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Chelsea Green Publishing
The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town

The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town

by Toby Hemenway


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The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town

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.

This important book documents the rise of a new sophistication, depth, and diversity in the approaches and thinking of permaculture designers and practitioners. Understanding nature can do more than improve how we grow, make, or consume things; it can also teach us how to cooperate, make decisions, and arrive at good solutions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781603585262
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date: 07/31/2015
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 645,743
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Toby Hemenway was the author of the first major North American book on permaculture,Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, as well asThe Permaculture City. After obtaining a degree in biology from Tufts University, Toby worked for many years as a researcher in genetics and immunology, first in academic laboratories at Harvard and the University of Washington in Seattle, and then at Immunex, a major medical biotech company. At about the time he was growing dissatisfied with the direction biotechnology was taking, he discovered permaculture, a design approach based on ecological principles that creates sustainable landscapes, homes, and workplaces. A career change followed, and Toby and his wife spent ten years creating a rural permaculture site in southern Oregon. He was associate editor ofPermaculture Activist, a journal of ecological design and sustainable culture, from 1999 to 2004. He taught permaculture and consulted and lectured on ecological design throughout the country, and his writing appeared in magazines such asWhole Earth Review,Natural Home, andKitchen Gardener. Toby passed away in 2016.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Looking at Cities through a Permaculture Lens ix

1 The Surprisingly Green City 1

2 Permaculture Design with an Urban Twist 19

3 Designing the Urban Home Garden 49

4 Techniques for the Urban Home Garden 73

5 Strategies for Gardening in Community 105

6 Water Wisdom, Metropolitan Style 127

7 Energy Solutions for Homes and Communities 153

8 Livelihood, Real Wealth, and Becoming Valuable 181

9 Placemaking and the Empowered Community 203

10 Tools for Designing Resilient Cities 229

Acknowledgments 241

Notes 243

Index 251

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