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A spanish hamlet being given away for free  RSS feed

 
Judit Castillo
Posts: 10
Location: Catalonia, Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate,
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Hello, this is my first post but I've visited permies on previous ocasions and I'm always very happy with all the things I learn.

I read this story on the news this morning and I thought somebody might find it very useful. You just need a great idea

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27034535

Basically the town is given away to somebody that can restore it and create some employment, at the moment I think they are thinking more about a rural tourism kind of development, but I think that is only because it's the easy thing to think of.

In my opinion, this would make an amazing permaculture farm/community and would serve as an example for other places and it would provide education while at the same time providing jobs and produce and still keeping the old look of the village.

I just don't have enough experience, so I hope somebody brave will undertake the project!
 
John Elliott
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Welcome to Permies, Judit! And thanks for pointing out this opportunity.

It sounds like something I would want to participate in as part of a group effort. How about the rest of you Permies?
 
James Graham
Posts: 64
Location: Cranston, Rhode Island
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That is a phenominal opportunity. I'd for sure would want to be apart of that.
 
Judith Thompson
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Hi, Just a thought. I have rural property that I've been working on finding a way to use more productively. You (anyone interested in this idea) might want to look into eco-tourism or eco-educational tourism. It is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry. An international movement of people who travel to various locales to experience and learn about the various ecosystems. Check it out. I had a local development agency get me a marketing study through marketing classes at a University. I do think that there would have to be some investment capital to start, though. Intriguing idea, don't you think?
 
Jose Reymondez
Posts: 137
Location: Galicia, Spain Zone 9
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This is pretty common in Spain, and its always for tourism, that's because anyone in an official capacity here basically has zero imagination to think of what a whole village can be good for.
 
John Elliott
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Jose Reymondez wrote:This is pretty common in Spain, and its always for tourism, that's because anyone in an official capacity here basically has zero imagination to think of what a whole village can be good for.


I don't think the officials are that different from most people in that regard. Villages only pop up because there is some land feature that makes it a good idea: good place to put a port or a river crossing, some valuable ore deposit to mine, a water source in an otherwise dry landscape, etc. Once the good idea goes sour, the people leave and you are left with a ghost town.

But once a village is built, there is an obvious use for it -- it's a place to live. The permaculture mindset places a high value on that use; what we are all about is taking a place and making it a place to live, the fewer external inputs required, the better. If we can get our water and our energy from the sky and our food from the land, who needs tourist dollars? So it might be that Permies are the people best equipped to bring a ghost town back to life.

Is this place very close to where you are, Jose? How about you go take a look and tell us more about it? And take photos. I'd like to see more of this place.
 
Jose Reymondez
Posts: 137
Location: Galicia, Spain Zone 9
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Is this place very
Is this place very close to where you are, Jose? How about you go take a look and tell us more about it? And take photos. I'd like to see more of this place.


This place was on the local news a few weeks ago here in Galicia

Its about a two hour drive from me, the prohibitive part isn't the length of the trip but the gas. A trip that far would be easiest by car (not great public transport here) and that can run you 40 euros or 55 bucks. Although I had a friend interested in taking a look, maybe someday we'll check it out.

That's what I was trying to get at, a village has value in itself, not just as a way to boost the economy or tax revenues. It can simply be a place to build community, be creative, be spontaneous, experience joy, live in harmony with one's landbase, etc.

Industrialization emptied out our villages and now that it has run its course, the emptied out municipalities see a reemergence in interest in rural life as an opportunity. They have inherited villages, which used to belong to people, that have fallen in to their laps and they see them as a resource to keep their municipality going, because when a municipality gets depopulated or becomes insolvent, it can get consolidated in to another and then people in the municipality lose their positions. Unfortunately this creates a lot of conditions to the giving away of the village and creates some demands on how you have to organize the village, for example in the video it requires you to create employment for locals. Its hard enough creating employment here for yourself, let alone for other people! (Unemployment here is 25%, youth unemployment around 50%) I don't really have anything against rural tourism, but its such a common idea that sooner or later I feel like supply will outstrip demand and many will be wanting for visitors.

Now of course it would be awesome to stack functions, figure out a way create some tourism and at the same time build the kind of village you would like to live in.
 
Chad Sentman
Posts: 189
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bee books chicken duck fish forest garden hugelkultur solar urban
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Any idea how to apply, or when they plan to decide?
 
Maru Malwe
Posts: 6
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Amazing!!! I wish I did not have a full time job and a lot of money in my bank account
 
Matthew Rehnborg
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Does anyone have any idea of who was eventually awarded this hamlet?

It seems to me that there are lots of places in this world that make no sense to the market but can make plenty of sense to people with a perspective like that of permaculture. I'm not counting on someone giving me a village some day, but it is nice to know that these ideas can easily be taken to places where money isn't the single determining factor for wealth.
 
nancy sutton
gardener
Posts: 659
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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This is probably OT, but I just read "The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food" by Dan Barber. Among others, he tells the story of natural goose foie gras production in the Spanish Extremadura by Eduardo Sousa (I think Barber has done a TED talk on this), and a 'permaculture' natural fish 'farm', Veta la Palma, near Seville. These are 'special' locations, but producing very valuable, profitable, and totally sustainable, natural products. I offer this to spark the idea that employment might be found in working with the village's environment to grow unique produce and products.

That book is terrific, btw... next step from 'Omnivore's Dilemma' :)
 
Jp Learn
Posts: 80
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Wow...amazing!
 
Mathijs de Bruin
Posts: 1
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Hey all,

Just last week I discovered about this hamlet and this discussion. As I will be visiting Galicia (amongst several locations) to look at potential sites to start an intentional community, I am pretty sure to pay this site a visit. Given the ideas that I have, this location seems too good to be true.

If anyone of you is seriously interested and/or have ideas I would love to hear about them!
As I don't have much time for internet forums perhaps the best way to reach out is by email at mathijs@dsrp.eu

Hope to hear from you!

Mathijs
Decentralized Society Research Project
http://dsrp.eu / http://dsrp.eu/hackpad

 
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