Regenerative settlements are places where humans and nature live in a mutually beneficial relationship that actively restores ecosystems and supports the local population to thrive. This is more than “sustainable” living – it’s a cooperative approach that dynamically renews all life. The Blueprint Alliance, formed in 2013, is collaborating on integrated design solutions for regenerative settlements to create coordinated aid measures in crisis and disaster areas. Blueprint 200 is a core project of the alliance which will create a living, open-source manual through the design and construction phases – while manifesting a first demonstration site in Tamera.
“The ‘Blueprint’ is a system of guidelines, principles and adaptive modules for regionally autonomous, regenerative community development. It’s designed to be adapted to many different situations and climatic conditions.”
BERND MUELLER, director of our Global Ecology Institute
While consulting on water in Haiti, Bernd Mueller and Christoph Ulbig from our Global Ecology Institute saw that the money channeled into aid projects with goodwill supported the same system that has generated poverty, dependency and environmental destruction in the first place. What’s presented as a solution is, in fact, often part of the problem. They were driven by a deep call to collaborate and contribute to effective systemic change.
The topic of homelessness is one that touches us deeply. More and more places in this world become uninhabitable due to human-made disasters such as wars, dictatorships, mining or climate change, and countless millions of people are forced to leave their homes. According to a UNICEF report in 2016, 50 million children in the world are refugees. Hardly any of them can return home and often end up staying in the place where they settled first, without many prospects for the future. In our dominant culture there’s no clear vision of the needs of the human and the environment. In the current paradigm, where we settle, we destroy.
“Blueprint” starts from the acknowledgement that we as humanity need a completely new approach for how we inhabit this planet if we’re to survive.
We want to show that:
- settlements can be regenerative
- humans can heal what we’ve destroyed before
- humans can become self-sufficient in water, energy and food and establish their own housing and sanitation independently from centralized systems
- humans can recreate home everywhere by building communities based on solidarity and trust.
The goal is to provide help in different individual settings by creating a blueprint following regenerative design patterns, principles and guidelines that can be adapted in every village and neighborhood and that will support autonomous communities to arise all over the world. The “Blueprint,” once developed, will also provide the necessary principles for the global implementation of Healing Biotopes.
Our ideas converged with those of the late Paulo Mellett, an environmental activist, permaculture advocate and dear friend of the project. After his memorial, his wife Ruth Andrade invited his network of friends to come together with Tamera to meet for the first time. In this way, the Blueprint Alliance began in 2013, and has since evolved into a team of designers, practitioners and development workers. Tamera is part of the Blueprint Alliance, and Blueprint 200 is one of the core projects that we’re helping to manifest.
The concept of the “Blueprint” incorporates tested social, ecological and technical solutions into a coherent integrated design for human settlements. Each settlement design will include modules which show best practices in areas like:
- food: decentralized, sustainable food growing systems
- water, sanitation & hygiene: natural water and wastewater systems & compost toilets
- shelter: buildings made from locally available materials
- energy: energy production from renewable sources, such as mini biogas systems & solar cooking devices
- social cohesion and safety: conflict resolution through community building techniques.