Community-led initiatives in Europe

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Geographical characteristics

Most of CLI in Europe are anchoring at spatial scale of NUTS3 (city/municipality level) or SubNUTS3 (village, neighbourhood) [1]

Age of CLI

"Age is an important characteristic of CBIs. The economic context and the dominant societal concerns at the time of their foundation affect many other characteristics. In our sample, the median age of initiatives is six years, 75% are less than 14 years old and 25% are less than four years old (Figure 32). The oldest is 53 years old and was founded in 1962."[2]



Table X - Number of CLI at ECOLISE website (including only initiatives from the Transition, Permaculture and Ecovillage movement) [3],

Numbers of Ecovillages in Europe

GEN today lists more than 1000 local ecovillage projects and networks worldwide , among them approximately 130 in Europe. [4]

Within the GEN Europe there are 41 projects (aspiring to become ecovillages), and 50 Ecovillages (to confirm with GEN-EU) [5] The independent Eurotopia-Directory on communities in Europe 2014 lists 430 different kinds of community projects including a hard to define number of ecovillages in Europe. [6]

Outside Europe, GEN is strong in the Global South: in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The Senegalese government even set up a ministry for ecovillages fostering the evolution of traditional villages into ecovillages. [4]

At ECOLISE map only 57 [7]

Numbers of Transition Initiatives in Europe

Globally 934 initiatives and 26 Hubs [8] Europe: More than 630 initiatives [9] 18 Hubs [8]

Transition hubs form at various levels of scale to catalyse and support Transition. Initiatives are groups of local people who come together to change their area.

Numbers of Permaculture Projects in Europe

The LAND Network of permaculture learning and demonstration sites run by the Permaculture Assocation (Britain) includes 115 registered projects in England and around thirty others in Scotland and Wales.[10] According to Andy Goldring, chair of the association, this comprises only a small fraction of the projects that actually exist, with substantial numbers of unregistered projects in cities such as Leeds (ten or more) and Bristol (fifty or more); the actual number of community-level permaculture projects in Britain is probably around 500-800.[11]

In Portugal, the national Rede Convergir map lists 46 registered permaculture projects in late May 2018 [12]

Numbers of Solidarity Economy Projects in Europe

Solidarity Economy, whose number of initiatives count to more than two million and growing fast during the last decade [13].

Numbers of Commmunity Energy Projects in Europe

More than 250 energy cooperatives in Europe [14].

Numbers of CSAs in Europe

Community Supported Agriculture initiatives in Europe are already approximately 6.300 [15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named multiple TESS D4.1
  2. Celata, F., Hendrickson, C., 2016. Case study integration report (TESS Project Deliverable No. 4.1)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kunze, I., Avelino, F., 2015. Social Innovation and the Global Ecovillage Network. Research Report, TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.
  6. Wurfel, M. (Ed.), 2014. Eurotopia: living in community : directory of communities and ecovillages in Europe. Würfel, Sieben Linden.
  8. 8.0 8.1
  10. Accessed May 28th 2018.
  11. Andy Goldring, personal communication, May 2nd 2018.
  12. Rede Convergir. Accessed May 28th 2018.
  13. Troisi, R., di Sisto, M. & Castagnola, A. "Social & Solidarity Economy as Development Approach for Sustainability (SSEDAS) - Final Report. (2015)
  15. Volz, P., Weckenbrock, P., Cressot, N. & Parot, J. European CSA Research Group (2016): Overview of Community Supported Agriculture in Europe. (2016)