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permaculture in urban planning strategy? getting in? consulting?

 
pollinator
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Location: Hilversum, Netherlands, urban, zone 7
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Hi all,

I'm very interested in using permaculture for urban sustainability.

By training I'm a social scientist with a specialisation in urban sustainability governance, so, how does local governments (city council) work together with all the other actors and how are decisions made on the basis of what knowledge in order to make the city more sustainable. So, I've worked a lot about urban planning, without actually doing it.

Does anybody have experience with urban planners, or is one, who is working to using permaculture principles in practice?
I'd love for you to share your experience. How did you bring those in? Did you encounter any resistance? What worked well, what didn't?

There is a big 'gap in the market' so to say for permaculture strategy. People could really use the design approach for better cities, and at lower costs, to build up interconnections and multiple functions for one element, etc.

I'd be interested in setting myself up as a permaculture consultant with a focus on urban planning. Probably need to get experience in urban planning as such. Just throwing ideas out there, but I really think this is the BIG direction that things are going to go.

Any thoughts welcome!
 
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Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Shaz Jameson wrote:Hi all,

I'm very interested in using permaculture for urban sustainability.

By training I'm a social scientist with a specialisation in urban sustainability governance, so, how does local governments (city council) work together with all the other actors and how are decisions made on the basis of what knowledge in order to make the city more sustainable. So, I've worked a lot about urban planning, without actually doing it.

Does anybody have experience with urban planners, or is one, who is working to using permaculture principles in practice?
I'd love for you to share your experience. How did you bring those in? Did you encounter any resistance? What worked well, what didn't?

There is a big 'gap in the market' so to say for permaculture strategy. People could really use the design approach for better cities, and at lower costs, to build up interconnections and multiple functions for one element, etc.

I'd be interested in setting myself up as a permaculture consultant with a focus on urban planning. Probably need to get experience in urban planning as such. Just throwing ideas out there, but I really think this is the BIG direction that things are going to go.

Any thoughts welcome!



The easiest way to get planners to listen is to show them your ideas for vacant lots, portions of parks that aren't used by people or that can't be used by people. Include how your ideas will give idle folks things to do, as well as how your ideas can solve problems the planners are dealing with.
It never hurts at all to also have a list of people's names (that are ready to do the work needed) so the planners will know there is a good amount of interest and that they won't have to budget so much for the labor needed to complete the project (s) you are putting forth to them.

Governments will be helpful but usually they want to know that the people will like what they decide to do, especially if your proposal (s) come during an election year and prior to that election.
If you can't show them that a lot of people are willing to be a part of your ideas, don't expect the planners to be enthusiastic about your proposal (s).
 
Shaz Jameson
pollinator
Posts: 146
Location: Hilversum, Netherlands, urban, zone 7
15
purity urban books food preservation bike bee
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Thanks for the feedback Bryant. It's true, just go ahead and plan it and then show them how well it will work.

I was also thinking more broadly beyond just food forests on plots, for instance. More about how to get regenerative design principles into city-wide strategies for energy, water, waste, etc. I'm goin to try to talk to the waste company of the city to see waht actually happens, though I really feel like city-wide strategies are where there's going ot be more impact.
 
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Hi there.

I studied Environmental Planning and have completed a Permaculture Design Certificate. Whilst I have not yet worked in my field, I am very interested in applying permaculture principles in city planning.
My particular interest in the principle of zero waste and initiatives that create cyclical resource use, such as the cradle to cradle prospect.
I believe for true change we must empower the community to create its own initiatives, or to become very involved in Council initiatives. Social/environmental change is more effective from the grassroots.

I'd love to hear what you get up to, and your progress in this area.
 
Shaz Jameson
pollinator
Posts: 146
Location: Hilversum, Netherlands, urban, zone 7
15
purity urban books food preservation bike bee
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Hi Macaila, that's exactly the kind of thing I was thinking. I'm very interested in this field, and I think there is TREMENDOUS scope to incorporate permaculture principles into urban planning.

There's a growing trend about following urban metabolisms and creating 'circular economies', which is heading in the right direction, though here in the Netherlands it's seems that its fashionable and seen mostly as a business opportunity for startupts, but hasn't caught on too much yet as a potential coming from within the city council's planning strategy.

Let's keep each other informed about our work/soon-to-be-work!

If you're ready to read a bit of a story, here is my most recent practical example - the composting situation in my town. It is institutionalised, the company who collects garbage also collects compostable biomass and gives it to an external company on the other side of the (albeitedly small) country, who turns it into compost and (presumably) sells it to farmers. This is a great system for reusing materials on an urban scale!

But there are 2 issues,

1 - we don't have access to the compost that is made. I asked. We effectively give them free organic matter that they process and sell, for the convenience of picking it up. We even pay taxes for them to pick up the garbage. I can only imagine the profit. So I'm working on community level compost so we can actually keep the materials on site and use them in gardens.

2 - this urban scale composting only works for people who have a house. For people who live in a storied-house or live in an appartment complex, ie. most of the population, there are next to no collective containers for compost where you would presumably bring your compost in the same way that you bring your garbage bags to the container.

There is a pretty extensive recycling program, but for these homes that are not standalone houses, the rules are unclear. When we lived in an appartment it happened repeatedly that I put out my plastic recycling on the day it was said they'd come round, and they never picked it up. You're meant to bring it to a central recycling centre. As for the compostables, you're meant to bring it to the main recycling plant. Completely unrealistic.

I contacted the company asking why there were no collective containers. They said that 'in areas where they were, the green bins were malused and so were removed in order to remove costs'. I asked whether it was possibile to ask for a green bin if, say, the people living in the area had changed and they would really like to recycle their compost. They said no, not possible to request. So they'd rather that all appartment dwellers throw their compost into the bin.


Now, this may perhaps sound like a petty complaint, howevever I see it as an exercise in how to get sustainable practices actually applied across the city level. It's about changing practices in a strategic way.

How can we make composting
1 institutionalised at the urban level so it is accessible to all, and not just those who afford to live in a house?
2) profitable enough for the company doing the garbage collecting that they'll actually want to follow through?

I'm just sharing my thoughts of the moment with ya here, any feedback welcome.





 
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Location: Seattle, WA
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I would highly suggest looking into what William McDonough and Michael Braungart are doing and their book "Cradle to Cradle" that includes entire, self-sustaining, waste-free city design.  I am in Seattle and would definitely like to get involved in this movement in this city.  Any connections are welcome!  I'm curious about starting at the city college level (currently going to South Seattle College) and how that can develop permaculture both physically and socially.
 
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