Co-Op Village
Free plans for sustainable intentional communities.

Buckminster Fuller Award

Application Narrative

  Project In A Nutshell:

Objective:  to create many non-profit community land trust co-operatives so residents can perform all construction to house 500 residents on 500 acres to live sustainably forever.  The Villages will produce all food, utilities, medical care, pensions, transportation, jobs and job training, with all of this negating the need for most transportation.  The Villages will create lifelong extended families whose priority is the well-being and happiness of each individual member and promotion of healing from today's stresses.  They would stop the environmental damages being done to the planet and offer people an appealing and viable alternative way of life that most persons would choose.

The cost would be $40,000 per resident with 75% of residents being financed by the Village and children admitted free.  From start to finish no resident would profit from another as we redefine wealth as “use and access” rather than “possession”.

We are creating something new to the business world: a Life Systems Cooperative.  It is essentially a corporation owned by, managed by, worked by and for the benefit of the residents only.  Its sole purpose is to provide all life support systems to maintain a decent, secure, worry-free life for all residents and their children for life; a sustainable way of living in accord with nature.  The dividends:  Happiness and health for the planet!


  Problems To Be Resolved and Benefits To Be Acheived:

After the first Village is built hundreds of others will pop up around the country and around the planet as this will be the only viable option that millions of people will have to live in dignity.  This will transform this country and the world.  These villages will provide what our culture and governments promise but cannot deliver.

This may be the only current viable option for humanity to mitigate the financial and environmental disasters that lie ahead. The systems theory in physics tells us that all things are interconnected, yet everyone seems to be offering solutions that, at best, are putting band-aids on parts and pieces of the momentous challenges we are facing.  Most major economists predict that in just a few years the economy will change to a local closed economy but no one until now has blueprinted such an economy.

Cowboys know that you can turn a bull’s body simply by turning its head.  So too can the world be turned if the U. S. culture can be turned.  This model is a means to accomplish that quickly before governments can stop it.  Currently, we are silently marching towards a cliff, but when enough villages are built, society will have a working model of one option for creating its future.

We have designed a village for which there is a strong demand. It is a sound business investment blueprinted so that it can be replicated anywhere.  Economically, the Village model dovetails nicely with our current capitalistic system.  All that remains to be done is to build them.

Some Societal Benefits (not mentioned elsewhere):

  Dramatically Reduces.

  • Oil dependence.

  • Green house gasses.

  • Materialism and its associated environmental impact.

  • Homelessness and near homelessness.
  • Dependence on pensions and government entitlement programs.
  • Alienation and sense of disconnectedness from community.


  • Jobs and job training.
  • Security for lower and middle class families.

  • Medical attention for all residents.
  • Peace for residents and the nation.

  • An economic plan to salvage our economy by retrofitting suburbia in the event of a financial meltdown.
  • A means to calm and assist non-residents near the community.

  • All utilities needed in an environmental friendly and sustainable manner.

  The Solution:

As so eloquently stated in the movie Patch Adams while trying to solve the four finger riddle, Patch was told "If you focus on the problem you can't see the solution. Never focus on the problem. Look beyond the [problem]; do not look at the problem.  See what no one else sees.  See what everyone else chooses not to see out of fear of conformity or laziness and you see the whole world anew each day." 

We have taken Buckminster Fuller’s advice: “In order to change something, don’t struggle to change the existing model – create a new model and make the old one obsolete”.   We have done that by designing a new post peak oil socio-economic system on the principle of “the highest good for all” recognizing that the illusion of “separation” is our biggest challenge on the planet and that we really are all one family.

The Co-Op Village is a unique, fresh and systematic approach to solving most of humanity’s problems, including poverty, homelessness, crime and lack of medical care by changing just one factor, getting people to shift from the “What’s in my best interest” mode to a “What’s in the best interest of all concerned” mode.

Villages are the investments and wave of the future.  Just as farmers rapidly moved to the cities early in the industrial revolution, citizens will quickly enter Villages because it will give them dignity, reconnection with nature and a stable community, post-peak-oil survival and control over their lives as well as greater health, happiness and abundance on all levels.  Construction of one or two Villages will open the floodgates for thousands of others, transforming global society in the process.

$30,000 per House?      
How can the Village build a house for $30,000 when developers can’t build one for less than $200,000?  Our biggest savings is that all labor costs and profits are cut out entirely because residents of the Village will provide all labor.  Another savings is that the buildings are smaller than what developers are offering.

A tremendous advantage of the Village is that by having a Community Land Trust own all of the land it will not need to be broken up into individual lots for each house.  This allows the land to remain zoned as agriculture and avoids the costly fights to get the property rezoned as residential.  It also avoids being classified as a residential neighborhood development.  This allows the Village to escape county requirements for road systems, sidewalks, expensive storm water holding ponds and drainage systems, twice the number of septic tanks, underground utilities, street lights etc.  The only major county jurisdiction over the village is the building code requirements.  This is a developer’s dream come true!

All of these advantages are things that for-profit developers can never do.  This assures us that where a Village is being built it will never have to fear competition from developers moving into our price range.  They can’t touch it

The Community will be run as a cooperative governed by consensus decision making. As such, there will be few rules.  No one person or group of people would lead the Community. Leadership positions will be on a timed rotation method with each resident being offered positions in time.


  Project Financing:

Private Investors will be lending $10 million dollars with a first mortgage against an asset worth $50 million while controlling the money through construction progress draws. The loan will be paid off in five years and pay a higher than market interest rate.

The loan repayment will come from the residents.  25% of them will pay their $40,000 share up front with the Village financing the remaining 75% of residents.  Adults will be provided outside jobs so that they can repay their share in four years.  Children will be admitted free until they turn 18.

Most investments today are focused on corporations which by their very nature, will continue to ravage the planet in the pursuit of maximum profits.  Villages are an option that will give similar investor returns but stops the need for the planetary destruction by making it attractive to live with a smaller footprint now, for both the investors and the residents.


  The Next Development Stage:

The majority of the design stage is completed.  All that remains is to complete the financing and build the first Village, thus paving the way for investors to finance thousands of other Villages. 

The project will be headed by Jim Costa.  By formal training he is a CPA, systems analyst and a paralegal.  He left the paid workforce in 1998 in order to devote his life to this project as a gift to humanity.  He co-authored the book 
Co-Op Villages – The Next Evolution  (2007).

Jack Reed, director of the Community Planet Foundation, will assist with the project full time.  Along with co-authoring Co-Op Villages, he wrote the award winning book The Next Evolution: A Blueprint for Transforming the Planet (2001).

In addition, the project offers all of its working information on its web site so that others can freely use it to build their own Villages.

The next step is to acquire seed money to take the project national and secure the financing for the first Village.  Once financing is secured, professionals will be brought in to help complete the project.


Untitled Document

Created 2007, Co-Op Village Foundation, Inc. | 1-850-623-8753 | HOME | FAQ |
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