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Oklahoma State University looks to establish eco-village

Oklahoma State University officials are developing a new campus housing option designed to encourage residents to be more socially and ecologically aware. Known as an eco-village, the project will incorporate sustainable living and living in a socially integrated community.

BY SILAS ALLEN Modified: November 24, 2012 at 9:12 pm •  Published: November 25, 2012

“The three of us could have sat down and designed this in an afternoon,” she said. “But that makes it our thing.”

Garmy said the institute expects to have plans ready to submit to administrators by mid-spring. OSU Residential Life has expressed interest, he said.

Once the project is complete, the specifics of day-to-day life will largely be left up to the residents, Page said. Space will be set aside for residents to pursue any projects they choose.

So if a student moves in one year and is interested in aquaponics, he or she could start a group to pursue that interest, Page said. The next year, another student could start a group for solar technology.

Page said she’d like to see the village bring in goats for lawn care. Talkington hopes to see the village create a bed-and-breakfast where guests could live off the grid for three days or so.

Although the plans haven’t been established, there’s been discussion about allowing faculty members to live in the community, as well.

That could reinforce the idea of having an integrated, heterogeneous community, rather than having single students segregated from married students and all students separated from faculty, Talkington said.

That sense of integration could make the community a richer, more vibrant place to live, she said.

“If you provide the platform for community, it will spontaneously occur,” she said.

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