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

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