Joanna Macy, when she describes the Great Turning, and Daina Meadow’s “12 places to intervene in a system” help to describe all the steps that are required to shift a society from the traditional industrial growth model, with its faulty assumptions about resources, into a life sustaining civilization. We can place Daina’s 12 steps into Johanna’s three categories of: Holding actions (like code, laws, taxes etc.), Structural changes (positive feedback loops, incentives, access to information) and Shifts in Consciousness (transcending paradigms) to see a pattern. Obviously as a society we are somewhere in the middle of holding actions and structural changes. A shift to systems thinking really demands a shift in consciousness. How do we lead that change? How do we define it for all the communities we serve?
Natural capital not identified in “health, welfare, safety” definition – major omissionNeed more feedback loops in the practice of architecture
So if everyplace has a deep story how do we find it? It is a lot of work currently to find the scientific and cultural information, but it does exist. It is often a matter of bringing more disciplines to a project and tapping into a deep well of open source data to make sense of it. And when we assemble the story of place for one site or one community, how can we capture it for the next team to use?
We thought if regenerative design had something to do with quality of life it might be helpful to illustrate what quality of life looks like. Humans tend to make decisions based on emotional, subconscious responses and then search for the facts to support our decisions. So how could we tell this deep and scientific story of place with imagery in a way that could be understood in an instant at the emotional level? The problem we soon discovered is that when we draw what quality of life looks like for one place, we know that the image isn’t appropriate anywhere else. So if one image doesn’t work everywhere, what hope do we have of finding one quantifiable definition of what constitutes regenerative design that will work everywhere? Simply, we can’t. And we shouldn’t. Each community must arrive at its own definition through conversation and experience informed by the deep story of the place. So, while we may not have the definition we were looking for, we think we might have the right question. “How can we help a community to have a conversation that will shift their consciousness and result in the community regenerating itself and all of its living systems from within?
Because of some of the work of One Planet Communities we are also becoming aware that while buildings and infrastructure certainly have a measureable impact in and of themselves, perhaps their greater impact lies in the positive behavior changes that they allow and inspire. In the BEDZED community in the UK, behavior changes like sustainable food, personal transit, consumption habits and waste account for more than 40% of the reductions in carbon emissions for those communities. In the US,(Sonoma Mountain Village), behavior is predicted to account for almost 70% of the reductions in carbon emissions (because American lifestyle is more carbon intensive). And quality of life indexes are high in these places. This newly emerging data trend suggests that any definition of regenerative design must address and inspire this kind of generous behavior that improves the quality of life for all life.
These collaborations are transforming communities. BNIM is an international leader in large- and small-scale design. They have led efforts to rebuild devastated communities…in Greensburg, New Orleans and, Nashville. Floods. Tornadoes. Hurricanes.
The town of Greensburg, Kansas was leveled by a tornado, BNIM worked tirelessly to regain the town’s basic necessities while creating a vision that sustains future generations.
One of the possibilities that grew out of all this history is the Living Building Challenge…
And now we know that achieving LEED Platinum and meeting the Living Building Challenge is possible and we celebrate the potential as more and more owners, designers and constructors strive to reach high standards. This is the Omega Center for Sustainable Living…
…a water treatment facility. It is an example of what systems thinking can look and feel like.
While this is still just a concept for a tool, the ideas is that Regen will identify components of life on Earth (shown here as the colored circles) that are organized into four quadrants: natural systems, constructed systems, economic systems and social systems. Components are things like water, flora, fauna, energy systems, transportation systems, capital, employment, food, social justice, public health etc. The idea is that a project team can input basic information about their project type, scale and location…
…and the tool will instantly populate, from a deep well of open source data, everything that is known about that place and its state of health. It is the beginning of a conversation. The circles are smaller or larger to indicate their state of health. An indicator bar in each quadrant begins to show whether natural systems are robust and resilient, the constructed systems are high-performing, the economic systems are prosperous, and social systems are whole. These indicators are currently shown as indexes on a scale of 0-100. Zero is doing nothing. 100 is doing everything that is known to be possible within the system. And because this is an open source and constantly evolving tool, what is 100 percent on one day, may become 99 percent the next day. For each action or piece of information added to the tool expands what is possible.
In the center, these dots represent strategies that can be taken to impact the components. The strategies impact multiple components, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively, in a complex web of connections.
