Posts relating to regenerative design, transition and co-creation for eco-smart holistic human habitats facilitating a restorative green-blue circular economy of proximity

Friday, March 27, 2015

Smart Garden City - Introduction

"Models are abstraction, simplifications of the real thing" (Batty, 2015) whilst "essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful" (Box and Draper, 1987 in Batty 2015). Batty (2015) also considers that "we need models because they impose a framework, an order on our thinking about the present and the future that imposes a discipline on how we try to address problems of land use and transportation rigorously... Models are thus there to inform the debate and there is still the prospect of using them conditionally to address 'what-if' scenarios.." (Batty, 2015).

The Smart Garden City, also referred to as the GCoT Model (Acronym for Garden City of Today) is a spatio-temporal complex systems model for settlement design and planning. It can also be used for urban modeling.


The Smart Garden City (also called GCoT Model) is a modular, scaled, scalable, spatio-temporal, settlement planning, implementation and adaptation tool.

A template for transit-orientated, complex, fractal, scalable and sprawl-mitigating, zero-carbon, climatically resilient, walkable, metabolic and ecologically-functioning settlement in dynamic equilibrium.

A scalable spatio-temporal complex systems model. Providing a tangible framework combining innovative approaches to spatial design, natural capital restoration, economic development and integration; capable of catalysing emergent economies, knowledge, experience, innovation; fostering integration, skills-development, entrepreneurship, employment, quality education, growth, ecological restoration and climate adaptation, for long-term prosperity and resilience; exemplifying the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Capable of receiving high volumes of people from diverse backgrounds in short time-frames, applicable in any region of the planet. To provide short to long-term housing, water, food, energy, health and opportunity. After a comparable start-up investment period, it becomes economically autonomous, then an economic driver.

A seed for a new economic growth cycle, based upon emergent green-blue circular economies of proximity, combining new technologies, established design approaches and equal advances in ecological restoration techniques.

This is a framework for planning a wholistic settlement which, after a comparable start-up investment, can operate sustainably and restoratively at all time and space scales in any location, in any culture. It can go from “emergency” to establishment by a process of strategic transition and emergence, employing a temporal development plan. The age of the settlement determines the degree of development.

Further reading

To gain a fuller understanding of established concepts which underly the GCoT Model, a draft literature review is presented. Concepts such as emergence theory, complex systems, urban morphology, central place theory and so on, blended with equal advances in our understanding of ecosystems and biological succession, landscape restoration techniques, agroforestry and ecological farming or agroecology results in an integrated and holistic, regenerative planning model, here referred to as the GCoT Model, nicknamed Smart Garden City, overcoming contemporary issues of environemntal degradation, resilience to climate change, urban sprawl, and reconciling the paradox of bottom-up development versus top-down planning.

It is Smart because it is a considered and pragmatic approach to development in a post industrial age fettered with ecological destruction, tragically referred to as the Anthropocene and the 6th Great Extinction  in contemporary media. It is smart because it engenders regenerative design and regenerative urbanism. It goes beyond the concept of sustainability, where we mearly maintain a neutral relationship with the natural systems of the planet and human cultures, going beyond this to facilitate restoration and regeneration, within our sustainable trinity of ecological, social and economic spheres. This model therefore describes a form of Regenerative Deveopment that can exemplify the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals adpoted in September 2015. This model does not engage with the causes of the current global challenges facing humanity, it offers a different path to realising true human potential, without detriment to the biosphere and without detriment to existing and ancient cultures, it therefore offers additional and rational hope for the planet which our future generations will inherit, by the fact that we are able to halt anthropogenic destruction and live in a way which actually benefits the planet and each other for mutual prosperity and shared responsibility.

General description of this blog:

This Blog aims to describe various contemporary themes in architecture, landscape design and urban design and realte these to the GCoT model.

Each subheading shall briefly describe a conceptual theme, and then aim to convey how this is expressed in an idealized city model, first published as A Garden City of Today by Marcus Busby on 31st May 2014, please view selected images from the initial proposal.

The later themes will discuss the application of these idealizations.

If anyone has a preference for any subject to be covered sooner rather than later, or a particular theme they feel is not covered and ought to be, please do advise via the comments or by email (, I shall do my best, and thanks for reading.

In no particular order:

#TOD, #ComplexityTheory, #RecursiveDesign, #Fractals, #UrbanSprawl, #UrbanMorphology, #Transition, #Walkable, #Biomimicry, #Biophilia, #Regenerative, #UrbanHeatIsland, #Flooding, #Polycultures, #CityMetabolism, #Recycling, #Homeostasis, #DynamicEquilibrium, #SystemsTheory, #Adaptation #Planning, #CollaborativeDesign, #CircularEconomy, #Retrofitting, #Permaculture, #Biotecture, #Arcology, #BlueEconomy, #GreenEconomy, #SmartCities, #PatternLiteracy, #Design, #LandscapeDesign, #UrbanDesign

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