Transform Your City with Urban Permaculture

Sunday, January 27, 2019 - 9:00 am to 10:00 am

Collage of photos

Workshop Description

The permaculture movement began as a re-imagining of agricultural, rural landscapes but it has exciting potential in co-creating cities that are filled with multi-species abundance.

The benefits of urban permaculture include the flourishing of urban nature through the creation of regenerative eco-systems; access to resources both natural and human-created; and the sharing of a diversity of skills, experiences, and backgrounds of people.

Urban permaculture can allow for neighbourhood flourishing.

There are obstacles, as well, including lack of access to land; restrictive municipal bylaws; and conflict with neighbours.

Although urban permaculture can be limited to private, backyard spaces, many practitioners either have no access to private property or want to extend beyond the limits of their property to collectively envision and create vibrant and revitalized collective spaces.

In this workshop, I will explore how urban permaculture allows people to create ecologically regenerative and socially just spaces in cities.

We will explore collective permaculture projects including community land trusts, public food forests, pollinator pathways, and urban permaculture farms with an emphasis on how to build a true sharing economy on a neighbourhood scale.

One of the most important benefits of creating permaculture projects in cities is that urban neighbourhoods can more easily develop into vibrant communities based on difference.

Building communities of difference requires strong social permaculture skills. Participants will learn about inspiring urban permaculture projects as well as concrete ideas for creating vibrant and connected communities filled with abundance.

Topics covered will include:

  • Practising permaculture in cities has multiple benefits. Cities are dynamic, diverse, and filled with an abundance of resources.
  • Practising permaculture in cities also has some special challenges especially related to municipal bylaws, cultural attitudes about what belongs in cities, and access to land.
  • Permaculture projects in public or collective spaces is one of the ways that permaculture can have strongest impact in cities.
  • Collective, urban permaculture projects include community food forests; neighbourhood place-making; community land trusts; permaculture urban farms; and pollinator pathways.
  • These types of project allow for the development of ‘social permaculture’ and for urban transformation based on the sharing of abundance.
  • These projects can also link with food justice movements to build socially just and ecologically regenerative cities.

Speaker: Becky Ellis

Becky Ellis is a PhD candidate in Geography at Western University and a resident in the Rotman Institute of Philosophy.

Since obtaining her permaculture design certificate with Earth Activist Training in 2010 she has worked as a permaculture educator and facilitator for permaculture-inspired programs.

Becky is the creator of the Permaculture for the People blog and podcast, chair of the London Urban Beekeepers’ Collective and chair of the City of London’s Urban Agriculture Steering Committee.

Becky maintains a suburban permaculture lot and is a backyard beekeeper and community gardener in London, ON.

Becky Ellis
Becky Ellis with beehives