From Chelsea Green Publishing: "Permaculture is more than just the latest buzzword; it offers positive solutions for many of the environmental and social challenges confronting us. And nowhere are those remedies more needed and desired than in our cities. The Permaculture City provides a new way of thinking about urban living, with practical examples for creating abundant food, energy security, close-knit communities, local and meaningful livelihoods, and sustainable policies in our cities and towns. The same nature-based approach that works so beautifully for growing food―connecting the pieces of the landscape together in harmonious ways―applies perfectly to many of our other needs. Toby Hemenway, one of the leading practitioners and teachers of permaculture design, illuminates a new way forward through examples of edge-pushing innovations, along with a deeply holistic conceptual framework for our cities, towns, and suburbs.
The Permaculture City begins in the garden but takes what we have learned there and applies it to a much broader range of human experience; we’re not just gardening plants but people, neighborhoods, and even cultures. Hemenway lays out how permaculture design can help towndwellers solve the challenges of meeting our needs for food, water, shelter, energy, community, and livelihood in sustainable, resilient ways. Readers will find new information on designing the urban home garden and strategies for gardening in community, rethinking our water and energy systems, learning the difference between a “job” and a “livelihood,” and the importance of placemaking and an empowered community."
As always, Toby Hemenway's book is well-written and thoroughly detailed, cited, and thoughtful. Toby starts the book with an introduction to permaculture and then starts to make his case for how a city can be green. The general format of how Toby approaches topics in this book is with a brief history of the subject of that chapter (which is quite useful to see how history has shaped our perceptions and beliefs), and then he applies the same four or five methods to each subject to explain how the needs of that chapter can be met through a permaculture lens. What I appreciated the most from the book was how Toby applied "Mission, Goals, Strategy, and Techniques" to each section. His focus on stepping back from the techniques-perspective of hsi book was especially important for getting me to see the bigger picture and how to find the right techniques for a given situation or place. The most interesting chapters for me were Chapters 8 and 9, which were about human interactions and making a community. I had not considered to think about people this way before, through the permaculture lens, and now it is a lot more interesting to figure out how to improve relationships with others and how to effectively get things done wherever I am.
EDIT: changed "ten" to 10 so it affects the book review grid. Numerals required.