Category Archives: sustainability

New posts on Regen Notes

Hi, here is an update on recent (Feb 2023) Regen/Notes newsletter.

If you haven’t done so you can subscribe to Regen/Notes and receive news and updates directly

What’s in a name?

Addressing plant blindness key for a nature-positive future.

What does good ‘feel’ like?

Finding time and space to talk about hope.

thinking biophilia 

nature … is it only everything other than what is human?

Green Masking? has become a many-headed beast.

Nature – a game of numbers and spreadsheets?

“the right of all species to exist for their own sake”

Could our Lost Rain Forests be saved? (update)

Restoring … the potential of Britain’s lost rainforests for carbon, biodiversity and health on our doorstep.


Reflecting on Imbolc: its Relevance to Regenerative Sustainability

If you enjoy these posts, you can buy me a coffee here.

What’s Your Regen Conversation

The latest Regen/ Notes newsletter “What’s Your Regen Conversation” explores Potentialism, Eco Reads, Bread, Ride with Nature, Place, Home Health, Living Product Challenge, Digital Design, Warming Stripes + Zoom Regenerative

Read, Like and Subscribe to Regen/ Notes here

Regen/ Notes also features upcoming on line and in person regenerative events:

9th June: Is your home trying to kill you?

Ann Vanner, Regenerative Practitioner, Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Architectural Technology, will talk about how profoundly our lives are shaped and impacted by the places we call home at an event in Preston on the 9th of June at 18:00 Registration and details here 

10th June: Introduction Regenerative Social Housing 

We all have a role to play and as a housing sector we need to start changing the way that we think about sustainability. 

Echelon has teamed up with regenerative sustainability provocateurs and consultants Martin Brown and Anna Williamson to deliver a programme exploring regenerative principles within the social housing sector. The regenerative sustainability subgroup, delivered through our best practice club AMIP, will bring together organisations to move their environmental, social and sustainability approaches beyond business as usual to a regenerative approach that delivers real value and benefit. 


Email for more information. 

14th June: A Journey in Regenerative Materials 

Zoom Regenerative continues its journey of raising awareness, joining the dots and celebrating regenerative journeys on 14th June. Walter Lourie and Georg Klampfer at MAFI-Walk On Art share a made for zR factory video premier, featuring Living Product Challenge, Declare and regenerative forestry insights. 

Join our community of regenerative future seekers on the 17th, hear the MAFI story, along with our gathering space, one-to-one chats and inspiring Regen/ conversations.

Registration and details here 

16th June: Regenerative Design in Digital Practice

Living Future Europe’s show case of digital tools for a regenerative design. Registration and details here 

21 June: Climate Conversations 

June 21st is #ShowYourStripes day. How will you use and display the warming Stripes to start conversations on climate change? 

The Small Book with the Big Conversation Potential

Our Regenerative Playbook is available to read online at But do leave a comment if you would like to purchase a hard copy to kick start regenerative conversations in your organisation.

The Regenerative Playbook

Lets dare to do things differently 

The Regenerative Playbook landed at the World Book Day Zoom Regenerative special event on the 1st of March. Below we present a collection of comments, observations and reviews from the launch, and on the playbook.

Joanna Watchman: Last night, we had the great pleasure of launching The Regenerative Playbook – a collaboration with (and for) two incredible changemakers, Anna Williamson MSc, FRSA, LFA & Martin Brown. It was inspired by the Content Coms Little Books series which have been such a force for good. Both Anna and Martin (kick-starters of Zoom Regenerative) give far more than they ever receive or ask for in return. I urge anyone who is looking to “go beyond sustainability with aspirational and transformational ideas” to download it. Also, a huge thank you to Josie Warden at the RSA for her inspirational foreword. 

The Regenerative Playbook is all about taking things to the next level with sustainability. A journey that all of you – and your customers – find yourself upon. Joanna Watchman

We need to be regenerative. But what does this mean? 

As this playbook shows, it means asking different and better questions, ones which can help us to recognise and work with the true interdependencies of our living world; it means nurturing the potential that all people and communities already have to be sources of health for all life on earth and giving that potential space to grow and be realised; and it means working not only to change ‘out there’ but also to change ‘in here’, our own mindsets and behaviours, and those of our organisations. Josie Warden

Martin Brown: “Against the backdrop of Monday’s IPCC report that triggered headlines of the earth hurtling to destruction, the Regenerative Playbook provides a framework for moving sustainability beyond business as usual through asking better and different questions. By seeing ourselves as part of rather than apart from the living systems that sustain us. As Robin Wall Kimmerer has often said “had we respected the earth, learned from our elders, taken only what was needed and used what we had taken, then today we wouldn’t fear our own atmosphere”. 

