Creating community quickly - designing neighbourhoods for IPCUK

This post comes from the Welcome and Wellbeing working group. The group's role includes supporting the conference and convergence as a whole to create a safe and welcoming space.

The International Permaculture Convergence in London this September will be a festival celebration of permaculture running over 6 days and will be jam-packed with events, talks and workshops. Integrated into all of this abundance of activity it is important that people have a welcoming space which they can temporarily call their home; a space that not only ensures that the basic conditions for their wellbeing are met, but a space that embodies the people care ethic of permaculture.

The neighbourhoods design group is currently in the early stages of designing just that. A vision of several village like groupings for sleeping, eating, creating community and fostering wellbeing.

Our intention is to create the conditions for a sense of community to emerge in the neighbourhoods, which will contribute to a convivial atmosphere throughout the festival and hopefully will function as an important anchor for the learning events and spaces happening elsewhere. It will also provide an opportunity to pause and rejuvenate within the abundance of opportunities and activities on offer.

The design also aims to give people an experiential appreciation of a temporary permaculture community to inspire and use as a model for similar events.

Doing not Dreaming Community
Image Credit: Lali Zaibun Nisa

As part of this design we want to make sure we meet the needs of as many different attendees as possible. Within our design group we are aware that we do not have firsthand experience of international attendees who, with limited English, are receiving a scholarship, families (with children of pre-school, primary or secondary ages*), attendees with mobility problems or those with physical or mental disabilities. *Though a synergy with the Children and Young People working group will help in this area.

We would really appreciate any feedback from people with these perspectives as well as anyone else who would like to contribute suggestions from their own unique perspective.


The kind of things we are looking to discover are:

  • What would be your ideal experience of the neighbourhoods?

  • What would support and enable this?

  • What might block or limit this? Where might challenges arise?

  • Any other ideas or suggestions you would like to contribute.


Please feel free to leave the feedback as comments on this blog.