Bioregional urbanism is the idea that regional communities need to live within the limits of ecosystems. Just like an individual or a business has to learn to live on a budget, our communities need to learn to live on available resource budgets.
Why regions? According to many ecologists are the scale at which sustainability can be achieved. As individual regions become more self sustaining, we will collectively come closer to living within the production capacity of the planet.
Many people are already doing things that are ‘regionally self sustaining’. A few examples include the slow food movement, the ‘buy local’ movement, permaculture, biodynamic agriculture, transitional communities, green regional design, to name a few. All of these efforts are taking us closer to living within our resource budgets.
So if people are already doing things that work, why bioregional urbanism? Scientists are now able to track the health of our planet, and understand how much resources the ecosystems can actually produce. Bioregional urbanism is a method that applies this science to the design of cities and economies, and the production of goods that we consume. As a society, we now have the information and capability, and now we have to start testing ways of applying this knowledge to our daily production and consumption decisions.
What can you do?
- Start simple. Learn about where your food and clothing comes from. Then, as much as possible:
- Grow/make your own food
- Buy recycled and reused clothing and furniture
- Buy locally grown, produced, and manufactured food and goods as much as possible
- When you buy imported goods, try to buy goods that are sustainably produced by the regions from which they come (eg the region receives enough rainwater to support the production of the raw goods of the product).
For further exploration: