Habitats
Below we consider the habitat practices of the future. These practices study human life support systems, which are built on a combination of the co-evolution of natural ecosystems and human communities. They harmonize the relations between human, nature, and the technosphere, and provide comfortable living conditions for current and future generations.
Global Challenges
Megacity Problems
Cities are centers of social, economic, political, cultural life. Most scientific innovations are being introduced in cities. Сity universities and companies have become a root of technological achievements, including discoveries for rural areas. According to the UN, citizens provide 60% of the gross domestic product and 80% of economic growth.

But cities are not only places of concentration of benefits and entertainment; they are also places where negative phenomena unfold. In megacities, social instability and inequality are evident. The Rio favela is a prime example of the coexistence of wealth and poverty. As a result of technological changes, unemployment is rising. The problem of housing is also relevant for all megacities. Because of income inequality, there is a necessity to build social housing, similar to human "anthills" of enormous size. The remoteness of suburbs and problems with transport logistics systems lead to traffic jams, a lack of parking spaces and delays in public transport.

"The process of rapid urbanization is causing irreparable harm to the environment," says the UN-Habitat. 75% of all energy consumed and about 80% of carbon dioxide emissions occur in cities. Urbanization is one of the causes of climate change on Earth. It reduces freshwater supplies. Cities give a huge load on sewer systems and pollute the environment. Permanent problems of megalopolises are the quality of air, availability of drinking water and food, the constant noise. In 2016 90% of city air did not correspond to the WHO safety standard. This situation with pollution led to the death of 4.2 million people. 92% of the world's citizens breathe air 2.5 times higher than the norms for PM10 and PM2.5 particles. As a result, social and environmental problems of megacities provoke the diseases of the megacities' inhabitants: stress, depression, tension and anxiety. In 2020 the WHO named depression the second most common disease in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 also showed the vulnerability of megacities to such phenomena. Viruses spread easily due to the high concentration of the population. During self-isolation, citizens are locked in apartments without the opportunity to walk. Is it possible to ensure the quality of the environment and human life in megalopolises? How can urban infrastructure be improved? Or the future in moving to small villages? These issues are the most important part of the global agenda in the 21st century.
Problems of Food Production
Globalization and scientific progress have led to a steady increase in the world's population. At the beginning of the XX century, the population of our planet was 1.5 billion people. Today this figure has grown to 7.5 billion. Scientists calculated the maximum capacity of the biosphere at the rate of 9 billion people. Rapid demographic growth leads to intensifying food problem. The discussion of this challenge started about 100 years ago. The Brazilian scientist José de Castro published the work "The Geography of Hunger" at the beginning of the XX century. He wrote that almost two-thirds of the world's population was in constant hunger. Nowadays the situation has improved markedly, but has not disappeared. In 2015 the number of people suffering from hunger began to slowly rise again. It is estimated that nearly 690 million people worldwide are malnourished (8.9% of the world's population). In 2019 2 billion people worldwide don't have regular access to safe and nutritious food.

Mass agriculture solves the problem of providing the food. But all accompanying processes of agriculture cause a change in the environment. This industry uses huge areas of land - 1.5 billion hectares are used from the 2.5 billion hectares of arable land in the world. In the past, agriculture was considered relatively safe for the environment. It began to cause significant harm with the development of new technologies and industrial methods. Agricultural land is fundamentally changing landscapes. For example, forest uproots for creating a field, but after a while the fields are abandoned, and in the former forest, the wasteland appears.

The methods of drainage and irrigation change the water balance of the territories, It pollutes rivers, lakes, ponds, and seas. Water bodies are deteriorating due to anthropogenic eutrophication. One of the main reasons is the flow of untreated wastewater and chemicals from livestock farms. The vegetation cover is not renewed due to the violation of the composition and structure of the soil. By reason of desertification and deforestation, wild animals are deprived of their habitat and are doomed to death. All these changes have an impact on human health. It requires additional economic costs for cleaning, preservation, reproduction of lost natural resources, restoration and preservation of human health.

