Section 3 - Permaculture Design

19 Scales of Permanence

Another perspective on design that had an influence on the formulation of the Permaculture design system are the Scales of Landscape permanence, originated by Australian agricultural innovator P.A. Yeomans, who developed the Keyline Design system. Watch this short presentation on this system to see how the scales of permanence illustrate the order in which elements should be designed for.

The Scales of Landscape Permanence or the Keyline Scales of Permanence (KSOP) is a perspective-changing system that teaches the best order of design for elements in the landscape. It begins with Climate, then Landform, Water, Access, Trees, Structures, Subdivision, and finally soil. Watch this video to understand some of the reasoning behind the KSOP, and see how this design theory was applied on an actual site in Southern Oregon, USA.

Featured Links


The Scales of Landscape permanence originated with Australian, P.A. Yeomans, who has a rich body of work himself. Browse the links below to learn more about the work of P.A.Yeomans and his trademarked “Keyline Design System”. One special link to point out is Geoffrey Booth’s Keyline Video Archive. This is a complete collection of all the educational videos made by P.A.Yeomans’ last century when he developed the system, and it is a rich archive for anyone who really wants to get to the root of it. Also in the resources below you’ll see links to the Regrarians. This is the organization of Australian, Darren Doherty, who is the world’s foremost expert on Keyline design and a very accomplished designer with 1000’s of designs and installations under his belt.

Additional Resources