A permaculture master plan begins with deep observation of the existing site, water flow, topography, vegetation and other critical patterns that will inevitably influence the final design. By prioritizing the elements that are the most permanent such as land shape and water access, a system can be designed and set into motion in a way that promotes ecological resiliency, biodiversity, and is not only functional for humans, but allows us to thrive culturally.
Many cities and communities around the world have designed and built systems that capture, utilize, clean, and recycle fresh water using biological systems that mimic natural eco-systems. Not only are these systems effective at returning clean water to the Earth's hydrological cycle, they often require less costly infrastructure, are more resilient to catastrophic events, and add value to the vitality of wildlife habitat. In some cases, these systems can even produce valuable yields of food for people and animals, and fuels such as methane gas, ethanol, and other bio-fuels.
As a society, we must only design and install systems, and utilize methods of managing storm and waste-water that add value to the surrounding eco-system and return clean water into our watersheds.
The popular local foods movement has grown strong roots because it offers individuals an alternative to the low quality, industrially produced, food that is so prevalent in our society today. Moreover, the negative impact that industrial agriculture and transcontinental distribution is having on global water and air quality can be greatly lessened when a society participates in a more localized model of production and consumption. Permaculture is a system that amplifies this positive effect by fully integrating food systems into communities, landscapes, and institutions.
In permaculture, the term sector refers to any natural or uncontrolled influence that moves through your design site. And through sector analysis, you can anticipate and enact design decisions that will mediate, mitigate, and improve how those uncontrolled influences affect your site.
Sectors could be wind, water, weather…they can be economic, social, biological, or any combination of the above. Every sector has needs, resources, yields, wastes, and relationships that influence the whole system.
A work-zone is a sector, with uses, yields, and wastes. A children’s play area is a sector, and has needs and resources associated with it. The cold, moldy side of the basement is a sector (AND a microclimate) with opportunities intrinsic, such as mushrooms, anyone?)“Invisible structures” are mostly sectors as well, and so is your “inner landscape.”
Every site, no matter where you are, has a complex labyrinth of sectors to consider when making choices about your design. Sector analysis will help you identify microclimates and discover opportunities that weren’t obvious at first glance. The more you know, the better decisions you can make.
Nyanyi is a sustainable innovative urban settlement growing in Tabanan region in Bali, located 15 minutes from Canggu. It is 46 hectares where a new type of settlement is being created. Where the values are communities, sharing, learning and exchange.
Sunrise Ranch is a community scale project consisting of approximately 80 people in the foothills of the Rockies, near Loveland Colorado. There are over 200 acres of pasture, 10 acres of gardens, and 90 acres of mixed use residential and business. In addition to harmonious integration with its surrounding ecosystem, Sunrise Ranch demonstrates functional social design, including a conference and retreat center, a farm-to-table culinary academy, and horticulture internships.