Regenerative Playbook

The Regenerative Playbook is in many ways a milestone, the cumulative effort of two years of Zoom Regenerative’s, journey and opens a new chapter. In addition to our nourishing Tuesday regen gatherings, the playbook adds deeper and wider advocacy, nursing and support for those embarking on regenerative journeys. I am honoured and humbled to be part of such a vibrant regenerative collaborative of awesome friends from around the world”

Josie’s words regarding ‘those communities who have stewarded traditional knowledge about how to live in good relationship with our world’ resonates with Anna, and she asks:

Anna Williamson: Are technical solutions the answer? “I used to think that the top global environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem col­lapse, and climate change. I thought that with thirty years of good science we could address these problems, but I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy, and to deal with these we need a spiritual and cultural transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”— Gus Speth, American environmental attorney and past dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Foundational wisdom can guide and teach: “(to) our brothers and sisters out there, get to know where you live, because it’s place-based. The land is alive, the rivers are alive, the living systems are alive, the birds and the fish – everything communicates. Don’t see yourself as a human being as elitist and above other living systems.” – Dr. Anne Poelina, Indigenous community leader, human and earth rights advocate.

The Regenerative Playbook seeks to help businesses and organisations translate foundational wisdom into their own culture, to deliver regenerative practice that sticks.

For more information on the Regenerative Playbook see Regen/ Notes 32

And the reviews are in … 

I’m up to my eyeballs with Zoom which I love but the most nourishing has been your zRegen series – really fantastic to meet such a broad selection of people with such wonderful ideas. This sense of accessibility and advocacy to wider networks is really very core.  John Ennis

A jewel of a book, a guide for the future, a blueprint for change…however you describe it, this is a publication that anyone that cares about where we go from here should own and read! What a great collaboration! I’ll share the Regenerative Playbook far and wide. Terry John

On the zoom regen (Playbook) meeting with some amazing collaborations and working at going about things a different way. Excellent meeting of the mind and spirit of regeneration. A very fulfilling engagement indeed.  Walter Lourie

Thank you for both hosting such an energising evening yesterday, and for forwarding a link to join as well … the uplift was exactly what I needed. Look forward to seeing what comes next – all the very best. Scott McAulay

I am part of a postgraduate (Building Beyond Borders)and we will have an exhibition in Belgium together with the studio BC architects soon in april. Its about experimenting with regenerative / circular/ biodiversity positive/ waste materials within the postgraduate studio of Building Beyond Borders. One part of the exhibition is a library of books that works inspiring for the visitor. Maybe this regenerative playbook can be presented as well. Jasper Goris

I love that point about mindful connection being the start. Emphasises that it’s a daily mindset habit and not something you do as a wellbeing modality. Great conversation everyone. An antidote to the bleakness of events in the last few days. It’s so good to be part of a network of hopeful, positive, heartful and mindful people. I was thinking this morning how the playbook looks like the wisdom cards I use with my students when I teach meditation. It has that spirit of ‘invitations to reflect’. Beautiful. Sophie Lacey

100 copies for Belgium! Alexander Mijts

I’ve just seen the playbook. Congratulations – it’s excellent. Chloe Bullock

Definitely will work as a conversation starter in class! Congrats on your achievements with this book. Giovanna Di Monte-Milner

Just what I needed today after the devastation of floods pushing the war down the front pages of the news today… sigh. There is a better world out there – lets help concrete it 🙂 Caroline Pidcock

Thank you so much for this inspiring and hopeful book launch! I look forward to the hard copy book (and will start reading the soft copy) 😉 Britt Puhlmann

It was a lovely event last night. Thought provoking conversations in the company of good and supportive humans was just what we needed after the last few days. Well done for launching the playbook. Ordered it and will review soon!  Oliver Riley

Wonderful conversations and observations as ever! Well done to Martin Brown and Anna Williamson & congratulations on the Regenerative PlaybookAnn Vanner

Great publication Martin. Well done. Inspiring as ever! Vassos Chrysostomou.

