Jodi Lane, clear (center for living environments and regeneration) defines regenerative design and the LENSES Framework


What is Regenerative Development?

Regenerate (verb): To bring new and more vigorous life.

Regenerative Development (noun): Building the capacity and capability in people, communities, and other natural systems to adapt, evolve, and thrive.



5 Big Ideas of Regeneration

1 – Working in Wholes Rather than Parts

2 – Accounting for Uniqueness

3 – Shifting from Problems to Potential

4 – Being of Service

5 – From Separate to Aligned with Nature


Working in Wholes Rather than Parts

The world cannot simply be reduced to its parts. It all functions together. When thinking about regenerative development, it is imperative that you think about the whole picture and not just its parts (for example, think about the neighborhood, the community, the whole living system surrounding the building). “If you consider the whole, you’ve got a lot more opportunity to engage in that living system in a way that we don’t normally in some of our other standard ways of working” – Jodi Lane


Accounting for Uniqueness

Each place, person, community and organization has it’s own unique potential. “When we account of uniqueness, we are accounting for discovery, we are accounting for becoming interested in what we might not normally see in front of us.” – Jodi Lane

By keeping uniqueness in mind, you’d find your projects will become more regenerative.


Shifting from Problems to Potential

Regeneration is about change that is inspiring, full of potential, and focused on benefit creation.

In regenerative development, it is helpful to spend a lot of time thinking about how problems can be turned into potential solutions with upside.


Being of Service

“The organisms that succeed in evolution are the ones that become important to the larger system they depend on, rather than simply focusing on individual survival.” -Quote from Regenerative Development and Design by Pamela Mang and Ben Haggard, Regenesis

Darwin wrote about survival of the fittest, but you can add that being of service to the ecosystem helps prevent an organism from becoming extent. When thinking about being of service as it pertains to developments it is very straight-forward and that service contributes directly to the bottom line and makes for a more regenerative project.


From Separate to Aligned with Nature

Nature doesn’t simply need our protection; it needs our collaboration. We always hear that humans are destroying the planet. With regenerative design, it is essential that we move towards going from being separate to being integrated with nature. We need to forward a new discourse that humans can be collaborative, integral, and even important to nature. This is a bit of a mind-shift, but is necessary for our future.

What is LENSES?

LENSES is a framework of ideas that can help guide a development to be more regenerative. It is made up of many parts. Watch the webinar at the top of this page to watch Jodi explain LENSES in detail and share some success stories. See below for images of the parts of the LENSES framework. In a nutshell, LENSES provides a systematic way to think about the 5 main principles of regenerative development. LENSES guides a project team (and community) to think about more than just the project , but instead the whole community and turn problems into potential sources of regeneration.












For more information about LENSES, please visit and take their 101-level or 201-level course. Thanks for working towards a brighter and more abundant future!

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