Regenerative design and development is a body of work that addresses the opportunity to optimise the productive potential of well managed urban ecologies. This can be achieved through closing the loops of materials and resources that flow through a city and cascading them through many more designed cycles of beneficial use, that in turn structure urban ecologies and space making.
We are aware that cities in Africa are in a state of crisis at many levels. The after effects of colonisation, rampant urbanisation and the subsequent growth of informal settlements, growing inequalities, weak administration and unemployment and all the negative consequences that follow from these phenomena are creating and reproducing societies that are fractured.
The extent of social breakdown that has occurred in African urban settings is reflected in increases in; crime, family structure break down, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy increase, youth radicalisation, sexual and physical abuse and the marginalisation of the poor . Wealthy residents hide behind walls and gated enclaves, while poor inhabitants in urban areas have fewer social safety nets available to adapt to crises and disasters that may occur.
The communiTgrow approach develops the theme of sustainable design and extends it to positively enhance and even regenerate the ecosystem services within and around the City’s boundaries. Regenerative development theory sees humans, human developments, social structures and cultural concerns as an inherent part of ecosystems. communiTgrow’s understanding of regenerative design, however, extends far beyond the biophysical realm and addresses – not just developmental and social agendas – but seeks to actualise the healing of society as fundamental to regeneration. Regeneration is about creating a context that nurtures an alternative future, one based on understanding equity, accountability, and commitment. This is an evolutionary approach, one that evolves over time and through changing of mindsets. Regenerative development starts with the current context, but works from an understanding of place and people, whose self-organisation is the basis for evolutionary behaviour, and whose potential can be realised if avenues for development are opened up. This regeneration can be achieved through structures, controls and functions that guide the practical steps that support the transition from current conditions to the preferred reality namely cities for our common future that support communities with capacities to thrive and flourish.
Online edition & free download of communiTgrow’s book “2 BILLION STRONG” available here.