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The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town Resilience

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  12 reviews

Permaculture is more than just the latest buzzword; it offers positive solutions for many of the environmental and social challenges confronting us. And nowhere are those remedies more needed and desired than in our cities. The Permaculture City provides a new way of thinking about urban living, with practical examples for creating abundant food, energy security, close-kni

Paperback, first, 288 pages
Published July 31st 2015 by Chelsea Green Publishing Company (first published July 1st 2015)
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Sep 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
Any energy put into making cities greener is just a waste of energy. Toby Hemenway, and the rest of the permaculture crowd, really should know better. All efforts by urbanites should be focused on land redistribution, getting public education to train people for rural work/lifestyles rather than for office work, and abolishing the economic system's growth imperatives. He says himself that in the long-term we need horticulture-scale villages instead, so why wait? If people focus on getting the go ...more
Wendy Wagner
Remarkably positive! Lots of basic permaculture information in here (including some good gardening/homesteading stuff), but with a focus on using human ingenuity and people power to get us out of the climate, economic, and environmental disasters we'll be facing in coming years. ...more
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it
An interesting read that discusses cities as a necessary evil that we may as well apply good design to in order to harmonise with nature as best as possible. I enjoyed the application of permaculture principles from what you normally see (gardens) to all kinds of elements in life. As far as practical tips, there's not many, although the core tenets of permaculture are discussed in good detail. This book does lay good groundwork for why permaculture design should be applied to cities, the
Sara Van Dyck
Hemenway tries to squeeze so much under the umbrella of “permaculture” that his book becomes a mix of sensible ideas that have been successful, theories, generalities, and obvious or impractical suggestions. The book becomes abstract and schematic when the author presents charts, diagrams, and analysis of “sectors” or “zones.” Still, there is value in the few places where he provides an example or a story of what has worked – and how it happened. It’s encouraging to learn how Sacramento resident ...more
Felicity Fields
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A truly delightful read. Unlike most permaculture books, which focus on the individual gardener or homesteader, this book argues for cities. As a small city / big town person myself, I really appreciated Hemenway's defense of cities and how they are beneficial.

Of course, there are more ways to make them beneficial. Otherwise this book wouldn't exist! His emphasis on applying the permaculture philosophy and toolkit outside of a garden / food growing context is refreshing and has given me a lot o
Veronika Munro
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant and thought provoking. My brain is full of ideas that sprung out of the pages. I was borrowing this from the library but it is so inspiring and useful I have bought my own copy.
Excellent! Well presented, informative, accessible and thought provoking
Martha Samsell
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Good book about permaculture and rejuvenation of cities to be environmentally friendly.
Sep 24, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: don-t-read
One more of those books that say much about absolutely nothing! I tried reading it and was waiting for the author to explain what permaculture is. He never did. Not even throughout the whole book which i screened through searching for the meaning of what i was reading..."flowers" "circles" "zones" "leveraging" were the words repeating themselves infinitely. Incoherently and burdensomely. But, no sign of ever getting closer to any explanation of the concept in matter. And, i can't believe that th ...more
Malia Walter
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This one took me a while to finish because I wanted to give it the time it deserves. Lots of thought provoking ideas about urban and suburban permaculture. This is a keeper and will be on the shelf next to Gaia's Garden, ready for rereading opportunities and reference. ...more
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
An interesting, ecological way of looking at our cities.
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Toby Hemenway was an American author and educator who has written extensively on permaculture and ecological issues. He was an adjunct professor at Portland State University, Scholar-in-Residence at Pacific University and a field director at the Permaculture Institute (USA).

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