Intentional communities in rural spaces

Louise Meijering*, Paulus Huigen, Bettina Van Hoven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we focus on intentional communities in the Western world. These communities consist of a variety of groups, with different characteristics, ideologies and motivations. Examples are eco-villages, religious communities and communities of lesbians. These groups intend, at least to some extent, to withdraw from mainstream urban society, challenging norms of urban life, e.g. wasteful behaviour, stressful lives or heterosexual stereotypes, and create their own places in rural areas. Key questions that we seek to address in the paper are: What types of intentional communities can be identified? To what extent are intentional communities withdrawn from the rural areas in which they are established? We attempt to answer these through discussing the results of a survey among 496 communities. Furthermore, we describe an example of the ecological type of community, since these communities are most explicitly challenging urban norms and values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-52
Number of pages11
JournalTijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • intentional communities
  • Western world
  • survey analysis
  • typology
  • rural space
  • withdrawal

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