Permaculture has many branches including ecological design, ecological engineering, regenerative design, environmental design, and construction. It also includes integrated water resources management that develops sustainable architecture, and regenerative and self-maintained habitat and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.
Permaculture has been implemented and gained widespread visibility throughout the world as an agricultural and architectural design system and as a guiding life principle or philosophy. Traditional and indigenous practices are highly valued in permaculture because they have been developed in perpetual dialogue with specific climate and soil conditions. In turn, the rise of permaculture has revalidated Indigenous knowledge in circles where it was previously devalued.
Permaculture utilizes creative design processes based on whole-systems thinking, considering all areas that can affect or are affected by change while designing a solution. In more practical terms it means that before, for example, redirecting a stream of water, one fully considers all the ramifications in both the short and long term to ensure one gets the desired effect and not undesired ones. Or, when looking at a problem, one considers more than just the immediate solution but also how that will evolve over time and space. When building a house, one also takes into consideration breaking down the house.