Going forward, the agricultural sector will face enormous challenges to feed the projected 9.6 billion people who will inhabit the planet by 2050. An increase in food production will be required by 60%. How to feed the growing population and not to destroy the biosphere? This is an important question for future food production practices.
Destabilization of The Planetary System
In recent decades, the global disturbance of biogeochemical cycles by mankind, invasion of the climate system, and reduction of wildlife and biodiversity have been actively studied. In this regard, as well as with the fast population growth, food shortages, waves of hunger, the question about the capacity of the biosphere and the ability of life support systems to continue to perform their functions in the face of growing anthropogenic impact arose.

The scientific foundations of the unity of the biosphere were laid by V. Vernadsky, who originally developed the scientific biogeochemical approach. He proved that living matter is an integral attribute of a single mechanism of the atmosphere-hydrosphere-lithosphere system. G. Lovelock (1982) proposed the Gaia theory, according to which the Earth can be considered as one complex organism where soil, biota, atmosphere and ocean are combined. Living matter controls the composition of the atmosphere and thereby counteracts any negative changes in the biosphere. Forward and backward connections maintain homeostasis, i.e. sustainable state of Earth. V. Gorshkov (1995) expressed in the language of mathematical formulas G. Lovelock's hypothesis about the homeostasis of the global ecosystem. The biosphere obeys the Le Chatelier-Brown principle and behaves like a self-regulating system with capacity of suppressing any natural disturbances and restoring a certain internal balance.

In 2015 an international team of scientists published an article in the journal Science claiming that the relatively stable Holocene era, which lasted for 11,700 years, is the only ecosystem state that can support modern human societies. But over the past century, human activities have endangered the functioning of the biosphere, bringing it to the threshold of stability. The 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment concluded that changes in ecosystems resulting from human activities had been faster in the past 50 years than at any time in human history, increasing the risks of abrupt and irreversible changes. The main drivers of change are the demand for food, water and energy, which causes severe biodiversity loss and changes in ecosystem services. According to the UN, the climate and water systems have approached critical levels. For example, according to the concept of planetary-boundaries, a point where the loss of summer polar sea ice is almost certainly irreversible has been reached. In 2019 scientists saw new record levels of carbon dioxide CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This led to the inclusion of climate and water management issues in the Sustainable Development Goals.