Would be great to share it in The Ecosystem Incubator, as we are bridging a lot there – and good to give to clients too. Rachel Sheila Kan

Downloaded and have to agree it is a great read. A thought provoking read too. Michael McGowan

If all this sounds good you can access your copy of The Regenerative Playbook here. (And no, you won’t be bombarded with emails if you complete the contact form)

If you’d like a hard copy, or to order multiple copies for company libraries and reception areas, please get in touch and we can quote you – and we are only looking to cover printing, postage and admin costs.

Regen/ Notes

Subscribe to Regen/ Notes

This post appeared first on Regen/ Notes  a newsletter of regenerative news, stories and more, with a sideways focus on the built environment, curated by Martin Brown. It is a companion to our Regen/ Zoom activities where we connect the spaces between regenerative dots, sharing ideas themes and work that invigorates and inspires.

Regen Notes

Welcome to the Fairsnape blog and webpages.
You will find information and background to myself Martin Brown and Fairsnape here.

Regen Notes is a Fairsnape fortnightly newsletter of regenerative news, stories and more, with a sideways focus on the built environment.

“Everything we need to avoid the exponential impacts of climate change is doable. But it depends on solutions moving exponentially faster than impacts.” ⁠

Christina Figueres

Regen Notes is a companion to Zoom Regenerative, where we join regenerative dots, share themes and work that invigorates, inspires and feeds our curiosity.

Regen Notes 16, the latest newsletter off the press covers Pollinator Loss, Consulting, Biodiversity Net Gain, Carbon Peak, Peatbog Super Heroes, Mushrooms, Zoom Regenerative, Locus, LFE Masterclass, Folk on Foot, Spell Songs.

Somehow, whilst we had all been busy, while had been doing all the small things that add up to life … the future had slipped into the present. 

Jessie Greengrass, The High House

Although published fortnightly, there are important Regen Notes specials – such as exploring the recently published IPCC Report

To Fairsnape blog followers and subscribers: Firstly thank you for your support. Posts here, on the fairsnape blog, will continue. However the newsletter format of substack gives a longform, newsletter based approach, joining the dots of regenerative thinking and practice with the built environment.

I do hope you enjoy and find useful in your work.

Check Regen Notes out and please consider subscribing

We all live on planet earth, locally.

Martin Brown

A Regenerative Body Of Knowledge for the Built Environment

Welcome to the Fairsnape blog and webpages.
You will find information and background to myself Martin Brown and Fairsnape here.

“We are on the cusp of something regeneratively wonderful

regenerative or something irreversibly disastrous”

Along with the increased use of the term ‘regenerative’ we have a changing narrative. And this is important, as it is narratives that define us and contribute, in turn, to how we define and shape our future. The future is not something that just happens to us, but it is something that we create. As Arundhati Roy noted in April 2020, we need ‘to imagine the future we want and be prepared to fight for it’. Yet, unless we urgently address the level of ecological and climate literacy, and levels of climate awareness within all areas of education, we will not have the narratives, insights and knowledge to imagine our future, to recognize goodness and what it looks like and to be able to fight for it.

Martin Brown RESTORD 2030

Over the past four years, the RESTORE Cost Action has created an important and significant Regenerative Body of Knowledge, (rBOK), for the built environment, A collection that includes many thought-leading publications, videos, presentations and more, covering the built environment spectrum from changing mindsets and system thinking, to design, construction, operations and internal environments.

Free downloads are listed at end of this post and watch out for forthcoming of workshops, courses and other dissemination events based on the wide scope of the rBOK Regenerative Body of Knowledge.


RESTORD a regenerative guide for educators, students and practitioners. Editors Martin Brown and Carlo Battisti

RESTORY. FAD_Restory The main results and insight into the project management strategies for RESTORE. Editors Carlo Battisti and Martin Brown

RESTORE Final Book: Rethinking Sustainability Towards a Regenerative Economy 22 Chapters, 45 Authors, 22 Countries, Free open access ebook Editors: Andreucci, M.B., Marvuglia, A., Baltov, M., Hansen, P.

SUSTAINABILITY, RESTORATIVE TO REGENERATIVE  An exploration in progressing a paradigm shift in built environment thinking, from sustainability to restorative sustainability and on to regenerative sustainability. Editors Martin Brown and Edeltraud Haselsteiner

REGENERATIVE DESIGN IN DIGITAL PRACTICE A Handbook for the Built Environment. Editors: Emanuele Naboni and Lisanne Havinga 

REGENERATIVE CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION Bridging the gap between design and construction, following a Life Cycle Approach consisting of practical approaches for procurement, construction, operation and future life. Editors: Giulia Peretti, Carsten K. Druhmann.

