Well, maybe . . . villages of five hundred within towns of around ten thousand within bioregions of around a million.

The rationale for the idea of the village of five hundred is: That scale is conducive to a participatory kind of democracy.

The original conception for the Ecovillage at Ithaca (EVI) was: Houses and rental units clustered into five neighborhoods, with thirty or forty households per cluster. That would make about 175 households, amounting to around five hundred people altogether. So far (since 1996) EVI has built out three neighborhoods. They’re on a parcel of land over over 170 acres, so there’s room for more.

Governance for a town of ten thousand could consist of representatives from the twenty or so villages.

A bioregion of a million can be fully self-reliant.

But we envision a world of great diversity. Cultural diversity and diversity of lifeways. Nothing cookie-cutter or formulaic or pre-determined about it. So these figures are variable. Maybe the populations of the bioregions would range from just a couple hundred thousand to tens of millions.

The 350 million of the United States of America is too large. Billions in India and China is insane.

Anyway, if we conceptualize around a million in a bioregion and if, as a conjecture, there are two thousand such bioregional entities as sovereign units . . . there would be two billion human beings on the planet.

That’s enough.

A co-editor of Green Horizon Magazine, Steve has been a Green movement activist for almost thirty years.