What is Urban Permaculture?

Urban permaculture is permaculture happening in urban environments like towns, cities and industrialised spaces. It's about designing and managing our cities in a way that's sustainable, resilient, and productive. By creating systems that work with nature, rather than against it, both people and the planet can thrive.

There is a misconception that permaculture is only for people who live in the countryside, but some of the mosteffective and innovative permaculture happens in our cities! As well as having better public transport links and more community facilities, in urban spaces we live side by side with our nieghbours. The role of community and collaboration in growing personal resilience and improving your personal wellbeing, can not be overstated. We are communal animals and for us to have a positive impact shaping the future of our planet, we need to work together!

In the UK, 82.9% of the population lives in urban environments verses 17.1% living rurally. This is most of us! If you live in a town, city or urban space and you want to find out more about permaculture… read on!
 

child digging in raised bed

Urban food production

You can grow healthy, nutritious food in the smallest of spaces. Try growing vegetables and edible flowers in patio pots, herbs in a window boxes and strawberries in pallets. Growing your own food, even if it is just a small amount, creates a free, nutrious source of food and creates a connection to nature which improves mental health and fitness. 

ladybird moth on a flower

Biodiversity

Urban spaces can be far more biodiverse than rural areas monopolised by industrialised agriculture. The collective effort across millions of back gardens, patios, balconies, planters and street trees provides a habitat for a huge diversity of insects, birds and mammals. Grow a diverse range of plants which flower across a long season, add a small pond or water tray, and add bird houses for shelter. 

Volunteers at Hyde Park Source

Community building

Permaculture is more than just growing food. It's about growing thriving communities who work together for the benefit of the planet and each other. Find your local community garden, Climate Hub, Transition Town to see how you can get involved. 

Earthed up hut and water storage

Water conservation

We can conserve water in our homes by creating simple rainwater harvesting systems, reusing our greywater, and planting drought-resistant plants such as Thyme and Sage. Connect a small water butt to a downpipe and save water 200+litre of water for hot-weather watering. 

Earthworm in soil

Waste reduction

Composting food scraps helps plants grow, nourishes the soil, reduces chemical use and reduces the amount of waste we send to landfill sites.  Small hot compost bins and wormeries fit on a balcony and produces free compost for our plants! 

small curve

Urban Permaculture in Action

Take a look at some of the best examples of urban permacultures, shared by our Permaculture Community.

small curve

Urban Permaculture Resources

Watch

'Tour of London Permaculture Projects'

'Permablitz: Living with the Land'

Websites

Mark's Garden

Vertical Veg

urban agriculture consortium logo

Urban Agriculture Consortium

London National Park City

London National Park City

Crystal Palace Transition Town group shot

Transition Network

Read

Pippa's book

Plant Lover’s Backyard Forest Garden

Mark's book

Vertical Veg Guide to Container Gardening

alan's book

Food Forest in your Garden

No Dig book cover

No Dig Organic Home & Garden

Compact living

Compact Living

Forager’s Garden

Forager’s Garden

The Seasoned Gardener

The Seasoned Gardener

The Permaculture City

The Permaculture City

The Community Food Forest Handbook

The Community Food Forest Handbook

volunteers at festival of permaculture 2023

Join as a member

Permaculture is more than just a different way to garden. It’s a fresh perspective, inspired by nature, that helps us make better-informed choices which give the planet and its people the best chance at flourishing.The Permaculture Association is the UK’s leading charity providing nature-based solutions. Since 1983, our members have been at the forefront of regenerative agriculture, green community development, sustainable living and natural gardening.

Join as a regular member to transform your house and garden and access our extensive project support materials. Join as a professional to showcase your education, design or consultancy experience to others. Get in touch to talk about how we can work with your business or organisation to bring permaculture skills and insights into your workplace. Donate or provide funds to help increase our reach and impact.