WestWyck aims to create 'community' within and to be an active part of the community around it. Many people expressing interest about living at WestWyck or buying into the new dwellings are attracted by the thought of living in a connected way to others. In one way or another, we are all escapees from the alienating impact of 21st century urban living.
At WestWyck, the key community since 1993 has been the residential community, the shared household but there have been many other communities that have played a significant part in WestWyck's evolution.
WestWyck believes it is possible to design for community interaction. When Grand Designs' Kevin McCloud visited, he commented that he was impressed that the WestWyck design focussed as much on the spaces between and around buildings as it did on the buildings themselves. The design layout indeed encourages interaction within the development.
Each ground floor residence opens on to a landscaped pathway linking communal spaces like the shared outdoor recreational areas, the productive garden, the bicycle storage facility, clothes drying area, the letterboxes and the carpark, making the WestWyck ecovillage a convivial place to live, a place where everyone knows their neighbours and where everyone feels a sense of safety. Leaving home and arriving back there is a fair chance a resident will get to say hello to a neighbour. The Owners' Corporate meetings are fully attended and there are plenty of committees an enthusiast can join.
WestWyck is really proud to be Australia's first One Planet Community because this international assessment tool has a strong focus on how we work as a community, how we value culture and heritage, what attention we pay to health and happiness and how we perform on scales of equity and local economy. These targets are achieved through co-operation and sharing and as the ecovillage enters Stage Two, shared spaces, infrastructure and resources will become even more prominent.
WestWyck aims to keep connected to other manifestations of change in the format of our housing development. We have maintained close contact with other such established models such as Moora Moora and Christie Walk. We have been in close collaboration with other innovators while the Cape Paterson ecovillage and The Commons around the corner in Brunswick were evolving. There is a strong sense of solidarity amongst those of us who are pushing the development envelope.
Internationally Lorna and Mike are quite well connected to other projects around the world. They visited BedZED in 2003 and Pooran Desai the BioRegional co-founder frequently stays at WestWyck when he visits Australia. They participated in one of the first planning weekends at the Village in Ireland way back in 2003 and they remain in close contact with networks of progressive developers and designers around the world.