According to UN experts, climate change is already having a noticeable impact on all countries on all continents. On the basis of this, global transformations like natural disasters or sea level rise and real economic consequences forecast in the nearest future. As a result of travel bans and slowing economic growth caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by about 6% in 2020. But this improvement is only temporary. Climate change has not stopped. How to continue the development of human societies and maintain the systems of the Earth in a stable state? It is a sharp question and it requires practices aimed at the co-evolution of human and nature.
Existing Practices of the Future
1.Practices of Lean Food Production
Nowadays food is produced on an industrial scale. In huge plantations only one useful crop is grown (for example, wheat, sugar cane, palm trees). Forests with their biocenoses and richness of species are being destroyed. Monocultures take everything from the soil, depleting fertility, and chemical protection from pests pollutes fields. Food products go a long way to their consumer, what entails the quality deteriorating and the price increasing. Therefore, with aim to preserve human health and nature, alternative practices for the careful production of food are being developed. For caring both nature and people, production should take place in close proximity to the consumer (especially fresh greens). There are several practices that suggest going this way.
1.1 Permaculture
Permaculture is a system for the design of an agricultural space based on observations of natural processes. For the creation of agrobiocenoses permaculture takes into account natural parameters — relief, soil, climate, luminosity, water availability, etc. Permaculture is based on the principle of symbiosis. Symbiosis systems maintain its viability due to the complementary properties of a family of organisms in one area, and require minimal human intervention. Permacultural principles of food production are often applied in ecovillages and eco-farms, such as the Brazilian Kilombo Tenonde farm.
1.2 City farming
City farming is a relatively new direction in agriculture. In city farming practice products like vegetables, berries, greens are grown in the city. City farming uses urban spaces: roofs, cellars, apartments, etc. Also it makes additional greening of the city. One of such communities in Russia is UrbaniEco.
2. Climate and Living Systems Management Practices
The industrial demand leads to the fact that the forests of Europe and Siberia, the islands of Borneo, Western Siberia, and Western Asia are involved in production. As a result, the climatic conditions on the planet are actively changing and will change for another 30 years, even if all human activity ceases. Thousands of species of living organisms have disappeared. More than a billion people suffer from water shortages. Desert regions such as Africa are particularly affected. Traditional practices of managing natural and environmental risks (greening production, taxes for emissions and pollution, creating specially protected areas) are not coping with the ever-expanding environmental crisis and the growing ecological footprint. There is an urgent need for new eco-practices, alternative or supplementing the existing ones. The important conditions for new practices is an understanding of the threshold values of economic impact, the principles of elasticity and renewal of ecosystems, and the awareness of itself as a part of a living system.
2.1 Reconstruction of Climate-stabilizing Local And Regional Ecosystems
The base of practices is restoration of ecosystems to their natural initial state after deforestation or desertification. In cities It can be embodied with the creation of nature-like biocenosis in each district. For example, a community of scientists is restoring the ecosystem of the "mammoth steppe" in the Pleistocene Park in Yakutia. They are inhabiting it with large animals (musk oxen, bison), which will help prevent the melting of permafrost.
2.2 Natural Water Resources Management
The new water paradigm is to ensure the movement of water in a natural, decentralized way through local retention of rainwater and reforestation. Especially in water-deficient areas. Creating artificial reservoirs and water retention by gateways provide cities with water, but leading to a serious violation of the river regime. This practice settles in town Tamera near the desert in the south of Portugal.
2.3 Gene Libraries
Gene libraries are a special place for the conservation of genetic resources of plants of major agricultural crops and their wild relatives. For example, the Royal Botanic Gardens project is being implemented as a gene library for saving all the richness of existing species.
3. Habitat Practices
Modern settlements were created in the interests of industrial production. Cities were created like industrial centres, villages were integrated agricultural production. A picture of a typical city: polluted air, traffic collapse in the morning and evening hours, crowds of people moved to work and back, crowds walking in parks and the same traffic collapse to the suburbs. Cities are expanding due to the dying of previously villages. As a result of the destruction of farms the living conditions of many rural terrains were destroyed. Many agricultural lands were abandoned, which led to the standard of living in such territories fell sharply, and the rural population was actively migrating to cities. The life of most city dwellers is subject to the rhythm of production that call intracity migration and transport collapse. It often takes time for sleep, communication with friends and hobbies. It generates diseases of megalopolises. In the other side the phenomenon of neighborhood in megacities is being lost, which deprives people of the opportunity to build social connections. New habitat and urban transformation projects must take into account both the orientation towards a green economy and new patterns of assembling communities and environments.
3.1 Ecovillages
Ecovillages are settlements of people striving to create a model of sustainable life. It combines several basic principles: high quality of life, conservation of natural resources, promotion of holistic approach to life. This access implies the ecology of human housing and production, the involvement of all members in making common decisions, and local economic development. The largest network is the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN). It is a non-governmental non-profit organization uniting over 800 sustainable ecovillage from around the world since 1995. One of GEN's active members is Suderbyn, an island ecovillage in Sweden. They build an international community based on the principles of permaculture, energy diversity and Sociocracy 3.0, and also emphasizes a vegetarian lifestyle.
3.2 Transition Cities
"Transition cities" is a social movement of local self-government aimed at the implementation of the principles of a renewable economy in cities. Transition cities use the principles of organic farming and permaculture, controlled forest biocenosis, renewable energy.They try to imply the practice of transforming in the intercity area and the urban environment. An active participant in the movement is the intercity space Lesnye Sady. It is a farm in the Tula region, designed as an anthropoagrobiocenosis and involving urban consumers in production and participation in the country life.
4. Intellectual Energy Practices
Every town depends on an energy infrastructure. At the end of the 19th century, first power plants were built. In the beginning the systems were local. Then they grew to large and centralized complexes. Over time, people began to perceive the presence of electricity as necessity and due. Although almost 1 billion people live without electricity at all.

