The 12 Principals


Based on and adapted from, Mark Hamilton’s The Twelve Visions with common values in mind.

1        Quality of Life and Sustainability:

A high quality of life is achieved through taking personal responsibility towards care of the land, water and air resulting in sustainable, common communities and protection of the environment. To that end, we should encourage the recycling and reuse of all organic and none organic materials at all levels of community and government. Human waste should be composted and used to grow organic crops at householder level, thereby creating a continuous flow and endless circle of life, at the same time negating the problem of toxic waste. We should discourage the use of toxins, poisons and air pollutants in households and all industries.

2        Public Participation:

Citizens are active and responsible partners in the planning, developing and implementation of common community initiatives, such as assisting in building their own ecological homes and community centres and are sensitive to their responsibilities in achieving community and ecological goals. Citizens should be encouraged to take an active commons role in keeping crime to a minimum.

3        Growth Areas:

Growth is concentrated in existing population and business centres, growth areas adjacent to these centres, or strategically selected new centres. Heavy industry and other businesses related to chemical spillage and pollution should be avoided at all cost. New industry should not encroach into rural areas wherever possible. Householders should be encouraged to recycle waste, compost and grow their own organic crops.

4        Community Design:

Compact, mixed–usage, walkable, eco-friendly community developments should be consistent with existing community character and located near available or planned transit options; this is encouraged to ensure efficient use of land and transportation resources; it also provides preservation and enhancement of natural systems, open spaces, recreational areas, and historical, cultural, and archaeological resources. Public and housing areas should be extensively planted with bamboo and fruit trees. This will bind soil, create areas for grey-water runoff, produce a product (s) enhance the environment and generally beautify the area. Common organic gardens for agriculture and horticulture should be encouraged within communities.

5        Infrastructure:

Growth areas have the water resources and an ecological infrastructure to accommodate population and business expansion in an orderly, efficient, and environmentally sustainable manner. Green, sustainable construction should be encouraged in all areas.

6        Transportation:

A well–maintained, multimodal, ecological transportation system facilitates the safe, convenient, affordable, and efficient movement of people, goods, and services within and between populated areas and business centres. Extended transportation should be reduced by implementing design concepts such as home/office studios, internet based meetings, cottage industries and community based services.

7        Housing and Community projects.

A range of ecological housing densities, types, and sizes provides residential options for citizens of all ages and incomes. Housing developments should encourage common community bonding; therefore, provision should also be made to build adequate clinics, schools, community centres and green park areas. Sustainable sanitation, recycling of human waste and composting should be an integrated part of that community. In addition, all community and housing projects should be pre-planned ecologically with solar, wind-turbine or hyrdo as the main source of power.

8          Economic Development:

Economic development and natural, resource–based businesses that promote employment opportunities for all income levels, especially low-key., non-polluting cottage industries, are to be encouraged. The internet has provided many opportunities for income providers to work from home and should be thoroughly explored as a working option.

9   Environmental Protection:

Common land and water resources, including, lakes, rivers, coastal bays, canals, the sea and the air are carefully managed to restore and maintain healthy natural systems and living resources. All members of a common community take an active role in the implementation and practice of maintenance.

10    Resource Conservation:

Waterways, forests, agricultural areas, open space, natural systems, and scenic areas are conserved. Trees and bamboo should be planted extensively and in common areas to replace the multitude of forests that have been depleted over the years.

11    Stewardship:

Government, business entities, and residents are responsible, collectively and as individuals, for the creation of sustainable common communities by collaborating to balance efficient, sustainable, non polluting growth with resource protection.

12    Implementation:

Strategies, policies, programs, and funding for growth and development, resource conservation, infrastructure, and transportation are integrated across the individual, local, regional, state, and interstate levels to achieve these twelve principals. In other words, everybody takes an active role and everybody is responsible.

*      The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of this author only, and are not intended to be expressed as a representation of the values of the commons.

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