REGENERATIVE TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE INDOOR ENVIRONMENT Inspirational guidelines for practitioners. Editors: Roberto Lollini, Wilmer Pasut 

SCALE JUMPING Regenerative Systems Thinking within the Built Environment Editors: András Reith, Jelena Brajković.


Other publications, papers and videos are available through the RESTORE webpages

RESTORD 2030 A Regenerative Guide

RESTORD 2030 A Regenerative Guide for Educators, Students and Practitioners.

A primer for the (re)imagination of a city ten years into the future. The City of RESTORD.

We are on the cusp of something regeneratively wonderful or something irreversibly disastrous. Use of the word ‘regenerative’ has seen a welcome resurgence, applied to everything, from farming to leadership, fashion, culture, economics and the built environment.

Its current use reflects the urgency we now face as climate change and ecological breakdown become increasingly palpable. It represents a desire and a focused switch in mindset, away from the mechanistic, away from being only less bad, the common and dominant discourse, to one that is living and sees ourselves and the built environment as interactive parts of the beautiful and complex ecosystem web.

RESTORE: {verb} to bring back to a state of health, soundness, and vigour.

RESTORD: {noun} a city that is socially just, ecologically robust and culturally rich.

RESTORD2030, a guide for educators, students and practitioners, will be of interest to teachers in primary and secondary education, to lecturers and teachers in university education and those delivering sustainability courses, and workshops, including continuous professional development for (planning, design, construction, facilities management) practitioners. It is available for free download below.

RESTORD 2030 aims to inspire users to create new and enhance existing sustainability modules with a regenerative climate and ecological focus.

It is pinned on the need for us to understand what good looks like and to imagine a regenerative future, and then to identify the steps that will move us towards that goal.

It is not that regenerative thinking is new. It has been at the core of ecological thinking for decades, traced back to acclaimed and influential writers on nature and ecology such as Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson and many others. Importantly, it has likewise been the foundation of many indigenous cultures since time immemorial.

Along with the increased use of the term ‘regenerative’ we have a changing narrative. And this is important, as it is narratives that define us and contribute, in turn, to how we define and shape our future. The future is not something that just happens to us, but it is something that we create. As Arundhati Roy noted in April 2020, we need ‘to imagine the future we want and be prepared to fight for it’.

Yet, unless we urgently address the level of ecological and climate literacy, and levels of climate awareness within all areas of education, we will not have the narratives, insights and knowledge to imagine our future, to recognize goodness and what it looks like and to be able to fight for it.

“to all who work in the built environment – the explicit purpose of your work must be to craft and cultivate the fertile conditions for life to thrive.”

Michelle Holliday preface to RESTORD2030 ‘‘Love Letter to Those Who Shape our World’.
Amanda Gorman The Hill We Climb. Image Unsplash/Yannick Pulver

Part One contains a selection of new thoughtful articles on education and awareness interventions based on, and enhancing the work from RESTORE publications, relating to the need for a new mindset and a nar-rative for a regenerative future.

Part Two provides insights into what modules are available through RESTORE members and the wider regenerative fraternity.

Part Three provides a reference portal into the myriad publications, presentations, articles, papers, videos and more from the four years of the RESTORE action.

Part Four provides a listing with details of the authors and contributors who can be contacted to facilitate elements of regenerative focused education and to give relevant advice on those themes.

The most important aspect of regenerative business today is to inspire future generations, future projects and future ideas to reach higher, to be bolder and to be far, far, more disruptive. 

Martin Brown. Author
Image Unsplash/Paweł Czerwiński

Martin Brown, Carlo Battisti.

Ann Vanner, Alison Watson, Blerta Vula, Giulia Sonetti, Ivan Šulc,
Jelena Brajković, Zvi Weinstein
, with Michelle Holliday (Guest Preface) Anna Williamson (TM and Vastu Architecture). Scott McAulay (Climate Literacy) Francesco Gonella (Systems Thinking) and Lydia Singh (RegenVast)

Zoom Regenerative Tutorials

What is Possible?

The Zoom Regenerative Pollinator series Pollinator Series – a series of three one hour sessions, commences on May 4th with Regenerative Minds.

