Urban planning is the study of planning cities and housing estates. The task of urban planning is to provide residents with a good, peaceful life in the city and to protect the environment, both natural and cultural (monuments).
Urban planners plan places for residential buildings, schools, kindergartens, nurseries, cultural buildings (theaters, cinemas, community centers) or sports infrastructure, municipal offices, industrial plants and city transport. It depends on them how the city will function. People should be able to feel good there, breathe clean air, have comfortable places to work and rest. If a city like that is created, we can call it a harmonious and balanced space.
Construction of ecovillages began in the 1980s. People tired of living in cities wanted to live calmer and healthier lives. On the land they purchased, they built houses from natural materials and agreed to follow the rules of natural life and protect the environment. They grow vegetables and fruits using solar and wind energy. They have their own water and sewage systems, because they have wells and ecological home sewage treatment plants. They compost all household waste, recover and reuse (recycling) various materials (these reused materials are recyclable materials) for gardening or construction work.
It was established in 1995. It is an international village inhabited by several families whose members are of different ages. The inhabitants cultivate organic farming on the farm and are self-sufficient. They also conduct educational activities for guests in the garden and orchard, staying in touch with nature and a healthy environment.
Terra Nova, Nowa Ziemia, an educational and ecological center, was established in 1978. Adults and children live there, work and learn to live naturally and in peace, build a community based on cooperation and mutual trust. All houses are powered by renewable energy sources. Their center, called Biotope, collaborates with other similar centers around the world.
Eco-estates are built in cities where municipal offices and architects planned complexes of eco-friendly single- or multi-family houses with gardens. The houses are equipped with energy-saving technologies: solar panels or wind turbines, local biological sewage treatment plants, rainwater containers for watering plants. Buildings are made of natural materials, more and more often of hemp concrete, which creates a microclimate in the houses and is energy-efficient.
The new Słoneczne estate has been under construction since 2013 in a town near Poznań, surrounded by forests. There is a park with a pond on the estate, a playground for children, and convenient internal access roads. There are detached and semi-detached houses with gardens and garages. The buildings have a wooden structure and thick multi-layer walls. Photovoltaic panels are installed on the roofs to heat the building and water. Special mats installed in the floors, powered by solar energy, additionally heat the rooms. Houses produce more energy than they can consume, are energy efficient and passive. The residents do not pay any electricity bills.
Vauban, the southern district of Friborg, was founded in 1998 and is now inhabited by around 5,000 inhabitants. Residents go on foot or by bike, cars are parked on the outskirts of the district in a multi-story garage. All houses have gardens. They are heated by photovoltaic panels and generate surplus energy, which they sell to the municipal grid. The houses are passive. Residents care for greenery, have their own community center and manage the estate together.
When it comes to ecological architecture, we often come across the word permaculture. Permaculture means design and cultivation in harmony with nature. The term includes not only natural architecture, but also gardens that self-regulate like in the wild. It is a new type of agriculture that doesn’t use chemical fertilizers and doesn’t plow the soil. Mulching is used like in a forest. Mulch is a source of natural fertilizer. Wood cuttings, twigs, manure, hay, nitrogen-rich green plants, compost plants and straw are used to make it. There is no sterilization of the soil or water pollution in permaculture. Ecovillages are self-sufficient, because the inhabitants have their own food: they grow vegetables, fruit, and herbs; instead of lawns they have meadows with wild edible plants, they build fish ponds, create orchards, take care of forests, and keep animals. They have their own solar and wind energy sources, biological sewage treatment plants, and rainwater recovery installations. There are several zones in a farm design: 0.house and its surroundings, 1.zone closest to the house, where annual plants that require more attention are grown, 2.perennial plants that can be looked after less often, 3. zone of root crops (potatoes, beets , corn), 4. semi-wild zone, where timber and mulch are obtained, 5. wild zone, forest ecosystem without human interference.
We get to know the variety of plants and crops in the garden zones of the entire farm - a well-designed farm provides excellent yields, a clean environment and a good rest.
We set up a flower and herbal, year-round permaculture garden - a difficult name, but it is an interesting garden job, with layers of twig, nettles, manure and soil mulch. Composing and planting plants. And lots of fun!
The permaculture settlement in Podlodówek, together with the surrounding settlers, belongs to the GEN - Global Network of Ecological Villages. The inhabitants of these villages cooperate with each other, take care of nature and biodiversity, and create ecosystems. They work in gardens and orchards, they organize workshops and teach a healthy lifestyle: healthy nutrition and rest as well as care for the environment, people and animals.
Claire Gregorys suburban permaculture garden, 2009