Welcome to the Regenerative Development Blog at the Regis University SEED Institute!
by Beth Schaefer Caniglia, Professor & Founding Director
December 16, 2016
Welcome to the SEED Institute Blog on Regenerative Development, co-sponsored by the Regis University Sustainable Economic & Enterprise Development Institute, Hunter Lovins and the Natural Capitalism Institute, and the Alliance for a Sustainable Colorado. This new blog represents our desire to advance the development of more sustainable, equitable and resilient cities. Rapid urbanization, climate change, and inequality interact to create very real consequences for the most vulnerable among us. Our partners are committed to advancing our understanding and implementation of the regenerative principles needed to build the vibrant, inclusive cities of tomorrow. Our blog is predominantly a guest blog, which will feature scholars, practitioners, thought leaders and others engaged in defining, implementing, and evaluating regenerative designs, processes and outcomes. We hope you will join the conversation!
II. What is regenerative Development?
Regenerative Development is a development paradigm designed to push beyond sustainability. While sustainability focuses on development today that protects the ability of future generations to develop, the priority of regenerative development is to apply holistic processes to create feedback loops between physical, natural, economic and social capital that are mutually supportive and contain the capacity to restore equitable, healthy and prosperous relationships among these forms of capital.
There are many definitions of regenerative development, and we will certainly have robust debates regarding definitions, applications and right outcomes! For introductory purposes, however, most scholars and practitioners generally agree that regenerative processes have three primary goals:
- Catalyzing increased prosperity and health of human and natural environments through holistic design and meaningful community participation
- Fostering positive feedback loops where excess human and natural resources are reabsorbed by the system to create mutually beneficial relationships that self-replicate to build inclusive resilience
- Respect and deep consideration to local contexts, whether economic, cultural or ecological, so that development is properly adapted to local ecosystem, cultural and economic circumstances
These goals correspond nicely to the three primary principles adopted at the United Nations Habitat III meeting held in Quito, Ecuador in September, 2016 as part of the New Urban Agenda document.[i] Those principles read as follows:
To achieve our vision, we resolve to adopt a New Urban Agenda guided by the following interlinked principles:
(a) Leave no one behind, by ending poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including the eradication of extreme poverty, by ensuring equal rights and opportunities, socio-economic and cultural diversity, integration in the urban space, enhancing liveability, education, food security and nutrition, health and well-being; including by ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, promoting safety and eliminating discrimination and all forms of violence; ensuring public participation providing safe and equal access for all; and providing equal access for all to physical and social infrastructure and basic services as well as adequate and affordable housing.
(b) Sustainable and inclusive urban economies, by leveraging the agglomeration benefits of well-planned urbanization, high productivity, competitiveness, and innovation; promoting full and productive employment and decent work for all, ensuring decent job creation and equal access for all to economic and productive resources and opportunities; preventing land speculation; and promoting secure land tenure and managing urban shrinking where appropriate.
(c) Environmental sustainability, by promoting clean energy, sustainable use of land and resources in urban development as well as protecting ecosystems and biodiversity, including adopting healthy lifestyles in harmony with nature; promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns; building urban resilience; reducing disaster risks; and mitigating and adapting to climate change.
All of these complex and interrelated topics are relevant to our cause and will make appearances in our discussions over time.
III. Who are our partners?
To explore these themes, we have assembled a team of scholars, advocates, thought leaders and practitioners who specialize in regenerative development who will either submit blogs themselves or invite members of their networks to blog for us. Our three primary partners are:
The Sustainable Economic & Enterprise Development (SEED) Institute, housed in the College of Business and Economics at Regis University in Denver, Colorado
The SEED Institute works at the intersection of climate change, urbanization, and inequality to understand and facilitate leverage points to create inclusive, vibrant and resilient cities. Our team of scholars – Director, Beth Schaefer Caniglia, and our team of SEED Fellows – conducts traditional and applied research in the areas of regenerative development, social entrepreneurship, sustainability, health, the human-wildlife interface, food justice and community engagement.
Hunter Lovins & Natural Capitalism Solutions, headquartered in Hygiene, Colorado
Natural Capitalism Solutions’ mission is to empower communities, countries, and companies to implement more regenerative practices profitably. Natural Capitalism is regenerative of human and natural capital while increasing prosperity and quality of life. In partnership with leading thinkers and groups, Natural Capitalism Solutions creates innovative, practical tools and implementation strategies for companies, communities and countries.
The Alliance for a Sustainable Colorado located in downtown Denver, Colorado
Alliance for Sustainable Colorado works to make sustainability a reality in Colorado and beyond. The organization owns and operates The Alliance Center, a multi-tenant, co-working space and office building, as a center for innovation and collaboration designed to accelerate the sustainability movement in Colorado. The Alliance Center helps its tenants – nonprofit and for profit groups working toward a more sustainable world – to be more effective in their work and also brings the surrounding community into the fold by holding more than 300 events per year.
While we are all located along the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, our work in regenerative development is grounded in a much broader community from around the world. In partnership with that international community, we hope to engage you in our on-going effort to elaborate, advocate, implement, and evaluate the transition from urbanization as usual toward the vibrant, inclusive, resilient cities of tomorrow.