How do we work to change our thinking to make permaculture urban?

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by Annica Mynax, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Annica Mynax

    Annica Mynax New Member

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    Hi!
    My question is: How is our thinking changing, how do you as permaculture community change the way you think and relate to bring permaculture principles into the urban landscape and into urban planning? I suppose I should include myself in the debate. How do we do this. At the present time this seems to from where I am sitting as FUTURISTIC visions.
    I just watched Geoff Lawton in his Permaculture Design introduction DVD. It didn't say where it was from other than that it was in the subtropics. I guess it might have been near the Channon in Northern New South Wales. The DVD showed a beautiful, near utopian RURAL living environment that really inspired me as a viewer. There was abundant space and peace and quiet. Not a person in sight. I could spot a dog and a couple of cows, ducks, chickens and lots of earth worms. I decided I'm going to have to go to the area soon and sign in for a visit tour of the institute property.
    I recently spent a lot of time in South East Asia on a bicycle. Riding from village to village and crossing country borders on a bike. Poorer areas in high rain fall tropics still live very close to nature, have simple, small dwellings and a community where you still grow a lot of crops, rice, taro and have farm animals very close to your home. Most of the now 7 billion large population on the planet make $10 a day nowadays, I've read in the Unesco information. I don't know if it's accurate. How would our lives be if we had to reduce our consumption and income to become a part of the majority? This is my debate question. Can we change our thinking and our needs to the point of us being able to feel that this is quality of life? Or is this a completely silly question? Can communities of what are now looked down upon as khamphongs or 'semi slum areas' become sustainable permaculture communities with attractive low cost buildings rather than tin shacks? The same goes for our high income societies. Many of us in the developed world don't want to have to work full time jobs to have to pay for over priced housing. Will the future councils and planners have to incorporate provisions for people who choose to live a more simple existence at lower cost?
    I don't know if I'm wrong, but Australia seems to have moved away from community living and community title to private ownership. It's become out of fashion because community takes time and resources to manage, and probably because it involves a degree of differing opinions which might lead to conflict and a struggle of resources. Community is seen a hippy thing. Stagnating places with lazy people who sit around and talk about what to do rather than doing and then it all falls apart especially if there are white ants eating up the dwellings. As for the individualist entrepreneurship that has come it its wake where property is assets and BIG money! Where hippy communities have become investments and quick bucks turned into BMWs and and rich Byron Bay jet set! The question is...Where is it heading? Where are the New Australian Poor in this equation and where are the egalitarian people headed at this present moment? The poorer are still poor and the money making middle class green crew are making their money from property mostly! And with that we are going to see more sub division and estates popping up that are not at all sustainable. I'd just like to see someone bringing in some debate and new ideas in this area to combat me in this fairly pessimistic debate piece. Look forward to you bringing my thinking around!
     
  2. Try Reason

    Try Reason Junior Member

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    People (majority of) only make a big change when they're pushed. Change only happens when people don't see any other way to progress. Resource shortages and nature will be the catalyst for that. Our way of life now is a kind of extension of a matrix of mega-corporate modelling as well as, or supported by politics all pandering to our emotions. It's been happening since the 50s when consumer psychology was really hitting it's stride. We all know that making such a drastic change to whole communities certainly isn't in the model and what goes against the model must be eliminated (that's in the model too). In a sense the whole way the producer-consumer system is arranged is analogous an ecology of sorts. You could think on it as a parasite/host system where the parasite is all of us and the host is the planet or the parasite is the corporate conglomerate and the host is the communities. It's a bit difficult to call it a symbiosis as this term really only applies to a successful cooperation for both sides. You could even think of it as cattle farming in another sense.

    Now, I have no idea how deliberate or accidental any of this is and really, it's beside the point. The real point is that it's unsustainable. The parasite is out of control and is killing the host, the farmer is producing way too many cattle and his pastures wont be able to support a herd and the businesses are over using resources in the ongoing quest for exponential growth, which is what western economics depends on. Now, nearly all of us like to be comfy in our wasteful lifestyles prescribed and sold to us without an appointment or second opinion. The really insulting thing though is that we are expected to toe the line on this and if you have a moment of clarity and question it, you're looked upon with suspiscion.

