Why Create Your Permaculture City?
Do you want to...
—Learn how to grow huge amounts of food in small spaces?
—Save money on your energy bills?
—Drought-proof you yard and use less water?
—Discover how to create more livable neighborhoods?
—Reduce your reliance on money and build social capital?
This 7-week online course is designed to give you both the theory and practical tools for using permaculture to enhance your life from the individual to community level. In this course, based on (but going deeper than) Hemenway’s new book, The Permaculture City. You will:
• Learn about growing food, designing comfortable, energy-saving outdoor and indoor living spaces, creating habitat, conserving and harvesting water, reducing and recycling waste, and reducing your energy footprint—all using permaculture principles
• Discover ways to empower your community and make your city more livable
• Explore ways to develop a meaningful livelihood and foster a more sustainable relationship with money
• Develop an urban permaculture toolkit using real examples from innovators
• Learn permaculture-based solutions for problems faced by our rapidly urbanizing world
What You'll Learn...
Class 1: Permaculture Design with an Urban Twist
How do we work constructively with the special conditions in cities, suburbs, and towns so we can grow food, build habitat, conserve water, use energy wisely, and live well? Permaculture has a toolkit that is beautifully suited to city and town life. In this sessions we’ll explore how meeting our needs in town is different from doing the same in the country, and we’ll learn a set of important design and thinking tools for creating abundance. We’ll introduce the four basic tools of permaculture design—zones, sectors, needs-and-yields, and highest use—and see examples of how to use them in small yards as well as in your home, relationships, and work.
Class 2: Super-Abundance in the Small-Yard Garden
We’ll see how the design tools we learned in Session 1 can help us grow huge amounts of food in small spaces, reduce pest problems, save water, shrink heating and cooling costs, boost biodiversity, and shrink the amount of work needed to do that. We’ll also see how some classic permaculture ideas, such as guilds and herb spirals, can be tweaked to fit the special conditions of the small yard.
Class 3: More Small-Space Strategies: Finding More Room for Gardening
In this session you’ll get familiar with several specific methods for growing lots of food in tiny spaces, and also how to assess what plants (food, ornamental, and habitat) will be the right ones for your own conditions and lifestyle. We’ll look at vertical gardening, using walls, containers, and mobile garden beds, and also we’ll see how to deal with the toxic soils that often exist in city yards.
Class 4: Water Wisdom, Metropolitan Style
How can we reduce our water bill and also the burden we put on city infrastructure such as sewers and reservoirs (which can reduce our taxes)? This session will look at rainwater harvesting, graywater use in the small yard, and how to save water in the home.
Class 5: Energy Solutions for Homes and Communities
This session will offer some tools for thinking about energy and how to use less of it without drastically affecting your lifestyle. What is the best kind of fuel or energy to use for the different tasks we need it for? We’ll learn some tools for making wise decisions about using energy and shrinking our carbon footprint.
Class 6: Livelihood, Real Wealth, and Becoming Valuable
Here we’ll look at ways to reduce our dependence on money with innovative ideas like the eight forms of capital, and see how to create income security by becoming more valuable to our community. We’ll also explore ways to find meaningful work and livelihood.
Class 7: Placemaking and Tools for Creating Empowered Communities
How can we make our cities and towns more livable? How can we help our neighborhoods become places of safety and community? This session will look at placemaking, re-shaping our neighborhoods to be more cohesive and vibrant, and see from examples how our local governments can be made more responsive to our needs.
Why It's Important...
Over half of the world’s people live in cities; if you include suburbs, it’s nearly 70%. This means that reaching people who live in cities and towns with tools for sustainability is a must if we are going to be good stewards of this planet. The methods and ideas you’ll learn in this course will help our metropolitan areas and small towns become more livable, too.
But beyond those social and ecological benefits, there are good personal reasons for taking this course: you’ll learn ways to save money, save effort, save resources, and become more secure in food, energy, and livelihood. Plus, your yard will become an even more beautiful and abundant place for you and for wildlife and will give you a rich, peaceful sanctuary from the busy world. By taking this course, you’ll enrich yourself in many ways while helping preserve this marvelous planet for future generations and for the rest of nature, too.