Carbon positive food regions: design & planning strategies to co-create regenerative food systems
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Design for sustainable development, MSc
Carbon positive food regions, proposes a design framework and planning strategies for building a resilient food system with net negative emissions on a regional scale. The aim is to provoke regions, municipalities and nations to support the development of more regenerative agriculture that builds topsoil & heals ecosystems. The inspiration for this master's thesis is taken from the movement of regenerative farmers in Sweden and the world. The thesis takes place in two contexts: Firstly at the heart of a 450 hectare regenerative farm called Bjällansås in Uddevalla municipality; and secondly on the municipality of Orust, an island with 15 000 inhabitants. With a design "manifesto" rooted in a process of collaborative “food system design” carried out by the daily actions of what people eat and how it shapes the landscapes around them. The project uses a methodology of "research by design" (refered to as "design research") - with "design explorations" carried out on a farm and municipal scale primarily using the methods of backcasting and scenario planning. The design explorations also combines the methods and tools of Holistic management, Keyline design & Permaculture design into what I call a "holistic planning framework". By exploring two future scenarios of a carbon positive region, self reliant on food - the lessons from the design explorations on Bjällansås farm and Orust municipality were used to formulate "regenerative planning strategies" for physical planning. The results are design proposals showcasing the future farm & island and the following six physical planning strategies for regional and municipal comprehensive planning; (1) a decision making framework that includes future generations, (2) eight holistic land use planning principles & design layers, (3) farmland protection & food system planning, (4) monitoring & improving ecosystem processes, (5) food nodes for sales & distribution and (6) funding and co-learning around regeneration. The discussion explores how bottom-up and top-down actors can meet in co-creating these local regenerative food systems and potential conflicts around water and land use. Conclusions are that carbon positive food regions are possible but require ambitious targets, conscious planning and food system design with shifts to a more multifunctional mosaik landscape characterized by agroforestry, involving a multiplicity of stakeholders in the process. The designer and architect has a central role in bridging the gap between different generations, interests and scales.
regional planning, rurbanization, regenerative agriculture, self-reliance, agroforestry, climate change, food, land-use