Permaculture is a holistic approach to land management and settlement design that emphasizes the observation and replication of natural patterns and systems to create self-sustaining and regenerative ecosystems. It incorporates a set of design principles rooted in whole-systems thinking, which can be applied in various fields such as agriculture, town planning, and community resilience. Originally coined as "permanent agriculture," permaculture has since evolved to encompass social and ecological aspects, hence becoming known as "permanent culture."
The practice of permaculture spans various disciplines, including ecological design, engineering, and architecture, and focuses on creating sustainable and self-regulating habitats and agricultural systems modeled after natural ecosystems. It also includes principles of integrated water resources management and construction.
One hallmark of permaculture is its emphasis on a creative design process that takes into account all materials and energies in flow that may be affected by proposed changes. This means carefully considering both the short and long-term upstream and downstream effects of modifying natural systems, such as water flow, or altering existing landscapes to address environmental challenges. Ultimately, permaculture aims to foster a more harmonious relationship between people and the natural world that supports us.