Bioregional Urbanism

Bioregional urbanism is the practice of designing and developing our cities and regions to support human well-being and ecological health and vitality.

More precisely, Bioregional Urbanism is the metabolic collaborative practice of creating resilient, self-sustaining regional systems and cities. This method aims to increase our understanding of the relationships between cities and their supporting regional systems of water, energy, food, people, biodiversity, land, and waste-as-resource. Also, this intentionally connects the science of regional ecosystems and climate to decision making in policy, design, business and community while encouraging the innovation of living well and equitably within ecosystem limits.

Using a bioregional urbanist perspective invites many questions. For instance, how can we work with ecosystems to increase the optimization for human well-being and decrease the chance of overusing ecosystems to a point where they can no longer support us?

Why do we pose questions like this? According to the Global Footprint Network, we are currently using resources at a rate 1.5 times greater than the Earth can produce them, posing a great problem for future generations. If the 20th century was concerned with maximizing the use of non-renewable resources to stabilize, modernize, and develop nations, then the goal of the 21st century is for our communities and regions to find better ways to live within the limitations of ecosystems—and to do so in humane, just, and beautiful ways. For this to be possible, we must address the resource conundrum together as a society across sectors, scales, and political and social boundaries.

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