Smart, green, renewal, sustainable, low-carbon, carbon neutral, fair. The list of words and concepts that are framed for good or marketing and reframed for other intents is ever-growing. Or, to be less cynical, are adopted by quite different crowds who interpret the words and concepts in different ways.
As already mentioned in another post, regenerative is likely to be one of the next concepts to split off in different directions. Here are two articles on the topic, with differing tones and methods, but both interesting in their own way.
In 9 ways to create a local regenerative economy, Roar Bjonnes for Shareable considers regeneration as part of a vision for thinking globally and acting locally. First by reenforcing the commons, and then by curbing the accumulation of wealth.
We need to replace policies based on private enterprise and accumulation of profit with policies protecting our commons—land, water, energy, as well as the internet. These natural, intellectual, and scientific resources belong to all of humanity, not only to the corporate elite. […]
A global cap on wealth accumulation is needed, as well as a maximum and minimum income, to balance the global inequality crisis.
Next, by rethinking the whole of the economy “to live within the constraints of the environment,” and by evolving a three-tier economy made up of small-scale private enterprises, corporations transformed into worker-owned cooperatives, and by turning key industries into public entities “run by national, regional and local governments and boards on a no-profit, no-loss basis, in order to prevent concentration of wealth, speculation and exploitation of natural resources.”
Move from an economics of greed toward an economics of need, since local economies are much more effective at serving the local needs for housing, education, health care, food, and energy
Independently of how any of us might feel about such a project, at the very least we can agree that this vision for a turn to the regenerative involves optimistic, varied, and massive changes. One last quote I’d like to draw your attention to, this example of criterias to define “local.”
The criteria to understand what constitutes a local or bio-regional area should also be outlined: language, culture, geology, resources, topography, economic similarity, and other criteria, can be taken into account.
In this second article, Introducing regenerative placemaking by Tony Cho, the founder of Future of Cities, we can see a very different vision of regenerative cities, imagined by “a coalition of city leaders, global experts and community builders co-creating sustainable cities.” The video at the top of the article shows the global scale of changes needed, roughly aligned with the first article above. The piece itself is a bit more down to earth and focused on architecture and placemaking.