What is an “Eco-municipality 5.0” ?

When was the concept of “Ecomunicipality 5.0” invented ?

The first Eco-municipality was created in Övertorneå in 1983 and the whole concept of Eco-municipality was then completely new. By trial and error, we managed to step-by-step define what an Eco-municipality is or should tend to be, and throughout the years, the definition has changed and improved. Instead of reinventing the name Eco-municipality, we chose to stick with its original name and add a version number, in order to show the history of this concept. The current definition emerged from the project Sustainable Robertsfors, which took place in 2007.


A System Perspective of Eco-municipalities

Ecomunicipality 5.0 is based on a system perspective, which includes 8 Sustainability Principles, themselves divided into two categories : Ecological Sustainability and Social Sustainability.

These Principles aren’t used on their own. They are used to link the three circles, that are Nature, Society and Individuals/Humans. We consider that Humans have a relation with Nature, but also one with the society in which they live. Society in turn, is what gathers Humans together and defines their place in Nature.

Ecological Sustainability

The goal of the Eco-municipality is to establish a balance in which human societies and Nature cooperate, which could be defined as “Ecological Sustainability”. Here we find for instance the need to manage resources in a sustainable manner, and preserve the environment. Principles 1 to 3 :

  • Concentration of substances extracted from the Earth’s crust
  • Concentration of substance producted by society
  • Degradation by physical means.


Social Sustainability

But Eco-municipality 5.0 is also looking forward to allow Humans to understand their own role and meaning within their Society, which is what we call “Social Sustainability”. Here is where we find for instance the need of having one’s own identity, meaning and stability in their relations with other humans. Principles 4 to 8 :

  • Personal integrity
  • Influence
  • Competence
  • Fairness
  • Meaning

Eco-municipalities in the world

The list (and map) of the 107 Swedish eco-municipalities can be seen here (in swedish)