[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: Bill Mollison copyright statement
> Thanks for your letter Paul... my comments are embedded within your text......
> Valuable comments, Russ, and they suggest exactly the sort of issues we need
> to explore in the University of New South Wales Ecoliving Project.
> Three areas come to mind straight away (and I am sure others will arise in
> the course of the Ecoliving Project!)
> 1. The conventional zonal approach focusses on the individual property, or
> perhaps the village, as the core.
Yes, it does. Yet, as I pointed out in my original email, fewer
dwellers have access to their own property although, per capita,
Australia still has
one of the highest retes of home ownership in the western world. An
of those homes, as I said, are, in fact, apartments and this has
the permaculture zone system and the proximity of the zone one system to
Sydney home costs have skyrocketed over the past decade, in comparison
to home prices
in other states. That has put them out of reach for many people - it is
linked to the
growing wealth divide in Australian society so well described by social researcher
Hugh Mackay. What this means is that home ownership is less accessible
to more people
and this situation is likely to worsen if present trends continue.
My question is how should permaculture address this trend when, as you
say, it is
focused on individual property and has not generally addressed the issue
of lack of
access to property on which to do permaculture developments such as food production
and resource efficient housing design?
Of course, there have been the intentional communities, most of which predate
permaculture and which, under the NSW Multiple Occupancy Act, provided
cheap access to
land. These, however, have been developed in rural areas. Most people
now live in
cities because that is where the economic activity of concentrated, work
can be found,
education obtained and a cultural life enjoyed.
> In the city, perhaps we should also pay
> attention to the pre-existing links, nodes and connections *between*
> properties and "villages" (or suburbs) - and indeed creating new links.
> There has been a lot of work done on habitat corridors, greenways, street
> tree strategies etc. in the urban context as part of a "greener" approach to
> urban design.
That's right. There is a growing body of knowledge and practice in urban
work of Sydney landscape architect and one-time local government environmetnal
planner, Birgit Seidlich, provides a visionary but achievable example.
When I worked
with Greening Australia some years ago, the concept of green corridors
being enacted through plantings.
> To give just one example, reuse of stormwater via detention
> basins in urban parks is now becoming almost commonplace. Just as Mollison
> drew on ecology, horticulture, morphology and many other fields of knowledge
> in developing the permaculture design system, so we can draw on the growing
> field of sustainable urban design theory as expounded by authors such as
> Hough, Spirn, Thayer, to help inform urban permaculture.
> 2. A whole new suite of "sustainability tools" has emerged over the past few
> years - life cycle analysis (LCA), material flux analysis (MFA), ecological
> accounting, environmental auditing etc. Again, these need to be adapted and
> brought into urban permaculture curriculum and practice.
These are important tools and, as you say, would well benefit
When we taught permaculture design courses in Sydney, we introduced life cycle
analysis to the students through John Denlay, one of the people who
EarthWorks waste reduction community education program and who is now
working in waste
management with Darwin City Council in the Northern Territory. John
course's waste minimisation component.
> For instance, the
> issue of the energy cost of travelling to a community garden for fresh food
> vs. obtaining food trucked in from outside is not always necessarily clear
> cut - if (say) 100 people in 50 cars travel "x" kilometres to their nearest
> community garden, how does this equate to 2 trucks travelling "y" kilometres
> from a rural area with the same amount of produce?
You would have to add on the additional energy, pollution and road
distributing the food from Flemington markets to supermarkets or other shops.
Comparative energy use is an interesting question in Sydney. Here, most
of our fresh
food (vegetables, many fruits) come from the urban fringe where they are
numerous small, family-based farmers, many of non-English speaking
I was astounded to find, when NSW Agriculture was preoducing its
strategy for the Sydney region, that something like 80percent of NSW's
fresh food is
produced on Sydney's Cumberland Plain region. Urban development is
eating into this
incredible agricultural resource - so there's another issue for lobbying
state and local government zoning for Sydney's food basket!
> And what is the impact of
> those same 100 people driving their cars to the supermarket to buy the
> produce which has been trucked in? Not to mention the issue of the
> fertilisers, pesticides etc. etc. used in production? This sort of complex
> flow of materials and energy is well suited to the LCA/MFA approach, which
> can provide *real* data - for example to back up the case put to a local
> council for provision of additional community gardens closer to where people
> live ;-)
Another aspect of this question regarding locally grown food and the
costs of trucking
food into the city from rural areas which I am interested in, but have
had no time to
properly explore, is the potential for organic hydroponic market gardens
gardens on the flat rooftops of urban commercial buildings.
> 3. At the same time, we should not fall into the trap of the "economic
> rationalists" that everything has to be measured and quantified before it
> can have a value. Technical methods have their place, but as the servant
> (which is why I used the word "tools" above) and not the master. Hence the
> core principles in the permaculture curriculum remain as valid as ever, and
> highlight the importance of culture change to achive sustainability
> Cheers, Paul Osmond
Agreed. The permaculture principles, I believe, are universal in
application. To be
that, however, requires adaption to local conditions ie. the principles
applied in many circumstances but adaption to those conditions would
result in many
different solutions, looking different and, at times, resulting in the seeming
contradiction of a problem in on circumstance being a solution in another.
This requires the input of what I believe is probably the most critical
permaculture design - imagination.
Maybe that's what we chould teach in permaculture.
PACIFIC EDGE PERMACULTURE
Russ Grayson and Fiona Campbell
PO Box 446, Kogarah NSW 2217 AUSTRALIA
Phone/ fax 02-9588 6931 (IDD-61+2+9588 6931)
PERMACULTURE/ COMMUNITY BASED ESD: permaculture education + Australian
City Farms and
Community Gardens Network (NSW contact) + organic gardening training + EarthWorks
training (community waste minimisation) + overseas development
MEDIA: journalism/ photojournalism (global development; environment and society;
social change; sustainable community development) + publication design + desktop
> Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
> You are currently subscribed to permaculture as: firstname.lastname@example.org
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-permaculture-75156P@franklin.oit.unc.edu
You are currently subscribed to permaculture as: email@example.com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-permaculture-75156P@franklin.oit.unc.edu