Crystal Waters is an environmentally and socially responsible rural subdivision, designed using permaculture principles. With a community of over 200 people living in the village, it is continually evolving, physically and socially.
The property covers 650 acres, of which 20% is made up of 83 residential and 2 lots for the Crystal Waters Community Co-operative which provides facilities & services for the social & economic aspirations of the community. The remaining 80% is the best land and is owned in common. It can be licensed for agriculture, forestry, recreation and habitat projects.
The Village Green is the social hub of the community, with plenty of open space for people to meet, talk and play together. Surrounding the Green are The Kitchen and The Deck, which are used regularly for markets and concerts, and a variety of privately owned businesses. They all form a part of the Village Centre which is an area right at the entrance to Crystal Waters zoned for commerce, light industry, tourism and educational activities.
In the early design stages, six basic objectives were agreed upon.
- Clean air, water and soil (thus food)
- Freedom of spiritual belief
- To work towards a guarantee of meaningful activity for all
- To create a place for healthy play and safe recreation
- Active social interaction
- Healthy shelter
These have mostly been achieved and maintained.
By-laws ensure that residents are responsible for the provision of their needs and the disposal of waste within ecological parameters. While these by-laws provide a framework for sustainable living, perhaps more effective is the reality of living where your decisions affect ‘your own backyard’. Here, you can’t just flush the problem away.
Residents and visitors regularly hire out parts of the The Village Centre to hold concerts, parties, markets, courses and festivals. This provides the opportunity for the village to come together with the nearby community. As part of the village layout, residential lots are grouped together in a number of small clusters. This allows for small social groups to form within the community and balance out the often isolating remoteness of rural living.