It is also possible to enter based on more than one primary component.
When more components are selected, a more robust set of strategies are shown and those strategies that are most synergistic can be identified.
If one drills into a strategy, they will find all the smaller actions or tactics and LEED credits that are related to that over-arching strategy. They will discover all the components linked to that strategy in a different way. And is it is possible to see how that strategy could be measured.
Implementing Regenerative Design through Community Dialogue
Implementing Regenerative Designthrough Community DialogueBNIM
Main ideas and definitions from peer papersIssues with a business or economic-based model of sustainability (measurement, monitoring and evaluation): • Leads to quantitative limits and establishment of monetary values of natural and social capital • Assumes that a piecemeal approach can produce an aggregate solution • Complex behavior of natural systems is unknowable • Indicators can obscure resource flows and systematic interactionsCognitive transition from imposition on nature to cooperative with nature, adaptive to change and participatory.Humans have the capacity for reflection, abstract thought, intentional novelty or innovation and learning. Valuesdetermine whether the interaction with nature is beneficial or detrimental.Steps toward regenerative design: 1. Sustainability requires change and persistence. There is not an ideal end goal in a changing world. 2. Align human efforts with nature’s (How it works rather than how we would like for it to work!) 3. Engage and focus on the evolution of the whole system of which we are a part. Rooted in biomimicry – “Conscious emulation of life’s genius.” – BenyusProcess of regenerative design:Builds capacity of people and place to engage in a healthy relationship through co-evolution. 1. Understand human aspirations and unique character of place 2. Translate story of place into a conceptual design that integrates human aspirations with living systems in a mutually beneficial way 3. Ongoing learning and feedback. Monitoring flows of energy and change. Participation. Co-evolutionRequires achievement of a common story through dialogue for all partners, including silent ones.Changes the role of architect and planner from manager to “gardener.”
Buckminister Fuller Janine Benyus Eugene OdumThe Big Ideas• Systems-based Approach• Collaborative Dialogue of Discovery• Feedback Loops
A Shift to Systems ThinkingJoanna Macy’s GREAT TURNINGShifting from a society of industrial growth to a life sustaining civilization 12. Subsidies, codes, standards, and taxes A Holding Action (actions to slow the damage to Earth 11. Sinks, buffers, and other courses (markets) and its beings) 10. Infrastructure (of material stocks and flows) 9. The timing of information (relative to the rate of system changes) 8. Regulating negative feedback loops (disincentives) Structural Change 7. Driving positive feedback loops (incentives) (analysis of structural causes and the creation of structural alternatives) 6. Access to information 5. Laws or rules of the system (incentives, punishment, constraints) 4. The power to self-evolve 3. The goals of the system 2. The mindset or paradigm that the system (its goals, structure, rules, delays, Shift in Consciousness parameters) arises out of Worldview. 1. The power to transcend paradigms (power of belief) Donella Meadows’ “Places to Intervene in a System”
“Life creates the conditions that are conducive to life.” Janine Benyus
Odum School of Ecology University of Georgia, Athens, GAENERGY CYCLE MATERIAL CYCLE
Feedback Loop discover design refine community participation community participation build learn occupy community participation
“There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” Margaret J Wheatley
There is a deep story to every place.How do we find it ?
What does quality of life look like? It is different in every place.Edmonton City Centre Airport Lands Redevelopment
The Impact of BehaviorIn the UK (Beddington Zero EnergyDevelopment) of reductions in carbon – 58% = building envelope, equipment & renewable energy – 42% = behavior changes (food, personal transport, waste)In the US (Sonoma Mountain Village) ofpredicted reductions in carbon: – 31% = buildings envelope, equipment & renewable energy – 69% = behavior changes (food, personal transport, waste)Lifestyle and behavior changes areimportant!
Petite RivièreRedevelopment PlanQuebec, Canada
Noisette Community Master PlanNorth Charleston
Transforming Natural disasters by building healthy communities Tornado Hurricane 1993 Great Mississippi River Flood Pattonsburg, MO,Valmeyer, IL 2001 Tropical Storm Allison Houston,TX 2005 Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, LA 2007 EF5 Tornado Greensburg, KS 2008 Iowa River Flood Iowa City, IA 2010 Cumberland River Flood Nashville, TN 2010 Haiti EarthquakeGreensburg, KS New Orleans
Blessed with a unique opportunityTo create a strong communityDevoted to family,Fostering business,working together for future generations.
