International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Practitioner Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Morgan Ruelle


Climate changes observed over the past several decades are associated with changes in the multiple components of hydrological systems, including changes in precipitation patterns, higher rates of evaporation and increasing soil erosion. In 2019, the city of Worcester declared a climate emergency, stating that climate change threatens the community’s environment. Permaculture can strengthen crucial relationships between nature and human beings, offering long-lasting solutions to protect our planet from risks associated with climate change. This paper focuses on the application of permaculture practices in urban agriculture, including techniques to address changes in hydrological systems. Use of perennial plants, creating swales, drip irrigation, and hügelkultur are practices that could help communities and environmental organizations adapt to climate change and promote local food security. The goal of this paper is to introduce the concept of permaculture and support its application in urban gardens and farms facing the challenges of water variability due to climate change.



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