The main driver of changes has become a new perception of energy itself. The practices that move towards a conscious attitude to energy are united by some common ideas that are significant for people seeking to change the current situation. Firstly, energy systems are aimed at maximum self-sufficiency. They have to use the potential of the territory in which they are deployed. In this way the role of large centralized energy is decreasing. Secondly, unified approaches are replaced by hybrid ones. Complex solutions are being created that increase the variety of energy sources. Flexibility can provide energy storage devices or controlled load. This approach allows us to begin to understand how dwellers can provide themselves with the necessary electricity, become autonomous, take care of the environment and consume consciously.
4.1 Smart Consumption (SmartGrid)
SmartGrid practice includes the consumer in the management and development of the power system. It is based on distributed energy and the ability of all participants to freely trade in electricity and energy services.
4.2 Energy-positive Buildings
Energy-positive buildings integrate energy infrastructure into urban spaces, making it functionally and aesthetically consistent with the appearance of buildings. The approach is based on the environmental friendliness and the autonomy of the generated electricity.
4.3 MicroGrid Internet of Energy
MicroGrid Internet of Energy creates a local power system that uses local energy potential. This system combines reliable regulated and renewable energy sources, and also uses sources for flexible optimal energy supply according to a given criterion.
4.4 Multi-infrastructure Hydrogen Based System
Hydrogen-based practice approaches decarbonization in a comprehensive manner through the integration of energy, transport, chemical and metallurgy, housing and communal services using hydrogen as a universal "green" energy carrier.
1. Practices of Lean Food Production
Nowadays food is produced on an industrial scale. In huge plantations only one useful crop is grown (for example, wheat, sugar cane, palm trees). Forests with their biocenoses and richness of species are being destroyed. Monocultures take everything from the soil, depleting fertility, and chemical protection from pests pollutes fields. Food products go a long way to their consumer, what entails the quality deteriorating and the price increasing. Therefore, with aim to preserve human health and nature, alternative practices for the careful production of food are being developed. For caring both nature and people, production should take place in close proximity to the consumer (especially fresh greens). There are several practices that suggest going this way.
1.1 Permaculture
Permaculture is a system for the design of an agricultural space based on observations of natural processes. For the creation of agrobiocenoses permaculture takes into account natural parameters — relief, soil, climate, luminosity, water availability, etc. Permaculture is based on the principle of symbiosis. Symbiosis systems maintain its viability due to the complementary properties of a family of organisms in one area, and require minimal human intervention. Permacultural principles of food production are often applied in ecovillages and eco-farms, such as the Brazilian Kilombo Tenonde farm.

Learn more
1.2 City farming
City farming is a relatively new direction in agriculture. In city farming practice products like vegetables, berries, greens are grown in the city. City farming uses urban spaces: roofs, cellars, apartments, etc. Also it makes additional greening of the city. One of such communities in Russia is UrbaniEco.

Learn more
2. Climate and Living Systems Management Practices
The industrial demand leads to the fact that the forests of Europe and Siberia, the islands of Borneo, Western Siberia, and Western Asia are involved in production. As a result, the climatic conditions on the planet are actively changing and will change for another 30 years, even if all human activity ceases. Thousands of species of living organisms have disappeared. More than a billion people suffer from water shortages. Desert regions such as Africa are particularly affected. Traditional practices of managing natural and environmental risks (greening production, taxes for emissions and pollution, creating specially protected areas) are not coping with the ever-expanding environmental crisis and the growing ecological footprint. There is an urgent need for new eco-practices, alternative or supplementing the existing ones. The important conditions for new practices is an understanding of the threshold values of economic impact, the principles of elasticity and renewal of ecosystems, and the awareness of itself as a part of a living system.
2.1 Reconstruction of Climate-stabilizing Local And Regional Ecosystems
The base of practices is restoration of ecosystems to their natural initial state after deforestation or desertification. In cities It can be embodied with the creation of nature-like biocenosis in each district. For example, a community of scientists is restoring the ecosystem of the "mammoth steppe" in the Pleistocene Park in Yakutia. They are inhabiting it with large animals (musk oxen, bison), which will help prevent the melting of permafrost.

Learn more
2.2 Natural Water Resources Management
The new water paradigm is to ensure the movement of water in a natural, decentralized way through local retention of rainwater and reforestation. Especially in water-deficient areas. Creating artificial reservoirs and water retention by gateways provide cities with water, but leading to a serious violation of the river regime. This practice settles in town Tamera near the desert in the south of Portugal.

