What is a Permaculture Apartment?

Updated: Jul 28

A Permaculture Apartment is simply a smaller scale version of permaculture that focuses on people who live in cities with limited space. It takes into account the fact we can't have large animals, collect rainwater or grow in a vast outdoor space.

In many ways, it's a lifestyle that individuals can adopt to be less reliant on unsustainable larger-scale methods, despite living in a city or in a home with limited or no outdoor space.

It’s not just about gardening, it’s about zero-wasting, using less on the grid electricity, water, and consumption of fossil fuels.

With the longer-term aim of growing food, buying from local farms, and reducing the need for harmful large commercial operations.

Permaculture Apartment Design

  • Permaculture Apartment 12 Principles

  • Permaculture Apartment Site Analysis

  • Permaculture Apartment Zoning System

Permaculture Apartment 12 Principles: This reflective practice pushes us to be creative and think outside of the box with our final design.

We can look at the 12 principles of permaculture below, that span out into all these different areas, and then think about how we can achieve these principles in our own home.

These principles are:

  1. Get a yield

  2. Use Biological Renewable Sources

  3. Collaborate with succession

  4. Optimize edge

  5. Make the least page for the greatest effect

  6. Use small scale intensive systems

  7. Turn problems into solutions

  8. The biggest limit to abundance is creativity

  9. Mistakes are tools for learning

  10. Observe

  11. Catch and store energy

  12. Each element is supported by multiple functions

  13. Each function is supported by multiple elements

  14. Connect

Head over to my article below as it may help broaden your perspective on what ecological principles you could achieve.

See my article here on Permaculture Apartment Principles

Permaculture Apartment site analysis: Doing this gives you the opportunity to think about what might happen on our site and take preventative or enhancing measures.

It can also help us to think about what mini-ecosystems we want to create and how we'll place them to optimise growing success.

Once the analysis is complete it will form the basis of the final design.

See my article here on Permaculture Apartment Macro Site analysis.

Permaculture Apartment zoning system: This is based on sunlight. This makes us think about where the sunlight hits the apartment and decide what kind of plants or elements are best suited to each zone.

See my article on Permaculture Apartment design zones.

Permaculture Apartment elements include:

What are the benefits of Permaculture in an Apartment?

A girl holding a clump of soil in her hands with a purple flower in it.

Adopting permaculture principles will save you money by being able to source stuff completely, or mostly by yourself.

You'll reduce your footprint because you're going to be recycling some or all of your waste.

You're going to be eating your homegrown food, chemically free!

What are the downsides of having a Permaculture Apartment?

Your methods depend on what you can do in your apartment that won't affect your lease agreement. It also depends on how much you want to commit to a regenerative project.

And situational things like:

  • How big is your apartment is

  • What direction you're facing?

  • Whether you can have pets, solar panels, or the ability to catch rainwater.

Being 100% sustainable in the city is ambitious. It's likely that you'll still rely on the grid for some things.

For an overview of what permaculture is, have a look at this 5-minute video about what permaculture is by Our Changing Climate.

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