Greensburg Sustainable Comprehensive PlanCommunity GrowthA progressive community that offers urban services within the A community that opens its doors to new residents and visitorsunassuming feel of a rural, Midwestern community. without affecting the values and lifestyles of its current residents.FamilyA community that provides opportunities for its young people in Renewalthe way of jobs, education, and recreation as reasons to stay in A community that makes proactive decisions that use thisGreensburg. opportunity to reverse the decline of the community and build a progressive city with a strong future.ProsperityA community where entrepreneurial spirit, customer service, and Watera sustainable economy permeate the business sector and where Treat each drop of water as a precious resource.residents, travelers, and tourists enjoy a full line of locally ownedbusinesses that provide jobs and services to Healthan exceptional example of small-town America. Improve quality of life by promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.EnvironmentA community that recognizes the importance of the natural Energyenvironment and balances the need for growth and economic Promote a high level of efficiency in new construction and lookdevelopment with the maintenance and improvement of the to renewable options for generation.environment. WindAffordability Greensburg’s vast wind resources are part of an emergingAn up-to-date, affordable rural community where housing plans economy and should be harvested.and strategies incorporate energy-efficient design and materialsand serve as a regional and national model for integrating Built Environmentresidents of all ages and needs with services of all kinds. Build a town that encourages interaction between residents, welcomes guests, and serves as a model community. NewCatalysts development should be durable, healthy, and efficient. CityThe rebuilding process starts with the most stimulating structures projects will lead the way by becoming examples of greenand spaces. These will spawn further growth. practices that are built to last.
“Greensburg is a global example of how clean energy can power an entire community, how it can bring jobs and businesses to a place where piles of bricks and rubble once lay.” President Barack Obama INSERT COLOR RUBBLE IMAGE HERE disaster imageEF5 Tornado First Platinum Community
Number Category PrerequisiteOne Site Design Responsible Site SelectionTwo Site Design Limits to GrowthThree Site Design Habitat ExchangeFour Energy Net Zero EnergyFive Materials Materials Red ListSix Materials Carbon FootprintSeven Materials Responsible IndustryEight Materials Appropriate Materials RadiusNine Materials Construction WasteTen Water Net Zero WaterEleven Water Sustainable Water DischargeTwelve Indoor Environmental Quality Civilized WorkThirteen Indoor Environmental Quality Source ControlFourteen Indoor Environmental Quality VentilationFifteen Beauty & Inspiration Design for SpiritSixteen Beauty & Inspiration Inspiration and Education
Omega Institute of Sustainable LivingRhinebeck New YorkOmega Centerfor Sustainable LivingRhinebeck, NYAIR FLOW ENERGY FLOW WATER FLOW
Clinton Foundation - Climate Positive Partners
Vision The Green Arts District will be a laboratory for exploring possibilities, promoting innovation in arts, music, sciences and sustainable design to reweave community, transform the way we learn and create new post-carbon economies.
Five Principles POST-CARBON ECONOMY Embracing the challenges and great possibilities of the next century, we acknowledge the monumental task of transforming our local and global economy. The Green Arts District will provide an example of how, by living smartly, it is possible to improve the quality of our lives and heal our planet. COMMUNITY As a town and college we embrace the great opportunity and responsibility to renew our communal aspirations and strengthen our joint commitment to local and global communities. LEARNING Through transformative interactions among the arts, sciences, and the natural world we will initiate new ways of thinking, teaching, and learning. SUSTAINABILITY Leading through study and practice, we will embody sustainability through our actions, creating models that exhibit integrated solutions, amplifying environmental health, prosperity, and humanity. EXPLORATION Creativity, experimentation, and collaboration are ingredients for innovation and understanding. The Greens Arts District will demand exploration and reveal the human spirit.
Site PlanA Tappan SquareB Allen Memorial Art MuseumC Venturi Art Building Renovation and ExpansionD WorkshopE Hall AuditoriumF Student HousingG The CenterH Green TheaterI Curricular Arts BuildingJ Eco-machineK ForumL Lecture HallM RestaurantN Oberlin InnO DowntownP Black Box New Construction Renovation Existing