Project Case Studies
What is a Regenerative Community?
People move around their community with mass transit, walking, biking, and car-sharing. The jobs, services, and goods they need are located within the transportation system. No sitting in traffic in an idling car. Children can get to school easily. People live in housing they can afford. Enjoying shared spaces -- gardens, interactive art displays, and public places for gatherings large and small. Food produced locally. Nature experienced nearby. Water used efficiently and wisely. Energy produced locally from renewable resources including solar, wind, and biomass. People feel safe, connected, and have a sense of belonging.
Is a regenerative community just imaginary or actually achievable?
It can be. Here’s why. When people from all walks of life are encouraged to share their ideas and participate in creating the community they want, they move beyond being consumers to having a stake in rethinking and improving their quality of life. By assigning equal value to the social, economic, and environmental qualities of their home, they develop a shared vision of community meeting their unique needs and desires.
The community, like anything in nature, evolves. Because residents actively guide their future, their personal investment in the community makes it easier to adapt to both problems and opportunities as they arise. As a result, supporting the continued health and economic viability of their community becomes a heartfelt mission.
EXAMPLES FROM THE UNITED STATES AND BEYOND
These projects come from Regenerative Development and Design: A Framework for Evolving Sustainability by Pamela Mang, Ben Haggard, and Regenesis Group
Albuquerque’s International District
Albuquerque’s east mesa forms a high alluvial plain that overlooks the city’s historic downtown, located along the Rio Grande. The mesa’s dry grasslands were used mostly for grazing during the city’s first 200 years. Near the turn of the twentieth century, homesteaders ventured into the area, followed by settlers in the years following World War II.
Curitiba, a provincial capital of approximately 2.5 million people, is located in
southeastern Brazil. It has no exceptional landmarks, no beaches or vistas, and it rains a lot. In the last century, large numbers of migrants began arriving from the surrounding countryside, slums and shanty towns sprang up around the city’s edges, and resources dwindled. Yet, rather than succumb to poverty, unemployment, inequity, and pollution, Curitiba’s citizens have
brought about continuous improvement in their quality of life.