While the author makes no claims to be an expert in Permaculture and claims even less expertise in the realm of RUrban design, both concepts are imperative in the formation of truly sustainable developments.
Permaculture was effectively a “rediscovery” largely mastered by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in Australia beginning in the 1970s. The term “rediscovery” is used, because there are examples of similar methods being used literally thousands of years ago, somewhere around the time of the Christ. An actual food forest remains in Southern Morocco, that was estimated to have been developed roughly two thousand years in the past. To this day it still produces an abundance of food, despite what is very likely to have been literally hundreds of years without any intervention by humanity whatsoever, much less any “traditional farming” methods for its maintenance and upkeep.
However, as impressive and relevant as the food forests may be to the overall concept and general principles of systemic sustainable development, both Permaculture and RUrban design move well past this realm and into the realm of actual, physical layout and design, not only for rural areas, but also for the more urban population centers as well. Upon a truly intense review of these methods and principles, it would seem as if they are, at the end of the day, merely based on what should really be little more than common sense. Unfortunately, these principles are all too often ignored and even shunned by those in a position to ensure that such sustainable development moved to the forefront of all human growth and development … as it should.
Permacultural development utilizes the natural surrounding environment in order to establish a more natural flow. While man-made, the environments do remain wholly and completely natural and complete as well. They are designed in such a way so as to create a more natural and symbiotic relationship between society and nature.
The ability to learn from the construction as completed by Disney as far back as the 1950s and 1960s, in addition to the many known examples of underground government complexes, also leads us to believe that much of the actual construction can be completed underground, allowing for even more room on the surface of the planet to establish more environmentally sustainable means of building that which must be built above ground. It is indeed very possible to drive through a series of green, rolling hills, filled with all manner of natural life and produce, only to discover that you are in actuality, in the middle of a thriving industrial park. Such is not the work of science fiction writers, but a very real possibility that has existed for well over half a century, but has never been implemented at the larger scale necessary for truly sustainable, systemic development for humanity.
RUrban design, likewise takes many factors into consideration, but also allows that a great many people will desire to live in larger urban population centers, and works again to create a more symbiotic relationship between humanity and nature, but also to the extent that it takes more sociological factors into account in order to bring the community together more so than is commonly undertaken in modern, “civilized” society. It further incorporates environmentally sound architectural and design principles, wherein the vast majority of the buildings provide something in return for their inhabitants as well.