We have a clear vision and detailed plans showing how we want to expand the facilities in Tamera to be able to invite more peaceworkers to live and learn with us. We’re working to change the registration of land use so that we can build a regenerative model settlement for the future. With the municipality of Odemira, we’re going through the PIER process – Plano de Intervenção em Espaço Rural – Intervention Plan in Rural Areas.
We’re working towards a global strategy for peace: the Healing Biotopes Plan. Healing Biotopes are experimental research and learning centers that model a new culture of peace, and a network of these creates a field for nonviolent living on Earth. We’re making our global plan local in the Alentejo region of Portugal, setting up Tamera to become the first fully functioning biotope — Healing Biotope 1.
We want Tamera to become a global education center to train people from around the world who wish to co-create a new planetary culture. Currently about 2000 peaceworkers, students and visitors come to Tamera each year. In the next 20 years, we want to invite more people to come and see how it’s possible to live in a way that doesn’t disturb nature, but regenerates her. Where the energy they use, the food they eat, the water they drink and the materials they use are produced locally, sustainably and in abundance. To experience community life based on trust, reconciliation and healing, so they can learn with us. And leave with the knowledge and skills to create similar places all over the world – helping to build Terra Nova.
To achieve this, we want to build a regenerative model settlement for several hundred people and expand our facilities. Tamera is a futuristic model designed to meet the needs, desires and aspirations of our community, as an example for humanity in the 21st century. Based on cooperation with nature and natural building, this model will make environmental protection obsolete as it brings human culture and nature into synergistic unity.
Within a 50km radius of Tamera we have all the materials for passive solar eco-buildings – stones, wood, clay and straw – and the building of the Aula has shown that it’s possible to build with natural materials. We’ll take into account the natural cycles of water, harvest rainwater, use dry toilets to reduce water consumption, and use multi-zone architecture with lakes and ponds, where nature and animals are welcome.
Currently we’re working on integrating the approach of the Healing Biotope, as there isn’t a legal framework for this new type of human settlement yet. This is work that many groups and communities throughout the world have to do when they want to manifest model settlements for the future.
We’ve applied for a change of the land use classification, and have started what’s called the PIER process – Plano de Intervenção em Espaço Rural – Intervention Plan in Rural Areas. Accompanied by the municipality of Odemira, and a team of architects, we’re collaborating on a plan for the rezoning of the existing Tamera site. We believe that our cooperation with the authorities can be mutually beneficial, and that the ecologically sustainable management and construction techniques used in Tamera can be integrated into the political and regulatory landscape of the region. A breakthrough in our case could set a precedent for starting ecological community projects all over Portugal and Europe.
The continued development of Tamera as a model human settlement is being observed and documented scientifically. Being a region that’s currently suffering from depopulation and desertification, we’re showing another pathway for the Alentejo towards an abundant future of community and sustainability.
As we go through our PIER process, we’re setting a precedent for future community projects across the world. We’re following the example of Wales who have created holistic land use legislation while facing similar issues.
How You Can Help
- Make a donation. Over the last 3 years we’ve invested around 50,000 euros in the preparatory phase of the PIER process. By fall 2018, the budget will total an estimated 200,000 euros, most of which we’ll spend on the planning work of the architects as well as for collaboration with the municipality.
- Help us to spread the word about our plans and achievements, basic thoughts and books to the Portuguese public.
- Share them with journalists, opinion leaders and decision makers.
- Organize seminars, evenings or other events to inform people about our work and plans – the more people know, the more people will be able to help with our planning process.
If you’re an architect interested in helping us realize our vision, email us at: solarvillage(at)tamera(dot)org.