Feb 18, 2024

AI Prompt: Turn Lawrence, Kansas Into a Bioregional Ecocity With Indigenous Values and Wisdom

This is the unedited first response to the title prompt, using Copilot with GPT-4.
By Tim Hjersted / filmsforaction.org
AI Prompt: Turn Lawrence, Kansas Into a Bioregional Ecocity With Indigenous Values and Wisdom
Illustration created by Dall-E 3

"That is an interesting and ambitious question. A bioregional ecocity is a city that is designed to be in harmony with the natural environment and the culture of the people who live there. It is based on the concept of bioregions, which are areas defined by ecological and geographical features, rather than political boundaries. A bioregional ecocity would respect the biodiversity, resources, and history of the land, and promote sustainability, community, and well-being for its inhabitants 1 2

Indigenous values and wisdom are the teachings and practices of the original inhabitants of a place, who have a deep connection and understanding of the land and its cycles. Indigenous values and wisdom often include respect, reciprocity, kinship, humility, and love for all living beings, as well as a holistic and experiential approach to learning and knowledge. Indigenous values and wisdom can offer guidance and inspiration for creating bioregional ecocities that honor the Earth and the people 3 4

To turn Lawrence, Kansas into a bioregional ecocity with indigenous values and wisdom, one would need to consider the following steps:

  • Identify the bioregion that Lawrence belongs to, and learn about its natural features, climate, flora, fauna, and water systems. For example, Lawrence is part of the Kansas River watershed, which is a sub-basin of the Missouri River basin. The Kansas River watershed covers about 53,000 square miles of land in Kansas and Nebraska, and supports a variety of ecosystems, such as prairies, woodlands, wetlands, and riparian zones 5
  • Learn about the history and culture of the Indigenous Peoples who have lived or still live in the bioregion, and seek their input and collaboration. For example, Lawrence is located on the ancestral lands of the Kaw (Kansa) Nation, who were forcibly removed from their homeland in the 19th century. The Kaw Nation is now based in Oklahoma, but maintains a cultural presence and a historical museum in Kansas. Other Indigenous Nations that have ties to the bioregion include the Osage, Pawnee, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, Comanche, and Otoe-Missouria 6 7
  • Assess the current state of the city and its impact on the bioregion, and identify the areas that need improvement or transformation. For example, some of the issues that Lawrence faces are urban sprawl, air and water pollution, loss of natural habitats, dependence on fossil fuels, and social and economic inequalities 8 9
  • Develop a vision and a plan for the bioregional ecocity, based on the principles of sustainability, resilience, diversity, and justice, and inspired by the Indigenous values and wisdom of the bioregion. For example, some of the possible goals and actions for the bioregional ecocity are:
    • Reduce the ecological footprint and greenhouse gas emissions of the city, and increase its use of renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and biomass.
    • Restore and protect the natural habitats and biodiversity of the bioregion, and create green spaces and corridors within the city, such as parks, gardens, and trails.
    • Enhance the quality and availability of water resources, and implement water conservation and recycling measures, such as rain barrels, greywater systems, and permeable pavements.
    • Promote local and organic food production and consumption, and support urban agriculture, community gardens, farmers’ markets, and food cooperatives.
    • Encourage sustainable transportation and mobility, and improve the public transit, bike, and pedestrian infrastructure and services.
    • Foster social and cultural diversity and inclusion, and celebrate the heritage and creativity of the people.
    • Support community participation and empowerment, and create opportunities for education, health, employment, and recreation for all.
    • Honor the Indigenous Peoples and their rights, and acknowledge their contributions and leadership in the bioregional ecocity.

These are some of the possible steps and examples for turning Lawrence, Kansas into a bioregional ecocity with indigenous values and wisdom. Of course, this is not a comprehensive or definitive answer, but rather a starting point for further exploration and dialogue. I hope this helps you to imagine and create a more sustainable and harmonious future for your city and your bioregion. 😊"

Prompt used in Midjourney: turn Lawrence kansas into a bioregional ecocity with indigenous values and wisdom
Prompt used in Midjourney: turn Lawrence kansas into a bioregional ecocity with indigenous values and wisdom
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