Jack is a storyteller, environmental designer, and devout believer in the importance of ecological stewardship as a means of social progress. With an academic and professional background in environmental planning, Jack has over 6 years of experience in the eco-sector as a private consultant, non-profit coordinator, and government administrator. He is committed to helping identify innovative solutions to climate adaptation that prioritise ecosystem vitality while fostering community resilience in the of face of shifting landscape dynamics.
Woven Collectives investigates relationships between active permaculture farms and forest cooperatives throughout Northern Euboea and aims to assess the feasibility of a partnership network for knowledge-sharing and land stewardship utilising High Productivity Zones. Conceptually, High Productivity Zones are predicated on cultivation in Greek legislation. This project posits that cultivation extends beyond mere agricultural production; it is about landscape vitality encompassing principles of reforestation, climate adaptation, community autonomy, and fire mitigation.
When viewed in this scope, High Productivity Zones can serve as a powerful tool to revitalise local ecosystems and economies while qualifying for legal protection, ultimately disrupting commercial development interests (DIAZOMA). This framework of co-responsibility identifies key players and stakeholders that could be mobilised to generate high-impact, community-scale collaboration.
In this context, regenerative farms act as sources of information and guidance for innovative, circular landscape design principles. Forest Labour Cooperatives, or DASE as they are known in Greece, function as nodes of transference due to their unique ability to operate in different areas. Compulsory Forest Cooperatives carry out implementation and management of nearby High Productivity Zones, which may serve as nexus points for customary land-based practices. We imagine this network operating as a grassroots coalition whose goal is to challenge DIAZOMA by equipping local communities with the ability to effectively restore their forests and maintain their cultural identity.
According to the Greek constitution: “highly productive agricultural land constitutes an environmental asset which state governing bodies are mandated to protect under Article 24 of the Constitution based on the principle of sustainable development.” Since the wildfire of August 2021 decimated the landscape, the government-backed planning commission, DIAZOMA, has been working on strategies to redevelop the remaining and burnt forests of North Euboea; thus far, these plans appear to be driven by commercial development interests and without regard for existing residents, ecologies, and economies. This project aims to encourage and enhance the claim-making process for High Productivity Zones as a method to create disruptions within the DIAZOMA Reconstruction plan.
Permaculture is an approach to land management that adopts arrangements observed in flourishing natural ecosystems and includes a set of design principles derived using whole-systems thinking. Agroforestry and regenerative farming, two major components of permaculture, can diversify land productivity while restoring soil fertility, enhancing moisture retention, and improving biodiversity. Additionally, permaculture supports traditional vocational practices customary to North Euboea communities, such as shepherding, beekeeping, resin farming, and logging.
Conditions & Community
Potential sites for this alternative mode of post-wildfire reconstruction and reforestation have been identified throughout North Euboea based on locations’ suitability for specific forestry practices, existing land-use zoning, presence of various plant species, and proximity to community stakeholders. For example, locations with overlapping mixed/broad-leafed forest, arable land, fruit trees, and agriculture interspersed with natural vegetation present ideal opportunities for implementation. These zones would consist of diverse, productive eco-communities that would simultaneously improve the landscape’s resilience to shifting climate conditions by establishing a more robust and water-retentive ecosystem.
The embroidery assemblage map articulates the intricacies of weaving a grassroots movement from multiple layers of interests, scales, and contributors that results in a tapestry of community solidarity and an ecology of social commoning. This methodical, hands-on experimentation serves as an interpretation of coalescing social, economic, and ecological perspectives. It also serves as a composition exercise that invites conversation within and across stakeholder communities to encourage collaborative engagement.