Whilst most people who may have heard the term or read something about Permaculture, link it to Growing Food / Sustainable Farming methods, Permaculture Design itself can be used in many aspects including town planning,  right up to Large City Design and no, I’m not exaggerating at all!


Destroyed Buildings in Marawi City, Philippines

Personally my opinion on the future and implementation of Permaculture Design in Urban areas will lie in the developing world, whilst I strongly know that there are many talented and enthusiastic individuals in the so called ”first world” countries, it is in my opinion that this is where the most red tape and corporate dictated bureaucracy will be experienced.

The city of Marawi in Mindanao Southern Philippines was the victim of a 5+ month conflict between Local terrorist groups and Government forces, which ended around October 2017. Most people worldwide saw the news on mainstream media and alternative / social media (due to the fact that both groups decided to pledge allegiance to ISIS) , I personally was quite shocked when image searching for the city after the conflict was over, it is almost reminiscent to video footage of Syria! (Syria and the Philippines have one distinct thing in common, the west are not very fond of the two leaders Bashar al Assad and Rodrigo Duterte – in other words, the recent conflicts in both countries are merely ……. coincidences)

Events like this, although being horrific in nature both for the local population and also the environment should be taken advantage of, a partially destroyed infrastructure can be repaired using locally sourced, sustainable materials instead of resource wasting and polluting materials such as concrete and so forth! Whilst rebuilding and construction is taking place, the machinery available can be used to install low cost and cost saving functions / technology such as solar and wind power systems on larger buildings, the possibilities are endless! With China becoming a dominant regional power and the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte leaning away from US control to a Russian / Chinese friendship, this could see the Philippines entering trade agreements which could highly benefit the rebuilding of the area and future projects in the country, China are the producers of the cheapest solar cells which are of good enough quality to kickstart a renewable power grid, one example being how the EU had to instruct China to increase the prices on its solar cells otherwise they would face a ban from sales within the EU, was because Germany complained that they simply could not compete with Chinese prices – evidence that people from all over the EU found that Chinese Solar Cells were well worth the price and fulfilled their function to expectations.

If only I had the time and ability to calculate how much money would be needed to rebuild in the normal western / globalist dictated manner (IMF / World Bank loans with interest, with conditions such as forced use of American / European contractors, import of  US / EU materials etc.) I would then be able to compare the costs of local re-generation using intelligent / Permaculture design which will emphasise on Zero waste and a very low requirement for external imports. Think of it as an eco-village but up-scaled to a small city in an urban area and without too many compost toilets!

Eco Construction

The smaller buildings and some of the larger ones could be built from locally sourced natural materials which are abundant across the countries 7000+ Islands, the way that homes and other buildings have been made from Cod (Clay earth mixture) and can stand for hundreds of years in Europe is testament to the fact that the ‘lost art of natural building materials should very well be rejuvenated! Every region across the world will have different materials and building techniques that will last and re-building with natural materials will enhance the cities image which will increase tourism especially Eco-Tourism!

Water Purification System

The infamous Sepp holzer of Krameterhof fame not only has been hired as a consultant offering successful solutions for large scale land restoration such as his work all over the world such as in Tamera Portugal but he also has various ideas for urban and city environments which even includes a fresh living water purification system. This would be the man that should be hired to undertake a re-design of Marawi city even if amongst other experts in their respective fields. Sepp Holzer has written various books, the most relevant to this topic being ‘Desert or Paradise’ which includes designs such as the latter water purification system in ‘Holzer’s Permaculture’ he describes some urban solutions especially for apartment blocks.

Further reading / watching:

Video/ Image Slideshow: Mud Girls building a Clay Cob Two Storey house in the woods (British Columbia)

Video: Natural Building Methods where water catchment is discussed, re-using and re-purposing used building materials,

Book: Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins – NY Times Bestseller (this will explain why it is better for nations to avoid following the IMF / World Bank / EU and US dictated system of developing or ”Helping” the ”third” world)

  1. Helen says:

    Interesting to learn about Marawi, apart from any other issues in your post. What do you think will actually happen?

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeffpermie says:

      Thanks, The new President there IMO is quite a good guy despite what we hear in our corporate agenda news, if someone would be able to reach through to him and the local Mayor in Marawi they could perhaps at least consider getting consultants in to create a proposal and estimates on costs etc. it would also involve getting in touch with any local (local to the country) natural builders if any and have them involved also in the consultation phase. Perhaps even if there are no cob-builder like groups there then an expert from nearby (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia etc.) or the EU could attend as well.
      Beareocracy is everywhere but if the message could get through then I feel that they would at least entertain the possibility of consultation. Otherwise I feel the end result would just be a normal re-build probably with the inclusion of additional military installations to prevent it happening again, the city was chosen strategically by the Maute group (the ISIS linked group) as it had those two bridges over the river / waterway which gave them a vantage point over retaliating government forces (check on one of the photo’s). I can’t say whether there would be room or allotted space for urban farming or allotment type grounds, however, it would be beneficial to do so! Perhaps a memorial community garden park full of fruit trees etc?
      Hope I answered your question without rambling too much? 😉


  2. cookingflip says:

    Great ideas. The Philippines is also one country that has got brilliant plans on paper.

    Liked by 1 person

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