer in group housing. They're building what they've named the 'Earthsong Eco-Neighbourhood', thirty two homes constructed of rammed earth and untreated Oregon, set on a one and half hectare organic orchard. The enthusiasts have initially raised their own funds for the first stage of the seven million dollar development in Ranui, West Auckland. They hope to move in by early spring, when they'll set to constructing community vegetable gardens using the best permaculture methods. Water for irrigation will be collected from roofs and stored in big tanks, which'll also supply household's flushing and washing needs. Cars will be banished to the garages at the edge of the property, but every house will have access to high speed internet connections. The development is the culmination of a seven year long dream by people like architect Robyn Allison, who emphasises that Earthsong is not some wacky fringe dream, but the modern equivalent of an old fashioned village.