Section 2 - Where Am I?

8 Permaculture Site Analysis: From Macro to Micro

This page is about placing yourself within the greater landscape, where we zoom in from afar and look at the macro patterns of topography and water flow. We explore the mountains’ relationship to rainfall and learn about the watershed.

When we analyze a site, we first look at that location from larger patterns and then to the details, beginning from a zoomed out perspective to see how macro forces influence the site. We then zoom in to observe the site’s unique characteristics, and through this process come to a more comprehensive understanding of the forces that need to be designed for. The videos below outlines this concept.

Site Analysis: From Macro to Micro

First, let’s take a look at what you need to consider when conducting a site analysis.

Climate and Topography

Understanding the way that mountain ranges interact with weather and the way that atmospheric moisture moves from the oceans into the interior of continents is an important macro-pattern to understand in order to answer the “where am I?” question.

Understanding the Watershed

Next, we look at the watershed. This is the way that land is shaped by water flow and one of the major foundation patterns we look at to understand how our site fits into the landscape.

At this point you should be starting to have a clue about how to place yourself and your site within the larger patterns of the landscape. On the next page, we provide resources for you to find the watershed in which you live. Nearly every site belongs to a watershed. There are only a few notable exceptions where it is hard to identify a watershed drainage basin, for instance, properties located right along the coast. So take a look on the next page and find your watershed!