Loural Village

Loural Village used to be an abandoned typical village, this project gave it life again, using money from a European found. It is the prototype of sustainable development. In other words, Loural is a project that tries to respect the Portuguese culture, particularly the traditional rural villages, as well as focus on the environmental sustainability. The paths and terraces, the centenary chestnut forest and the river surround the slate stone houses. With a far distance from Góis, this community was founded by Francisco and Diana, a couple which fell in love with the village, in 2008. This type of project is not that common in Portugal, as in many other countries. In fact, it is based on an exclusive idea, which makes it so unique.

Fig 1. Loural is a rich, cultural and natural heritage

Since the main goal of Loural Village is to become self-sufficient, many measures have already been implemented, such as permaculture, rainwater separation, heating the houses with wood burners, warming the water with solar panels, composting organic waste and growing food. Permaculture is a specific type of agriculture that tries to reduce the waste, creating a renewable carbon cycle. Loural works with solutions that support its self-sufficiency and sustainability, for instance, by obtaining required knowledge, replanting the original forest with endemic plants and filtering the waste water with reed beds.  Moreover, in the village, all the detergents used are ecological so that they don’t damage the environment.

Concerning the activities, Loural has a wide range of options to offer. Beginning with the meditation centre, the aim is for visitors to achieve inner peace and harmony, connecting with Nature. The importance of diversity is always recognised, in a way that it isn’t relevant the religion that visitors follow.  According to a member of the staff, in the near future, they intend to create pack holidays so that groups of foreigners can enjoy a typical yoga retire. Furthermore, they plan to create flow-impact buildings, using other materials rather than slate stone and a camping area.

Fig 2. Meditation center of Loural

On top of that, old village houses are being restored so that Loural Village can receive permanent inhabitants and visitors. For those who are interested in helping, it is possible to volunteer, and cleaning the forest and terraces and renovate where needed. Besides that, they organise workshops where visitors are able to enjoy themselves and learn a lot from this experience.

In summary, in Loural Village, everyone experiences the abundance of green places with a relaxed and sustainable lifestyle, escaping from the regular stressful routines. This project is still in progress and there are several ideas still waiting to be improved. Despite these improvements that are still to come, it is an exceptional example of how sustainable development can be implemented, since it combines the economical interests with the environmental protection. It’s an eco-village that attracts those who seek an intimate experience with nature and a desire for human expansion and transformation. It’s an example of a small-scale community which everyone ought to follow.

Group 4

Carolina Gomes, Inês Matos, Matej Majersky, Demetris Christodoulou, Asli can Çoplu