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Mark Lakeman: Block Repair and Urban Village RemediationMark Lakeman

Block Repair and Urban Village Remediation

This workshop will present the collaborations and initiatives being undertaken by our neighborhood to transform a city block into a thriving urban ecology. We will discuss efforts to reclaim commons space on the block, take down fences to create inner-block pathways, create co-operative agricultural models in the neighborhood, map and share our collective skills and resources, create new opportunities non-monetary exchange, and much more.

We will also discuss our neighborhood’s Urban Permaculture Design Course model that is integrated into the immediate landscape and Community.

The Planet Repair Institute is home to a community of permaculture activists in the Sellwood Neighborhood of Portland. It is an embedded node for the education, experimentation, and implementation of whole system urban design, natural building, block repair, and village remediation.
Mark Lakeman, Mighk S, and Hannah Poirier live at the Planet Repair Institute – a creative hub for the design and experimentation of perennial polyculture, and blockwide permaculture systems in the city.  This house has been a place of community, convergence and creativity since 1996, and is the house where the City Repair Project and the Village Building convergence were born.  While these projects have had a tremendous impact on the landscape of the city around us, it was only in the past couple of years that it was realized that the place we call home is as much of a project as any! Henceforth, the Planet Repair Institute was inaugurated!

Today the collective re-creation of what is otherwise an ordinary house is the focus of much of our passion.  We are implementing simple, affordable, and accessible solutions at home to reduce our dependency on an unsustainable culture and an economy that is in crisis. We are doing this in collaboration with our neighbors in order to redesign the block as a whole because ecology knows no boarders, and because we cannot solve our collective problems in social isolation.  Every step in this process is a learning opportunity, so we host frequent workshops and projects from our house, including our exciting new model for an Urban Permaculture Design Course that was launched this past spring.

Mark Lakeman is a co-founder of the City Repair Project, the Village Building Convergence, and the Planet Repair Institute. He has been passionately creating beautiful public spaces that facilitate the deepening of place-based communities for at least the last 20 years. He is also the owner of Communitecture – an architectual design firm based in Portland, which is one of the sponsors of the 2011 NW Permaculture Convergence.

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