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Urban Permaculture 3D Exterior Design


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How can New York City citizens living in one of the highest density, oldest industrial corridor, live in more ecologically intelligent ways? In permaculture design we look to our history to inform our understanding. As we learn the history land use and the communities where we live we begin to see what are the relevant areas of work to address our real needs. In permaculture we define real needs as high quality drinking water, healthy air to breathe, a vibrant and diverse local economy to participate in, healthy food grown on healthy soil, biodiverse mature ecosystems a caring and loving human community with low stress levels. These are contrasted to perceived needs and beliefs in invisble cultural constructs, such as the value of the U.S. currency GNP (Gross National Product) and the obsession with lawns. Our economy reflects the exploitation and destruction of stable ecologies and cultures as growth.

Growth for growths sake is what canacer is, permaculture asks 'what do we want to grow'? True health and wealth in our forests, soils and cultural diversity, not polluted landscapes and fragmented cultures. A perceived need is status and more high tech fossil fuelled and nuclear powered devices.

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The pursuit of these generally jeaporadizes real needs by contaminating them. In the U.S. our rivers caught on fire before we decided to create the E.P.A. and the Clean water Act in 1972. The stated goal at the time of creating the Clean Water Act was to have of the nations waters fishable and swimmable by 1985. Today we are dismally distant from such a goal. In fact we are approaching pre 1972 pollution levels across the entire country. Today the E.P.A. estimates that 40% of rivers and streams are unfishable and unswimmable and 50% of lakes and ponds are unfishable and unswimmable. We will look into our equally problematic air quality realities and how to address them. Our design solution set for water issues will be integrated in our solution set for air quality issues.

From a permaculture design perspective, we need to shift our thinking culturally. This shift involoves creating economies that have a triple bottom line, has ecological viability, socially equitable, and economically viable. In that order, any element in our economy needs to equally satisify these three criteria to be "sustainable" or preferably regenerative and abundant. In this healthy growth economy we will manage air, water, and soil in Agriculture as a sacred and inalienable public right. No individual, corporation or government agency will be given the right to potentially cause the citizens to die from carcinoma or other military industrial infrastructure pollutants.

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We are creating this healthy economy now! In the midst of this unethical system we create ties and accentuate them with other ethically minded human beings. The record shows that in New York City the citizens are deprived of the right to swim in the apparently beautiful and potentially abundant waters which surround the city. According to the DEP for NYC the waterways around New York City receive in total annually, 27 Billion gallons of RAW sewage from CSO's (Combined Sewage Overflows), which are released by the sewage treatment plants when it rains. Newtown Creek sewage treatment releases over 125 million gallons of raw sewage a year. Newtown creek also receives toxic leachate oozing into it from an underground spill left by Exxon which is bigger then the Valdez spill spreading daily under Brooklyn and making residents sick.

We need to address these issues from a permaculture design perspective. We need more green diverse vegetation over the entire cityscape, lush boston ivy on buildings,extends the life of the exterior and cools and helps insulate, rooftop gardens, street trees everywhere, green roofs where they make sense, wildlife corridors along streams, parks and community gardens, daylighting and reforesting streams, rainwater cisterns for gardens and integrated into buildings to flush toilets and do laundry, more on-site treating sewage in new construction with living biologically diverse waste treatment systems, biodiverse native trees and shrubs have been shown to clean more pollution from the rain. Rain in the northeast carries lead and mercury from coal burning power plants rendering all fish in the U.S. according to the F.D.A unsafe for human consumption regularly.

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Biodiverse native plantings also perform more opportunities to integrate wildlife benefits and beneficial planting arrangements to create more self-maintaining plantings. Growing a lot more beautiful diverse food producing gardens. Grapes, Espaliered tri-grafted asian pears. Your own Arugula, Apricots, and fresh herbs! All this vegetation and diversity will be multi-functional, it will address the heat island effect of all this asphalt, soak up rain water preventing the CSO's making our waterways useable for recreation, and eventually oyster production again.



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I have done permaculture in the past, have studied it, and I fully support what you are saying; you have inspired me to return to parmaculture. Thank you for putting your topic into the Nexus Forums but I suspect it might do better in the 'Lounge'!

:thumbsup: :yes: :thumbsup: :yes: :dance:

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