Designing Resilient Communities Using Permaculture

Steve Whitman, AICP, and Sharon Ferguson discuss what planners need to know about Permaculture, a holistic, integrated system analysis and design tool that very few planners are using.

Offering "a pathway to a positive transition beyond sustainability to resilient communities," the authors argue, "Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that are modeled on the relationships found in natural ecologies."

Differing from sustainable community planning efforts in that Permaculture, "seeks to integrate the proposed sustainable elements (e.g., water catchment, renewable energy, district heating, food growing, waste recycling, transportation, etc.) into a whole system that operates efficiently so that the number of inputs are minimized but outputs attained are maximized," write Whitman and Ferguson, "The goal is to create an ecosystem that provides as many useful products and functions out of the system as the designer's abilities allow while healing the planet."

In this article, Whitman and Ferguson spotlight four examples that "illustrate the range of applying permaculture tools and strategies."

Thanks to Sharon Ferguson

Full Story: Taking the Permaculture Path to Community Resilience


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."