· What motivates communities to consciously reject municipal infrastructure and “mainstream” market services for privatized, “off-the-grid” services?
· Where did residents of ecovillages live before, and what motivated them to move?
· How do ecovillages distinguish themselves from other communities of intent (i.e. co-housing, communes, co-ops) and privatized (gated) communities, which all actively seek alternatives to mainstream urban development?
· What differences exist amongst ecovillages? Are they different in different geographies?
· What are the perceived benefits of living in ecovillages, and have ecovillages met the expectations of their aspirants over time?
· What kinds of skills and capital are necessary to initiate and maintain an ecovillage?
· What types of social structure and informal social control are necessary to maintain an ecovillage?
· What factors influence ecovillage size (land area and population)?
· What symbolic role does nature play in the community? What symbols, images, or rituals distinguish ecovillages from conventional developments?
· As an “intentional community” are ecovillage necessarily exclusive? How are residents chosen? What are the obstacles to becoming a resident? Are there hierarchies of membership?
· In a community that intentionally unites members of common interest, what difficulties do ecovillages face with regard to diversity? In other words, does an interest in ecological preservation transcend race, class, gender, and age characteristics?
· What gender, age, or income cleavages exist within ecovillages? Do any of these characteristics manifest hierarchically in ecovillages?
· To what extent do ecovillages live up to their stated objectives? What contradictions exist between these ideals and the lived actuality of ecovillages? Are they really as sustainable as they purport to be?
· What outside resources are needed to maintain an ecovillage lifestyle?
· How does planning work in ecovillages? What epistemologies are valued? Who makes plans and how do these intersect with the “outside” world.
· What are the institutional obstacles ecovillages face, for example from local planning and subdivision regulations? How have local planners aided or rejected ecovillage development?
· How is land-use in ecovillages distinct from zoned land in urban areas?
· Can ecovillages be considered at type of “insurgent” development, acting in defiance to conventional social structures?
· What can urban planners learn from ecovillage development? How can “mainstream” development apply the lessons of ecologically oriented development?