Part 8: Bioregional Urbanist Design Principles

Gulf Watershed

Toward Resource Self-sufficiency – One Region at a Time

by Philip Norton Loheed

As president of Earthos Institute, I have helped to create Bioregional Urbanism, a process to encourage changes back to “One Planet Living.” This is the eighth of ten installments describing Bioregional Design principles.

A core question:
What investments, profitable now, will benefit resilience and self-sufficiency of our communities as negative feedback from natural systems occurs in the future?

Let’s return to Paul Hawkins’ idea of Blessed Unrest: Of the many organizations which are addressing the issues of climate change and sea level rise, many are now evolving specific strategies to address Mitigation, Adaptation and Retreat.

One such organization is the Georgetown Climate Center at This group has been funded to create a series of “toolkits” that directly apply to various aspects of Bioregional Urbanism.

Recently released is a toolkit related to needs for communities to deal with climate refugee needs and problems, and with communities that will be receiving climate refugees as well. Many aspects of the Georgetown toolkits relate to resilience-building techniques as applied to transportation systems, clean energy systems, and community adaptations to climate change.

As we, as design community players, explore the many ways we can contribute expertise to more resilient and sustainable futures, Earthos Institute is happy to support the perspectives the can help to bring diverse activities into focus.

Exploration of the Georgetown site is highly recommended, and will reward you with a broad array of tools that you will find very thought-provoking and helpful in organizing actions in the Bioregional context.

Tune in next month as we expand on the techniques to evaluate the present status of self-sufficiency and to track our progress toward higher levels of achievement  in our “One Planet Living” objectives.

Phillip Norton Loheed is a principal at Design Partnership Plus.

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