Welcome to Regen Notes, a fortnightly newsletter of regenerative news, stories and more with a sideways focus on the built environment, curated by Martin Brown. This posted originally released through substack on Feb 2nd. Follow Regen Notes and Subscribe here)
Place, Nature, Economy, Education …
Since the last newsletter, the welcomed inauguration of Biden has taken place. And the world, for a while, looking a more positive place, with the USA rejoining the Paris movement and making positive noises on a raft of environmental issues. The poet Amanda Gorman wowed at the inauguration with The hills that we Climb, hinting at the challenges ahead “what is, is not justice”.
J Lopez sang This Land is Our Land the great Woody Gutherie 1940’s song, a strong message on the Public Lands debate in the US maybe, but she did not include verses critical of the USA on hunger and trespass …
As I went walking I saw a sign there.
And on the sign, it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side, it didn’t say anything,
That side was made for you and me.
Such was the potential political impact of these verses, even Guthrie didn’t sing them on original recordings fearing McCarthy investigations. Meanwhile, here in the UK Trespass is again raised as a political issue – to make trespass a criminal rather than civil offence, a move noted as an unnecessary attack on ancient freedoms.
Place features prominently in the Living Building Challenge and (albeit) less so in other standards. The importance of place, of location, and access to nature, has become something we are appreciating more and more during the pandemic lockdowns, creating a real impetus for more engagement with the natural world.
With a sense of Place as our “sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception together.” (Rachel Solnit), it is becoming an ever-important health and wellbeing issue, now challenging design of buildings and cities.(Gensler)
This innate desire and need to form a personal identity and a meaningful attachment with place and with landscapes, defined as Topophilia (the love of or emotional connections with place or physical environment) will emerge as a powerful design criteria as we emerge through the pandemic portal.