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  • Naomi Stephens | Permaculture Designer

What is a Permaculture Apartment?

Updated: Mar 9

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 that 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 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 and water, consuming fossil fuels, buying from local farms, and reducing the need for harmful large commercial operations.


Permaculture Apartment elements include:



Click on the below links to go to a section within this article:









1. 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 allowing you to source resources, primarily yourself.


You'll reduce your footprint by recycling some or all of your waste.

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


In a world recovering from a pandemic, facing rising inflation and higher food prices, becoming more self-reliant in some errors is essential.




2. What are the downsides of having a Permaculture Apartment?


Your methods depend on your situation. For example:

  • How much space do you have?

  • What you can do in your apartment won't affect your lease agreement, such as having pets, solar panels, or the ability to catch rainwater.

  • How much time and energy do you have to commit to a regenerative project?

  • What direction are you facing? This is important for determining the intensity of sunlight that can reach your plants.


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



However, with all these downsides, there are many ways you can apply Permaculture Apartment Principles, Permaculture Site Analysis, and a Permaculture Apartment Zoning System to help alleviate the problems. See below



3. Permaculture Apartment Principles


This reflective practice pushes us to be creative and think outside the box with our final design.


We can look at the 12 principles of Permaculture below, which span all these different areas and then think about how we can achieve these principles in our homes.


These principles are:


Head over to my article below, where I expand on these principles for a Permaculture Apartment.





4. Permaculture Apartment Site Analysis


Doing this lets you 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 optimize growing success.


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




5. Permaculture Apartment Zoning System


This is based on sunlight. We must consider where the sunlight hits the apartment and decide what plants or elements best suit each zone.


I've created a zoning system that helps you section out your available space and carefully place plants that will benefit from the light according to the zones.





 

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