We invite you to participate in three collaborative modules, hosted online by Martin Brown and the ZR team with guest contributors. The three modules will provide an immersion into regenerative topics, trends and thinking – to refresh existing knowledge and skills and/or begin to understand regenerative principles from the ground up and to view them holistically.

Registration and more details here 

Regenerative Minds. 4th May A deeper understanding of what regenerative is and means within our built environment context. Perhaps all too often we use the Einstein quote that “we cannot solve problems with the same mindset that created them”. Yet we may not fully appreciate the mindset now needed to move forward with the regenerative, do more good, not just reduce impact, approach. This session will explore, using design and living systems thinking, how we can acknowledge that we inhabit a biosphere that is interconnected and interdependent.

Reciprocity. 6th May An understanding of a reciprocity based connectivity with nature and each other, through, and beyond biophilia. This module examines and goes beyond biophilia (love of life) to explore an understanding of what reciprocity can mean for us in the built environment. There are no transactional relationships in nature where living systems are based on reciprocity.

Regenerative Practice.11 May Exploration of project management approaches for regenerative projects. Moving from ‘systems thinking to ‘living systems thinking’ to provide a new form of symbiotic collaboration. Where we have power with, not over. Like the roots of a tree, or a complex web of mycelium, our collaborative strength is dependant on the strength of others, and vice-versa.

Registration and more details here 

Restore / Zoom Regenerative / Earthday

Our Restore / Zoom Regenerative event, listed as an Earthday event was a bittersweet affair with the four years EU Cost Action RESTORE ending its journey on the 30th of April. And like all strong communities – RESTORE has, and will continue to seed further progress in the built environment, and beyond. I echo Carlo Battisti (chair of Restore) recent comment, ‘it has been one of the most amazing and inspiring four years of my career’

The RESTORE programme assembled, through the work of over 160 members across 40 countries a phenomenal Body of Knowledge, all freely downloadable from the RESTORE pages.

Adding to the formable Regenerative Body of Knowledge (RBoK) from the RESTORE programme, there has been a raft of publications released this week as the 4 years EU Cost Action RESTORE winds up.

  • RESTORD 2030 a guide for educators,
  • Restory – the story of Restore,
  • A System Thinking Guide to Scale Jumping,s.

Recordings from the Sabden Restore Ready event can be viewed here, along with all other recordings for this series. This includes the brilliant Restore Animations – six short (90 sec) animations, one for each of the RESTORE working group.

Regenerative Notes 6

Regen Notes,  a fortnightly newsletter is released through substack, as an update of regenerative news, stories and more with a sideways focus on the built environment, curated by me, Martin Brown. These newsletters will be also shared here for Patreon subscribers.

Here is Regen Notes 6, the most recent – previous newsletters can be read here.

Restore, Restory, Restord,

On a dreary wet Brussels day in 2017, I walked from the city hotel over to the COST offices for the inaugural meeting of our COST RESTORE ‘action’. Some 40 attendees shaped the work programme, collaborations and friendships for the next four years. (RESTORE – Rethinking Sustainability for a Regenerative Future)

RESTORE may now be concluding but will leave a canon legacy of publications, papers and more that will spring further regenerative projects and development. We are currently embarking on a series of RESTORE READY events across Europe – Paris, Madrid, Belgrade, Malmo and Sabden are still open for registration. 

Writing and editing of the first drafts of RESTORY – the telling the project management of our four-year research network, and of RESTORDa guide for educators, students and partitioners, are now complete and the publication process begins.

RESTORD is based on asking what will good look like through imagining a city in the future that applied all the thinking from RESTORE, not as isolated technical or sustainability aspects, but at a system thinking, holistic level, where the synergy of the parts leads to something wonderful and beautiful, embracing complexity, at the edge of chaos. RESTORD also picks up on a long-held belief that that one of the most vital aspects of sustainability is to inspire the next generation to reach higher, to be bolder, more courageous and more disruptive from business as usual than our generation has been.

In writing RESTORD it is hard not to reflect that so much of our built environment process persists in degenerative practice, we have a long way to go in a short time to fully embrace regenerative, do more good, not only less bad, approaches. We may have the technologies but now need the mindsets. A section within RESTORD, Mind the Regenerative Future was a journey of discovery on the necessity for higher awareness and consciousness, from mindfulness to self-organising systems, from symbiotic building to Transcendental Meditation and Vastu Architecture. 

