Skip to main content.

Appendix A: Recognising Regenerative Development

Regenerative development recognises that humans, human developments, social structures and cultural concerns are an inherent part of ecosystems.

It investigates how humans can participate in ecosystems through development, to create optimum health for both human communities (physically, psychologically, socially, culturally and economically) and other living organisms and systems.

How to recognise regenerative development

  1. The development is a positive contributor6 to the living systems (biotic and human) in which it occurs.
  2. The development is an instrument for achieving true sustainability through creating living systems with the capacity to carry on continuous evolution.
  3. The development is a source of deeper meaning and significance, and new potential for all who engage in it.

How to create/design/begin regenerative development

  1. Understand the whole system or master pattern of place beyond site boundaries.  Translate these patterns into design guidelines.
  2. Understand and base design on local reality (both ecological and cultural) rather than theory alone.
  3. Understand and align the human aspirations of a project.  Understand that the diversity and uniqueness of each place (socially, culturally and environmentally) is crucial to the design.  Use this to define the project and to create a sense of place.
  4. Leverage and understand relationships and systems.
  5. Use multidisciplinary knowledge and design teams.
  6. Design to allow complexity and ongoing feedback and dialogue processes that allow the development to evolve over long time periods.
  7. Use integrated and participatory design and construction processes.
  8. Conserve, restore, and regenerate ecosystems.  Seek to create or restore the capacity of ecosystems and bio-geological cycles to function without human management.

Adapted from Reed (2007) and Pedersen Zari (2008a).

6 For example, the development may clean water, clean air, build soil, create energy, turn waste into resource ...