What is Permaculture?

Developed in the 1970s by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in Tasmania Permaculture is not easily summed up. It resists an accurate mental picture making it difficult to explain in a few short words. Essentially permaculture is a design process. It is an ethical framework of principles for the development of sustainable human settlements. In the words of David Holmgren ‘permaculture is not the landscape, or even the skills of organic gardening, sustainable farming, energy efficient building or eco village development as such. But (permaculture) can be used to design, establish, manage and improve these and all other efforts made by individuals, households and communities towards a sustainable future.’ David Holmgren (2002) Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability, Holmgren Design Services

Permaculture: Ethics and Design Principles

The ethical foundations of permaculture are earth carepeople care and fair share. The following design principles developed by David Holmgren and so eloquently described as ‘simply thinking tools to assist us in identifying, designing and evolving design solutions’*

  1. Observe and interact
  2. Catch and store energy
  3. Obtain a yield
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services
  6. Produce no waste
  7. Design from patterns to details
  8. Integrate rather than segregate
  9. Use small and slow solutions
  10. Use and value diversity
  11. Use edges and value the marginal
  12. Creatively use and respond to change

*David Holmgren (2002) Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability, Holmgren Design Services

How they ‘pear up’

The Urban pear draws on the ethics and principles of both permaculture and landscape architecture profession in our work, how we run our business and in our daily lives. Acknowledging that one is a set of ethics for a professional body and therefore specific in their application to interventions in the landscape. The other a set of ethics guiding the principles and practice of a design system for sustainable living that goes beyond land and nature stewardship. We see significant similarities in the foundations and the practice of each, in particular the design process. They are both a dynamic fusion of art and science Both acknowledge climate change and its impacts Both are seeking sustainable holistic outcomes And where they differ is fruit for dialogue and debate

What is a Landscape Architecture?

Landscape Architecture is the design profession concerned with the design, planning, management and stewardship of the landscape. Landscape architects seek innovative and creative design solutions to create integrated and vibrant spaces that balance environmental and human needs. Landscape architects engage with the complexities of urban and regional spaces and engage with all layers and scales of the landscape to find great solutions. What is a Landscape Architect?

Who is AILA?

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) is the professional body for Landscape Architects in Australia. As member of the International Federation of Landscape Architects, AILA recognises ethical standards towards

  1. Society & Clients,
  2. Professional Colleagues and the
  3. Landscape & Environment

The Australian Landscape Charter

The Australian Landscape Charter seeks to establish a framework for active commitment to the Australian landscape by Registered Landscape Architects through leadership, design, stewardship, and collaboration. The Charter embraces the Australian Landscape Principles and aims to provide a vision to guide strategic actions for Australian Registered Landscape Architects. The Australian Landscape Principles articulate an ethical decision-making framework for landscape planning, design and management within the built environment. Their purpose is to strategically direct landscape interventions both in our existing and future built environments towards more sustainable, holistic outcomes.

  1. Value our landscape
  2. Protect > Enhance > Regenerate
  3. Design with respect
  4. Design for the future
  5. Embrace responsive design

For further details about The Australian Landscape Principles go to: www.aila.org.au/policystatements The above text is reproduced in part from the AILA’s National Policy Statements which encompass Practice and the Environment Copyright – Australian Institute of Landscape Architects

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