Regenerative Design

The transition to a Regenerative Economy is about seeing the world in a different way: a shift to an ecological world view in which nature is the model.

The third publication in the ‘Regenerative Sustainability series from COST Restore is now available (free download from the CostRestore webpages)

Design can no longer be only concerned with reducing environmental impacts within the threshold of greenhouse gas emissions. Buildings today must be developed to reverse the effects of climate change, enhance natural systems, the built environment and habitants health.

“Regenerative Design in the Digital Practice” explores how the regenerative concept is now being applied to the regenerative design of cities and buildings. A series of digital design approaches are exemplified via a series of examples drawn from leading international practitioners and researchers.

This inspiring and comprehensive publication, stretching to over 400 pages is a huge achievement by editors Emanuele Naboni and Lisanne Havinga,working with Co-Editors: Martin BrownDr.Angela Loder,  Sergio AltomonteTerri PetersLuca FinocchiaroAta ChokhachianClarice Bleil de SouzaCatherine De Wolf and Antonino Marvuglia  it contains over 100 contributors.

“Regenerative Design in the Digital Practice” fills a gap in the existing literature by introducing fundamental design principles of regenerative design practice whilst acknowledging the potential and imperative of integrating science, big data and multi-discipline digital tools in the design process.

This book offers those involved within the built environment a wide range of insights into regenerative design from international design practitioners and researchers in the field. As well as theoretical insights into the historical, cultural and philosophical development of regenerative design, practical insights are framed in a set of key regenerative design principles, methods and performance simulation tools. Finally, the ability to create regenerative designs and the positive impacts they bring are demonstrated through a series of built examples.

Pillars of Regenerative Design

CONTENTS:

REGENERATIVE DEFINITIONS FOR DESIGNERS
The Pillars of Regenerative Design
Edited Martin Brown, Emanuele Naboni, Lisanne Havinga
TOOLS AND DATA FOR HOLISTIC MODELLING
Simulating Regenerative Futures
Edited Emanuele Naboni, Clarice Bleil de Souza, Terri Peters, Lisanne Havinga
CLIMATE AND ENERGY FOR REGENERATIVE URBAN DESIGN
Local Context, Adaptation, Resilience
Edited Emanuele Naboni, Ata Chokhachian, Luca Finnochiaro, Lisanne Havinga
CARBON AND ECOLOGY WITHIN THE DESIGN PROCESS
Environmental Impact Assessment
Edited Lisanne Havinga, Catherine De Wolf, Antonino Marvuglia, Emanuele Naboni
HUMAN WELL-BEING VIA CERTIFICATION AND TOOLS
Comfort, Health, Satisfaction, Well-being
Edited Angela Loder, Sergio Altomonte, Emanuele Naboni, Lisanne Havinga
CASE STUDIES SHOWCASING REGENERATIVE DESIGN 346
From Theory to Realisation
Edited by Emanuele Naboni, Lisanne Having

The other COST Restore Publications, also free to download, include:

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.

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.

Future titles will include Regenerative Technologies, Scale Jumping and Atlas of Solutions.

Microbiome inspired green infrastructure: rewilding the city, one human body at a time.

person holding photo of roots

Green roofs, living walls, urban green landscape could prove to provide more benefits than first thought. In addition to the obvious nature, biodiversity benefits and the biophilic wellbeing and air benefits, connection to nature can also rewild the microbiome ecosystems within our bodies leading to better health. (Microbiomes are the billions of microbes that live on and within our bodies and regulate our health)

With the first law of ecology, (and that oft quoted John Muir sound bite) that everything is connected, it is not so surprising that the microbiome in our bodies is connected to the wider natural eco-system. A topic I touched on with Specifi building engineers in Leeds recently!

In FutuREstorative I talk of rewilding nature, buildings and people. Rewilding is not just about reintroducing big predators such as the wolf, or reintroducing missing parts of any natural ecosystem chain, but about ‘creating conditions that allow the emergence of natural responsiveness and development’. This is regenerative, not restricting what we allow nature to do, but seeing the the way we design, construct and maintain the built environment as a part of nature, not apart from nature

Yet, the next frontier in rewilding and indeed, in the evolving sustainability nexus of buildings and wellbeing could well be within the human body itself. Researchers are exploring ways to ‘rewild’ the microbiome of urban dwellers whose microbiome state maybe below par (due to urban environments and lack of nature) back a more natural and healthier state.

Challenges 09 00040 g002
A vision for the future: microbiome-inspired green infrastructure (MIGI) and multi-sensorial, multiculturally inclusive, and foraging-friendly green spaces (created by the paper author).

A paper published in the journal Challenges, explores the human body as a holobiont—that is a ‘host along with billions of microbial organisms working symbiotically to form a functioning ecological unit’— that has the potential to enhance both human and planetary health. And the way we design cities can be a vital contribution. In the paper, Jake Robinson of University of Sheffield UK and Jacob Mills and Martin Breed of the University of Adelaide in Australia propose that urban planners focus on creating microbiome-inspired green infrastructure to “innovative living urban features that could potentially enhance public health via health-inducing microbial interactions.”

The paper notes that ‘connecting with nature, both physically and psychologically, has been shown to enhance our health and wellbeing, and adds to other recent calls for the inclusion of the environment-microbiome-health axis in nature–human health research’

A call for microbiome inspired green infrastructure – “innovative living urban features that could potentially enhance public health via health-inducing microbial interactions.” – would certainly widen the project design team to include biologists and microbiome professionals.

Robinson, J.M.; Mills, J.G.; Breed, M.F. “Walking Ecosystems in Microbiome-Inspired Green Infrastructure: An Ecological Perspective on Enhancing Personal and Planetary Health.” Challenges. 2018, 9, 40.

Source (and borrowed inspiration for the title) for this blog post appeared in Anthropocene Magazine in November 2018

Header Image: Jenny Hill, Swinsty Reservoir, United Kingdom, Unsplash

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Sustainia publishes 100 innovative solutions to support SDG’s

Over the last five years the Sustainia100 publication from Sustainia has always been a welcomed and inspiring read. Over this period It has tracked more than 4,500 solutions to date from all over the world. This year’s edition features solutions deployed in 188 countries, and more than half come from small and mid-sized enterprises. Showcasing everything from health solutions that tackle climate change, to renewable energy products that alleviate gender inequality, this year’s publication presents 100 solutions that respond to interconnected global challenges and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Chart_of_UN_Sustainable_Development_Goals

 

  • Four key trends:
    • Cities as Health Promoters
    • Making Profit from Unlikely Materials
    • Disrupting the Electrical Grid
    • People Powered Data for Better Infrastructure
  • Many Building related innovations and solutions are included, of particular note are:
    • Making Carpet Tiles from Old Fishing Nets (Interface / Aquafil)
    • Legislated Green Roofs and Solar Panels (France)
    • Growing Bricks with Bacteria (bioMason)
    • Green Bonds for Low Impact Building projects (Vasakronan)
    • Cement Free Mortar (KALK)
    • Solar Powered Water Purification (Desolenator)
    • Cities and Health: Using Communities to Bolster Health
    • Solar Storage Community Platform (Sonnen)

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Read the Sustainia  100 online here. The publication was launched on 7th June with an accompanying tweetchat, a storify record of which can be found on line, for example:

Q1: What does sustainable action mean to you ?

Q3 How have the #SDGs changed sustainable innovation?

Q8: What do you think is the next big opportunity in sustainability?