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Here’s Why Our Cities Need More Urban Permaculture

One of the things I loved about living in Portland, Oregon for over ten years is how popular urban permaculture was. It didn’t always go by that name, but even the most “typical” individuals tended to be fairly environmentally minded. It was a bit of a shock after moving to San Antonio, Texas.

Not that I want to pick on San Antonio, because it certainly does have some good things going for it. But here are some benefits of urban permaculture that everyone can experience no matter which city they live in. And the more people that participate, the better for everyone!

Why We Need More Urban Permaculture

Most of us live in cities! And according to Permaculture Research Institute, that trend is probably going to continue. Using permaculture principles when designing our cities can reduce the amount of electricity, heat, and air conditioning inputs that cities need.

The more tree cover, the better! Having a higher number of trees makes our cities more attractive and more livable. It’s more comfortable to walk outside when trees line the street. The ambient temperature is more stable when there are trees around. Plus, they clean the air for us!

We avoid creating food deserts. Food deserts occur when all the food for a city or neighborhood has be shipped in, or when residents have to drive quite a ways to a store. Unfortunately, my current neighborhood is in a food desert. There is one store with a very sad selection, and it’s much too far to walk or bike to. By growing our own food close to home, we reduce the food desert effect.

We can reduce waste. If you have city garbage pickup, you probably don’t think much about what happens to the trash or recycling after it’s picked up from your house. Unfortunately, putting that garbage in the landfill is expensive, and sometimes our waste products are shipped overseas! Reducing our waste benefits the entire world.

Urban permaculture can help native species. Many species are affected by our building, and they need natural areas in order to survive. When we include pollinator friendly plants and green spaces in our cities these other species have a better chance.

There are many ways you can help make your city more beautiful and livable simply by changing how you use your own land. By showing those around us how beneficial it is, we can improve life for everyone!

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