    Some people are awake now, others have always been awake. They will be at an advantage when things change. An awful lot of people are going to be hungry and desperate though and they'll be looking for places like small farms and food gardens to find something to eat. We won't be able to educate enough people on how to do it themselves in time I feel because people only make a big change when they're pushed.
     
  3. chrisjs

    chrisjs Junior Member

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    We are an urban project (ecodiy.org) - the way I look at it the urban environment has more resources available (at the moment) than the rural one - due to the wastefulness of the culture we live in and permaculture thinking works just as well here as anywhere. Projects in urban areas (there are lots of others) are vital as As a examples to learn from if the transition we know must happen is to come about.
     
  4. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    The first change starts with yourself, and what you do at YOUR place. Then your friends and neighbors become interested or not, no need to push, but they will suddenly start seeing the change that is happening world wide, and become a part of it. It's a simple expression of the global collective unconsciousness going on if you believe in Carl Jung's works.
     
  5. TheDirtSurgeon

    TheDirtSurgeon Junior Member

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    Now there's a challenge I can sink my teeth into.

    But... your post is a bit vague and rambling so I'm at a loss as to what you're trying to debate. There's this --

    That what is quality of life? An equatorial shithole slum?

    People don't live there, and in those conditions, because they choose to. Hand each of 5 billion third-worlders a big enough check, and watch how fast they move to a suburb and buy an SUV and a TV. Plenty enough have already. The key for the world's wealthy liberals... is how to keep those with the littlest slice of the pie from dreaming that they might have a bit more of it.

    Fundamentally at odds with reality -- if we may go there -- is the notion that every humanoid on the planet deserves an exactly equal share of everything.
     
  6. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    You mentioned both the SUV lifestyle and slums, polar extremes in living conditions. I'm thinking the goal is somewhere in the middle with an awareness of our place in the natural systems of the Earth and the resulting abundance of those good things (good food, good water, good air) that go hand-in-hand with putting back as much as we take.

    Changing "our" thinking, as was said above, involves the growing global realization that we live on a finite planet and yeast-like overgrowth will only lead to extinction. I believe that this realization is happening right now ... and that we can "be the change" as we go about consciously exploring the possibilities of how to live in concert with our Earth.
     
  7. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    I agree with what everyone has said in their responses. Until you undo the notion of growth equals prosperity, and that more stuff is the way to go, nothing anyone does will make much difference to the prevailing structure of human development, systems and thought. It pervades all aspects of life.

    I often think that it boils down to fear somewhat. Just think, if everyone was sure that they would be looked after in old age, would the drive to get more money, stuff and property to ward off things that may happen in the future be so prevalent? Would there be so much greed and lust for power? Would we be more concerned about more important things in life? just musings...........
     
  8. Unmutual

    Unmutual Junior Member

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    “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
    -Mahatma Gandhi

    This is the premise that I am working under. While some people can effect the globe(see what the co-creators of Permaculture have done/are doing), others simply can't.

    Stop thinking in negatives and start thinking positively. What can YOU do to change things in your life and home. Make a permaculture garden(and as Bill Mollison has shown, you don't need a large piece of land to do it. You can do this on a small area such as the balcony of an apartment). If you have the space, plant some fruit trees/bushes, a vegetable garden, supporting plants and get some chickens(or other animal). Or simply plant anything you like except grass. You can easily get away with that in the backyard. The front yard, however, is a different story. You can still get away with planting other things than grass in the front yard, but you're going to have to really think about that design and plan well to avoid issues with the neighbors and local government. Working within the system is less stressful for you(and it can really piss off people who are a slave to it!).
     
  9. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Annica

    Welcome (belatedly) to the PRI Forum.

    From where a lot of other people are sitting, those 'futuristic visions' are becoming present realities. Take note of Costa's new role as host of Gardening Australia, for example. In particular, check out what he and his local community are doing 'on the verge'.

    In terms of implementing permaculture principles via 'urban planning' practices, see: this post.

    Too true, my friend, and otherwise known as: permaculture 'by stealth'.

    Cheerio, Markos.
     
  10. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Urban permaculture.... I'd look at David Holmgren's ideas on retrofitting the suburbs (Oz and NZ), and what has happened in Cuba, specifically in the cities.
     
  11. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  12. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Stop just accepting everything we are told and actually evaluate it.
     

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