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Our Challenge

As Stewart Brand said in the introduction to the Whole Earth Catalogs,

"If we are going to act like gods, we might as well get good at it."

And Biomimicry is one key, and in a sense, one of the legacy's of the Whole Earth movement. Like Buckminster Fuller's comprehensive antipatory design science, Biomimicry is (1) the exploration and understanding of nature, i.e., the environment, as the technology and economy of an exquisitely evolved and designed regenerative life support system (living machine) that has been tested and developed over 4.8 billion years of evolution, and then (2) applying those battle-hardened principles to all aspects of human activity--designing, creating, and managing of society, from industrial products, to urban and regional systems, to public policy, business, the economy, etc.

Key Questions

Sustainability 2030's (S2030) research/practice program addresses the following key questions:

1. How can you/we become effective, powerful, even transformational forces for sustainability?

2. What is the program required for ultimate sustainability success--the end game?

3. Who has part of the answer now (current sustainability champions), how far do they take us, and how can we harness the state-of-the-art leading edge sustainability to an innovative research/practice program that gets us to ultimate success in the limited time remaining?  (more)

Mission

Advance, accelerate, and amplify an accurate understanding of the sustainability challenge and how to harness the power and potential of sustainability for an effective response before time runs out. The Strategic Sustainability2030 Institute  (S2030I) is a web-based think/do tank (more).

Affiliations
International Society of Sustainability Professionals
Announcements

UPCOMING:

April 2013, Chicago, APA National Conference.

May 13-15, 2013, Seattle, Living Future unConference.

PAST (2012):

October 23-26, Portland, EcoDistrict Summit 2012.

July 31-Aug. 4, Portland, Ecosystem Services Conference.

May 2-4, Portland, The Living Future Unconference for deep green professionals.

June 15-18, Brazil, Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

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Our Challenge

as Buckminster Fuller observed, is

"to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

This goal is the essence of sustainable development! The Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) provides access to Bucky's legacy, including his comprehensive anticipatory design science revolution. Check out their website, their programs, and engage.

Problem & Way Out

  

Caption: "Sadly, the only proven way to achieve global GHG reductions so far has been economic recession." Comment: Fortunately, shifting to 100% renewables would catalyze the global transition to durable prosperity and community well-being in a way that would eliminate GHG production AND grow the economy <<continued>>. (See also: strategic sustainabilitynatural capitalismits four strategies, and RMI's Reinventing Fire [energy] Program.) 

APA Links
FEATURES1

Green Urbanism - Formulating a series of holistic principles

Green Growth - Recent Developments (OECD)

Foundation Earth - Rethinking Society from the Ground Up

Reinventing Fire - A key transformational initiative of RMI worth knowing/watching.

A Quick-Start Guide to Strategic Sustainability Planning

NEW Report: Embedding sustainability into government culture.

New STARS LEED-like sustainable transportation tool for plans, projects, cities, corridors, regions.

Strategic Community Sustainability Planning workshop resources.

Leveraging Leading-Edge Sustainability report.

Winning or losing the future is our choice NOW!

How Possible is Sustainable Development, by Edward Jepson, PhD.

Legacy sustainability articles -- the Naphtali Knox collection.

FEATURES2

TNS Transition to Global Sustainability Network

EcoDistricts -- NextGen Urban Sustainability

Darin Dinsmore: Community & Regional Sustainability Strategies and Planning

Sustainable Infrastructure: The Guide to Green Engineering and Design

APA-SCP (Sustainable Community Planning) Interest Group

Sustainability Learning Center

New path breaking Solutions Journal

Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

Strategic Sustainability -- distance learning at BHT

Q4 Consulting - Mindfulness, Sustainability, and Leadership

RealClimate--Climate Science by Real Scientists

World Cafe--Designed Conversation for Group Intelligence

Real Change--Research Program for Global Sustainability Decision Making

RMI Conference, SF, 10-1/3-2009

Real Time Carbon Counter

Global Climate Change - Implications for US

Agenda for a Sustainable America 2009

ALIA Institute Sustainability Leadership

Frontiers in Ecological Economics

Herman Daly -- Failed Growth to Sustainable Steady State?

EOF - Macroeconomics and Ecological Sustainability

Gil Friend - Truth About Green Business

Sustainable Transpo SF

Google Earth-Day KMLs

AIA Sustainability 2030 Toolkit

Donella Meadows - Which Future?

Urban Mobility System wins Bucky Challenge 2009

Renewable Economy Cheaper than Systems Collapse

Population Growth-Earth Forum

Breakthrough Ideas-Bucky Challenge

Urban & Regional Planning-Cities at a Turning Point

John P. Holdren-Meeting the Climate Change Challenge

Stephen Cohen's Weekly Column in the New York Observer

« Death of Peak Oil - NOT Likely! | Main | Net Zero Walgreens?! Implications for Transformation »
Saturday
Dec282013

Biomimicry Meets Planning?

See the featured Urban Greenprint project (end of post), other resources, and the conference link below for a quick glimpse of an inspiring range of innovative, leading-edge, regenerative/ecological/biomimicry-based urban planning projects. 

This range of initiatives may be useful for planners in furter defining the goal, domain, and methods of sustainability planning (the profession or an individual department).  These projects are too design/building focused to define the full domain of planning, but the connections to the larger city and a/the method is illuminated.  There is not much biophilia or biodiversity directly featured, but it is embedded.

The question to planners: what would the “planning” behind this work look like (code, general plan policies, guidelines, themes, project types, stakeholder engagement initiatives, etc.)?

The Urban Greenprint Project mentioned below is included in the list under the title, Biomimicry & the Urban Greenprint: how can our cities function like forests (that’s Bill McDonough's famous challenge).

The Sustainable Design & Development Conference 2013 (Northwest) has some other interesting topics. This is still mostly a green building dialogue, although the movement towards planning is visible.

Looks like Passive House is getting featured as affordable building technology for habitat for humanity.

This Seattle 2030 Districts Rising presentation is worth skimming. It looks similsr to an EcoDistrict approach. Again, it’s building based, and does not go as far as planning can go, but it is a vision and has some planning characteristics. It is based on the Architecture 2030 Challenge (and associated Planning 2030 Challenge). The Architect 2030's website also profiles their Seattle 2030 District's initiative.

URBAN GREENPRINT PROJECT:  Here is how Jennifer Barnes, co-founder, the project. 

The Urban Greenprint is a biomimicry-inspired approach that asks what Nature can teach us that will help our cities be more resilient, healthy and livable. Although many of the current strategies being applied to solve issues like stormwater mitigation, energy efficiency and CO2 sequestration are effective, these alone will not solve the magnitude of issues that face us.

This methodology approaches environmental issues in two atypical ways: by gaining a deep understanding of a city’s predevelopment ecosystems, and by applying biomimicry to the design process to generate solutions which emulate nature.

The goal is not to recreate the predevelopment ecosystem but instead to understand how urban structures and spaces can restore the functions those earlier ecosystems provided. Through place-based research and a biomimetic process, the Urban Greenprint:

1) Provides biomimicry design guidelines
2) Proposes and champions real projects
3) Establishes a connective framework between existing city initiatives

The combination of these efforts creates a cohesive approach to improving a city’s ecological health and the wellbeing of its population.

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