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Pödelwitz - a model village of ecological and social sustainability

For decades, Pödelwitz was shaped by open-cast lignite mining - first as a workplace and later as a threat through excavation and the accompanying resettlement. Opencast lignite mining not only tore up the earth, but also eroded and blew away the village community. With the coal phase-out and the preservation from excavation, Pödelwitz has to reinvent itself. We want to proactively shape this process and take a pioneering role for all the other places in regions of structural change that will have to find new ways of living, working and doing business in the coming decades. We want to form a small unit in the midst of global urbanisation that practically tests social transformation and connects with other unique places that invent sustainable lifestyles. We want to inspire our guests for a tomorrow worth living - not only in ecological, but also in cultural, social and economic terms. On this page you can learn more about our vision for Pödelwitz.

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Environmental and climate protection as a principle

The climate crisis is the greatest challenge facing our society. We have to set the course today so that future generations can still live in a world worth living in. For this reason, all structures and processes that we create in Pödelwitz are subject to climate and environmental protection.

Living, organising and working in community

No one person can answer the burning questions of our time alone. That is why community building and the development of solidarity are at the top of our agenda. We plan in collective and participatory processes and make decisions on a grassroots level. In this way, we give everyone in the village the opportunity to get involved and participate in decisions. We are aware that these processes have to be practised, that they sometimes take longer and that the participants also have to endure ambivalences - but the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages.

A place of short distances -
living and working in Pödelwitz

Pödelwitz is characterised by the fact that many people have their centre of life there. Living, working and leisure time are combined. Vegetables are grown in fields in the region and offered in the village shop or processed directly in the village canteen or the village café. The rural coworking space replaces the daily trip to the Leipzig office and offers a much better infrastructure than the home office with its fast internet, meeting room, communal photocopier and more. The cultural centre offers space for events such as readings, concerts or discussion evenings. These concepts should spread into the region and attract people from the surrounding villages.

Trying out and learning new ways of doing business and owning things

Most of us have grown up in a world where all goods, fields, forests and land belong to someone - be it institutions or people. This was not always the case, in earlier times there was a multitude of commons that everyone could access. We want to reflect on the learned processes of ownership and exchange logic and partly try to overcome them in everyday life. We want to create techniques and structures and find strategies that facilitate sharing and the creation of commons. In turn, we want to pass on what we have learned to others.

Sustainable mobility

We cannot and do not want to do without mobility either, but we want to democratise it and make it ecologically sustainable. Instead of private cars that are not moved most of the time, we rely on private car sharing. Private cars of all sizes are lent out within the village via an app. Carpooling is also easily organised with the app.

Energy and heat supply environmentally conscious and homemade

With our own energy and heat supply from renewable energies, we are creating our own independent and resilient infrastructure and generating energy where it is consumed. In this way, we are contributing to the expansion of renewable energies and to the goals of the Climate Protection Act

Affordable housing for all

We want to make it possible for everyone to find a place to live in Pödelwitz, regardless of their financial background, abilities or origin. A look at the surrounding regions shows that this is not a matter of course in Leipzig's suburbs, where newcomers have to pay a considerable amount of money. We also want to explicitly make housing possible for people who have difficulties finding a home on the open housing market - such as migrants. The housing concepts should offer a wide range, be it a single-family house, a caravan park, a shared apartment or a multi-generation house.

Intergenerational care,
sensitively cared for

No matter how old, in Pödelwitz everyone should be taken care of, everyone should feel comfortable here! We are therefore striving to establish a day-care centre and are planning care for senior citizens within the village. It is important to us that cared-for people can remain themselves and do not have to adapt to the care system.

Inclusive residence for people with disabilities

Eingebettet in das Gesamtkonzept des Ortes planen wir den Aufbau eines Wohnzentrums für Menschen mit Einschränkungen. Mit den betreuten Wohn- und Aufenthaltsgebäuden des Zentrums gibt es einen Ort des Rückzugs. Die vielfältige Dorfgemeinschaft und das Konzept der kurzen Wege bieten aber auch Möglichkeiten am Dorfleben teilzunehmen. Mit leichten Tätigkeiten bei der solidarischen Landwirtschaft oder anderen niedrigschwelligen Angeboten bei örtlichen Betrieben gibt es auch Räume, an denen die Bewohner:innen des Wohnzentrums einer Arbeit nachgehen können, die ein wichtiger Identifikationsfaktor sein kann. Das Pflegepersonal soll die Möglichkeit bekommen, mit ihren Familien in Pödelwitz zu wohnen und so Teil des Konzeptes der kurzen Wege zu werden.

Living in harmony with nature - for more biodiversity and better soils

With butterfly meadows, a mowing regime and the use of old varieties in Solidarity Farming, we contribute to the preservation and enhancement of biodiversity. With the concept of permaculture in Solidarity Farming and in various gardens in the village, we aim at improving the soil and at a long-term farming cycle.

A centre for culture and exchange

With a cultural centre and the event church, we want to offer regular events such as workshops, seminars, readings, concerts, discussion events and more for the village community and the surrounding villages. In this way, we want to make a contribution to cultural diversity in the region.

Laboratory, learning and teaching space

There is no simple blueprint for sustainable, complex solutions, and so the joy of experimentation is one of the most important ingredients of change. People living in Pödelwitz are often learners and teachers at the same time, who have a treasure trove of experiential knowledge in addition to professional competence. What is newly learned is directly implemented in everyday life, tried out and improved if necessary. In this way, the experiences flow back into the learning content. Visitors are invited to take part in events on site: To immerse themselves in a holistic way and to gather authentic experiences. A seminar house with sleeping facilities creates a fixed framework for the educational offers, which can range in content from permaculture design, energy self-sufficiency or care to organ seminars.

Exchange with the region

A small place like Pödelwitz cannot and should not function alone. All our activities should shine into the region and bring people into exchange. We want to plan activities together with other villages, use synergy effects and support each other. Infrastructures should be planned in such a way that they make sense and, if necessary, be used jointly

The result: A vibrant village community with a healthy environment

All the ideas and concepts mentioned above intertwine and combine to form an overall concept that ensures a lively village community in the long term and makes life in the village attractive for all generations.

Alle Illustrationen auf dieser Seite stammen von Nadine Kradorf