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What is a Permaculture Apartment?

Updated: Apr 25

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, 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 a Permaculture Apartment?

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

3. Permaculture apartment principles

4. Permaculture apartment site analysis

5. Permaculture apartment zoning








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 being able to source resources 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!


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? For example, whether you can have 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 you're facing? This is important for knowing the intensity of sunlight you can get to your plants


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



However, with all these downsides there are many ways you can apply Permaculture Aparment 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 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 where I expand on these principles for a Permaculture Apartment


Click here for Permaculture Apartment Principles



4. 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.


Click here for Permaculture Apartment Macro Site analysis Article.


5. 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.


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


See my article on Permaculture Apartment design zones.



 

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