Sustainability is not possible without engaging in the process of Regeneration or Conscious Evolution …Jason Mclellan, founder of Living Building Challenge (From living Buildings to Building life) 


RESTORD also carries an exploration of Eco Literacy and our need for standing on the shoulders of giants. Writing with Giulia Sonetti “At the heart of most eco-literature, if not all, is our relationship with nature, with land, either directly as individuals or through our industrial and societal progress, through energy, transport, communications and our built environment”

Many of the suggested eco-literacy genre authors noted in RESTORD are to be (re)published in a Penguin Green Ideas paperback series, including authors such as Aldo Leopold (Think Like a Mountain), EO Wilson (Every Species is a Masterpiece), Robin Wall Kimmerer (The Democracy of Species), Rachel Carson (Man’s War Against Nature), Naomi Klein (Hot Money) Wendell Berry (What I Stand for is What I Stand On) and Bill McKibben (An Idea Can Go Extinct) 

Also noted in respect of new books is “Design Studio Vol. 1: Everything Needs to Change: Architecture and the Climate Emergency”  published by RIBA, “‘Exploring architecture and the climate emergency, editors Sofie Pelsmakers (sustainable architect, educator and author of The Environmental Design Pocketbook) and Nick Newman (climate activist and Director of award-winning practice Studio Bark) are channelling the message of Greta Thunberg to inspire, enthuse and inform the next generation of architects. 


Most of the UK’s environmental protections stem from EU law and so could be changed as a result of Brexit. Greener UK has produced a Risk Tracker to show which policy areas are more secure, and which are most at risk. ‘Encouraging the UK government will go further than simply safeguarding protections, to take advantage of the great opportunity of restoring nature and our natural resources within a generation, as set out in the Greener UK vision’

Continuing the Regen-Notes nature and health theme, the BBC reported on the German trend of waldeinsamkeit, an archaic German term for the feeling of “forest loneliness”. Or more appropriately, the enlightened, sublime feeling that can come from being alone in the woods, seeking calm, fresh air and hermit-like solitude with the country’s restriction-free spruce, conifer, beech, oak and birch forests busier than ever. 

Over this spring and summer, Plantlife has four different Hunts with over 70 flowers to get to know. Starting with spring favourites, from first yellows of celandines and primroses, through to bluebells and cuckooflower 

Partners at the UP STRAW project have created a library of more than 400 publications dedicated to building with straw. The library, a free reference management tool that allows the user to manage bibliographical data and documents such as websites, videos, scientific articles, books and PDFs. 

Earthhour occurs on the 27th of March. No matter where you are in the world, you can make an impact and join for the Hour to speak up for nature! 


The Risk of Letting Big Finance Write Its Own Climate Rules – Bloomberg article explores the risk in how big finance interprets zero carbon – and it looks very different from stabilising and reducing CO2 to address and mitigate the climate and ecological crisis. 

Carbon offsets offer a fantasy of capitalism without crises from Robert Watt in The Conversation explores the far fetched world of carbon credit trading, where “actors all have conflicts of interest – developers want to sell more credits, while standards agencies and auditors want to gain market share. The resulting credits they certify are offered as a cheap means to appear green” 

Just Is

Georgia Elliott Smith launched a new campaign video for her legal challenge of the UK Government over incineration pollution and carbon emissions.Georgia Elliott-Smith @georgiaesHelp me fight the UK govt in the High Court on 14th & 15th April 2021, demanding #climatejustice and an end to incinerator pollution. Find out more at #somethingintheairImage

March 9th 202124 Retweets34 Likes

Zoom Regenerative 

Zoom Regenerative 28 featured Louise Hamot exploring carbon in MEP based on her work, recently published in CIBSE Technical Memorandum 65: Embodied Carbon in building services, and insights from Slovakia with Marián Ontkóc on low or negative carbon building materials, crafts and tutoring.

Delighted that Zoom Regenerative 29, on the 23rd March will feature Eden Brukman sharing insights from her regenerative work with the City of San Fransisco and beyond. Equally delighted that ZR29 will also feature Freddie Catlow in Stockholm, sharing his journey in bamboo, “from one to boo”, that led to his business venture Planboo. Registration here.