Learn more
2.3 Gene Libraries
Gene libraries are a special place for the conservation of genetic resources of plants of major agricultural crops and their wild relatives. For example, the Royal Botanic Gardens project is being implemented as a gene library for saving all the richness of existing species.

Learn more
3. Habitat Practices
Modern settlements were created in the interests of industrial production. Cities were created like industrial centres, villages were integrated agricultural production. A picture of a typical city: polluted air, traffic collapse in the morning and evening hours, crowds of people moved to work and back, crowds walking in parks and the same traffic collapse to the suburbs. Cities are expanding due to the dying of previously villages. As a result of the destruction of farms the living conditions of many rural terrains were destroyed. Many agricultural lands were abandoned, which led to the standard of living in such territories fell sharply, and the rural population was actively migrating to cities. The life of most city dwellers is subject to the rhythm of production that call intracity migration and transport collapse. It often takes time for sleep, communication with friends and hobbies. It generates diseases of megalopolises. In the other side the phenomenon of neighborhood in megacities is being lost, which deprives people of the opportunity to build social connections. New habitat and urban transformation projects must take into account both the orientation towards a green economy and new patterns of assembling communities and environments.
3.1 Ecovillages
Ecovillages are settlements of people striving to create a model of sustainable life. It combines several basic principles: high quality of life, conservation of natural resources, promotion of holistic approach to life. This access implies the ecology of human housing and production, the involvement of all members in making common decisions, and local economic development. The largest network is the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN). It is a non-governmental non-profit organization uniting over 800 sustainable ecovillage from around the world since 1995. One of GEN's active members is Suderbyn, an island ecovillage in Sweden. They build an international community based on the principles of permaculture, energy diversity and Sociocracy 3.0, and also emphasizes a vegetarian lifestyle.

Learn more
3.2 Transition Cities
"Transition cities" is a social movement of local self-government aimed at the implementation of the principles of a renewable economy in cities. Transition cities use the principles of organic farming and permaculture, controlled forest biocenosis, renewable energy.They try to imply the practice of transforming in the intercity area and the urban environment. An active participant in the movement is the intercity space Lesnye Sady. It is a farm in the Tula region, designed as an anthropoagrobiocenosis and involving urban consumers in production and participation in the country life.

Learn more
4. Intellectual Energy Practices
Every town depends on an energy infrastructure. At the end of the 19th century, first power plants were built. In the beginning the systems were local. Then they grew to large and centralized complexes. Over time, people began to perceive the presence of electricity as necessity and due. Although almost 1 billion people live without electricity at all.

The main driver of changes has become a new perception of energy itself. The practices that move towards a conscious attitude to energy are united by some common ideas that are significant for people seeking to change the current situation. Firstly, energy systems are aimed at maximum self-sufficiency. They have to use the potential of the territory in which they are deployed. In this way the role of large centralized energy is decreasing. Secondly, unified approaches are replaced by hybrid ones. Complex solutions are being created that increase the variety of energy sources. Flexibility can provide energy storage devices or controlled load. This approach allows us to begin to understand how dwellers can provide themselves with the necessary electricity, become autonomous, take care of the environment and consume consciously.
4.1 Smart Consumption (SmartGrid)
SmartGrid practice includes the consumer in the management and development of the power system. It is based on distributed energy and the ability of all participants to freely trade in electricity and energy services.

Learn more
4.2 Energy-positive Buildings
Energy-positive buildings integrate energy infrastructure into urban spaces, making it functionally and aesthetically consistent with the appearance of buildings. The approach is based on the environmental friendliness and the autonomy of the generated electricity.

Learn more
4.3 MicroGrid Internet of Energy
MicroGrid Internet of Energy MicroGrid Internet Energy creates a local power system that uses local energy potential. This system combines reliable regulated and renewable energy sources, and also uses sources for flexible optimal energy supply according to a given criterion.

Learn more
4.4 Multi-infrastructure Hydrogen Based System
Hydrogen-based practice approaches decarbonization in a comprehensive manner through the integration of energy, transport, chemical and metallurgy, housing and communal services using hydrogen as a universal "green" energy carrier.

Learn more