Bite-sized Design Essentials – Climate, Sectors and Risk

Face your risk from climate change with guided planning. You can then feel more secure, comfortable and fruitful.

We are powerful, creative individuals. But do we know how to be effective changemakers? Each day that we avoid thinking about the design of our lifestyle we are probably living by someone else’s design. This post offers worksheets at the end to help you design to reduce the impact of climate change and enhance the best features of any space.

permaculture visions design

CLIMATE, SECTORS AND RISK

Climate change is no longer up for debate. For many of us, it is real and now. And for many more people it is urgent. The risk is not evenly spread. One region will suffer far worse than another. There are inexpensive actions that make us more comfortable and safe.

Firstly, assess your overall risk. Then find what you can change and what can’t be changed. Rather than waiting for things to happen to us, lets plan some improvements and prepare for a dignified exist if required.

Plans can enhance the microclimates (using an awareness of energy sectors). But ultimately, calculating the risk informs the design and helps our community prepare better for future catastrophes.

MICROCLIMATE MITIGATION

Design cannot change the regional climate but it can create more liveable microclimates.
There are goldilocks “Life zones” that support living systems. But even Goldilocks needs to become adaptable because we are living through a period of rapid climate change. And not everywhere is changing in the same way or at the same rate. Every space is unique and the design team can assess what the space has and how it can be enhanced. 

Action: Research the climate site and map existing microclimates. Determine likely climate changes and how this informs the design. Finally, design to reduce the impact from a range of climate extremes.

SECTOR PLANNING

Sector analysis determines the direction, frequency, intensity and effects of both welcome and unwelcome energies. Designs that work with energies provided by nature require less imported energy and are more climate resilient.  To create a design that harmonies with the site we observe and measure the various energies, identify where they come from, their potential impact and how we can use or deflect this energy at different times of the year.
First we identify and map existing external and internal natural energy sources. We also consider predicted changes from climate worksheet. Next, we determine what design interventions could optimise the use these energies.

Action: Create a sector analysis for the space and propose modifications.

Dragon of climate change

RISK ANALYSIS AND MITIGATION

Design to reduce risk in order to save habitat, lives, effort and resources as well as minimising pollution. “Risk is the balance of consequence and likelihood .”  Lizzy Smith. Risk can be a negative or positive opportunity. An example of a (hopefully) positive risk occurs when we set out on an adventure.  Whereas a negative risk common occurs when someone moves onto a property that is subject to flooding then finds out they are not insured and can not afford to relocate.

Our risk analysis develops design strategies to prepare for and overcome risks. We determine the likely risks through a SWOT analysis. Then we design to mitigate the risk. 

Actions: Identify Strengths, Weaknesses. Opportunities and Threats or Constraints then Identify ways to reduce the risks and enhance the strengths. One of the actions that we can adopt is to keep some of the plants in relocatable wicking vessels. In the event of any type of emergency, or an opportunity to relocate, you can take young plants with you.

Earthcare secretary, Amanda Argent seeks to connect people to environmental stewardship, increase people’s skills and knowledge on how to regenerate food growing spaces following a natural disaster, and prepare for future climate extremes. This will strengthen flood affected communities collective resilience.

Tiffany-HENBURN

WORKSHEETS

Here are the worksheets we are presenting at Earthcare to help participants develop their design skills. The files are pilot samples from our upcoming Permaculture course and book called the FIELD GUIDE TO PERMACULTURE DESIGN. If you are keen to join our upcoming course to develop your design skills, write to us.

  1. Climate
  2. Sectors
  3. Risk
  4. Zones

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