Ecovillage design : incorporating regenerative practices into a new village design for Catavela, Panama

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Hood, Cecily N.
Motloch, John L.
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Thesis (B.L.A.)
College of Architecture and Planning
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This study resulted in the design of a village in Panama called Catavela that stresses the importance of a functional ecologically based ecovillage, sustainable permaculture techniques and practices, and water management system that can be utilized to solve the purification needs of the village. The result was a series of conceptual design drawings and diagrams relating to a specific design that can be implemented in the local village.This study explored the advantages of an environmentally friendly community and low impact development. It revealed a system of design that uses the natural environment as an efficient way of building a community with the integration of micro-climates, local plants and animals, water management, and soil quality as a foundation for layout and design. The ideas, concepts, and techniques of ecovillage design were the focal point of the redesign of the village.In order to examine this further, an analysis of successful ecovillages that have permaculture practices was introduced. This report highlights the major principles and design elements which are essential when it comes to effectively designing a village that relies directly on the environment for its every need.There were many strategies to evaluate and examine to see if they could be incorporated into an existing village. An evaluation of case studies, prominent leaders of the field, site interviews and observations, as well as content analysis of articles and periodicals were evaluated on the content of design guidelines and design elements that must be included in developing a village design program.This project showed how the elements of ecovillages, permaculture design, and water management techniques could be incorporated into Catavela as well as become an example to other villages in the area of the benefits of a self-sustaining community. A masterplan of the site will be designed which incorporates important features which have been highlighted in previous research.