The Zoom Regenerative Earthday special, a hybrid event in Sabden Lancashire, hosted by the wonderful Class of Your Own, in conjunction with RESTORE and Living Future Europe will be held on the 20th April. The full-day (2 pm-9 pm) session will feature RESTORE Ready presentations and discussions, local regenerative presentations with an educational theme and a series of peach kuchas on regenerative practice in NW England to create a Living Future Collaborative hub. Wow 

And finally, excited to announce the ZR Pollinator Tutorials are shaping up for the week of 3 May. Tutorials will explore the foundations and basics of leading-edge regenerative themes, including Mind the Regenerative Future; Regenerative Economics; Regenerative Collaborations and The Living Building Challenge that features so much in the ZR sessions.

Regen Notes 4

Welcome to Regen Notes issue 4, a fortnightly newsletter of regenerative news, stories and more with a sideways focus on the built environment, curated by Martin Brown. Read more from this newsletter and subscribe to get Regen Notes to your inbox here


The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review, continues to get a lot of climate press coverage, but not that I have noticed within the built environment sector. As noted in RegenNotes 3, central to the Review, and to progress towards an economy that addresses the natural ecology is the inclusion of ecology as a core educational subject.

The UK is to set up green finance hubs in Leeds and London, as part of efforts to encourage lenders and insurers to invest in renewable energy and sustainable industry. Its mission will be to provide data and analytics to financial institutions to support their investment decisions. 

“Who would listen to Bill Gates, billionaire, on how to save the planet,” asks Bill Gates. His new book ‘How To Avoid A Climate Disaster’ is receiving a lot of media coverage. Gates focuses on two numbers 51billion and Zero. 51bn being the amount of co2 emitted annually and 0 the number we need to get to by 2050. Worth checking out is his interesting view on what he calls “the juggernaut of emissions generated by the global construction cement and steel industries” 

On which CNBC reported this week: “Cement giant turn to green hydrogen and carbon capture in efforts to curb emissions” A subsidiary of multinational building materials firm HeidelbergCement is working with researchers from Swansea University to install and operate a green hydrogen fuelled concrete production demonstration unit at a site in the UK.


An emerging and important approach to reconnection with nature is in granting natural features legal status. Amidst the US November 2020 elections, legal rights were granted to the Little Wekiva River, Orange County, Florida as having a “right to exist, flow, to be protected against pollution, and to maintain a healthy ecosystem.” 

This was an approach that I raised for discussion on a recent workshop session for the ‘“Symbiotisch Bouwen” in the Netherlands. (Whose aim is to demonstrate the application of symbiotic construction by designing and building an innovation pavilion at Kloosters). A question raised was that If nature is seen to be a stakeholder to projects, with legal status, how would Nature be represented, and who will represent, around the briefing, design, construction planning tables?

This approach popped up on the wonderful BBC OutofDoors programme/podcast in a conversation with Allison Phillips UNESCO Chair of Integration at Glasgow University. Allison started the interview with her mihi, (a Maori greeting, introducing yourself through connectivity with land, culture, ancestry and arrival) and explores how Maori land stewardship in New Zealand, led to the recognition of land having a legal personality, where respect for the land as a living growing entity should be taken into account. Although broadcast at 6:30am on Saturday mornings, OutOfDoors is a real early morning treat, it is available through podcasts. 

One successful organisation addressing the importance of nature within economics is Ecosia. “Planting forests, one search at a time”, Ecosia is a non-profit organisation that funnels any revenue that isn’t needed to cover its overheads, tax and marketing efforts towards tree planting initiatives. The company founded on green principles is responsible for less than 1% of search worldwide, compared to the whopping 91.39% market share held by Google. 

However … the company has planted almost 120 million trees to date, across 9,000 planting sites worldwide. One tree is planted for roughly every 45 searches made via Ecosia, at a current rate of 1.3 trees per second, suggesting five million searches are carried out every day using the service. 


The question remains how built environment economics will address and move to a regenerative economy, one that takes an “ecological world view in which nature is the model.” How will accountant and surveyor and educational institutions, courses and practices move to embrace a regenerative economic approach?

Many organisations and institutes have now declared climate and ecological emergencies, but as Scott Macaulay pointed out on Zoom Regen 26, emergencies don’t wait for the typical 3 or 5-year academic cycles – or for that matter the 3 or 5-year business planning cycles – they require immediate action. 

Scott also illustrated how poorly we understand climate and carbon – not surprising as we have a number of different labels, each with differing descriptions for carbon reduction, carbon neutral, carbon positive and negative and so on.

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