Enviro Groups Kick Off Sustainable-Community Plans in Lisbon

A coalition of enviro groups is planning an ambitious project to build small, sustainable communities in cities around the globe, starting in Lisbon, Portugal. The World Wildlife Fund and U.K. development group BioRegional hope the communities will demonstrate that sustainable development is possible with today’s resources. The project will include five communities, each housing around 5,000 people, including residential, work, and leisure facilities — the first, to be built near Lisbon, is set to cost about $1.2 billion and cover roughly 13,000 acres. All energy in the settlements will come from renewable energy sources; rainwater collection and wastewater recycling will cut water consumption; 50 percent of food will come from within a 30-mile radius; and 90 percent of organic waste will be composted. Other projects are planned for the U.S., China, South Africa, and Australia. “There’ll be centers for learning in each of them, and while we’re not the entire answer, these will be living, working communities,” said Jennie Organ of BioRegional. “We hope the ideas can be taken further forward.”