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One Planet Regions

As part of the One Planet Living initative, BioRegional’s One Planet Regionsprogram helps municipalities to take a holistic approach to sustainability by applying the One Planet Living framework to their planning and delivery of municipal services. With the power to effect change through planning decisions, retrofit programs and influencing behaviour, municipal authorities and local government can lead the way to a sustainable future. BioRegional North America is seeking partnerships with forward-thinking municipalities to create the first One Planet Region in North America.

In the UK, the London Borough of Sutton and Middlesbrough are endorsed One Planet Regions. We are supporting other local authorities to become future One Planet Regions, and are engaged in the development of 2 eco-towns in the UK.

TopOne Planet Sutton

One Planet Sutton is a major initiative to promote more sustainable lifestyles, council services and local businesses within the London Borough of Sutton.

We are working in partnership with Sutton Council to help cut its own direct impacts on the environment, while seeking ways to support the local community in their efforts to move towards One Planet Living. We want to reach out to the whole of Sutton, starting with our test bed suburb of Hackbridge, and demonstrate a sustainable way of life for all.

Supporting Sutton Council

We are supporting Sutton Council in its ambitious programme to integrate the One Planet principles into its operations. We have helped the council in setting up monitoring systems and work plans – the One Planet Sutton Plan is now embedded in the council at all levels and is in the process of being reviewed. Read Sutton’s One Planet Action Plan.

TopOne Planet Middlesbrough

In November 2011, Middlesbrough became the world’s second official One Planet Region working to combat climate change and make the world a greener and healthier place for all.  BioRegional has endorsed the council as it has fully adopted the sustainability principles of One Planet Living into the way it plans and delivers its services.

Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon said: “Middlesbrough has wholeheartedly embraced the principles of One Planet Living and they inform how we plan and deliver our services.

“By making gradual changes to the way we do things and the way the people of Middlesbrough eat, travel and dispose of their waste, we are turning the town into a more sustainable community – which simply means living a quality life within the resources the planet can provide.

“The designation of Middlesbrough as a One Planet Living town is recognition of the invaluable work that continues here as we strive to create a sustainable future.

“We all have our part to play – individuals, families, employers and organisations, and never more so than in the challenging economic times we currently face.”

Pooran Desai said: “One Planet Living is about being smarter with how we use natural resources and crucially that can save us all money. It is also about creating the green jobs that we need to build sustainable, happy, healthy communities. Middlesbrough Council is already saving thousands of pounds from saving energy and water”.

“We are excited to be working with Middlesbrough and look forward to sharing more ideas from our international network. We invite other councils will follow Middlesbrough’s lead.”



Eco-towns are a government-sponsored programme of new towns to be built in England, which are intended to achieve exemplary standards of sustainability.

Since 2008 BioRegional has been involved in the plans for eco-towns. After sitting on the Eco-towns Challenge Panel with Cabe we published a guidance report entitled What Makes an Eco-Town?, are directly advising two of the projects and have developed an evaluation tool for the eco-towns and eco-developments in general.

BioRegional is advising the NW Bicester eco-town in Oxfordshire, UK

The NW Bicester eco-town in Oxfordshire is one of the first designated eco-Towns in the UK and includes 5,000 homes, schools, business premises, community facilities and retail areas and will be built over a 20-year period.

image depicting NW Bicester first phase plan

Progress so far

One member of our team works full time with Cherwell District Council and A2 Dominion, the social housing provider for the first phase of the project, to fully integrate the vision and sustainability principles that we have developed into this 400 home exemplar area. This phase now has planning permission.

Phase one will be the largest code five scheme in the UK, delivering net zero carbon through 100% on-site solutions. BioRegional has provided support to develop an ambitious travel plan for this semi rural site and ideas to deliver net biodiversity gain and green infrastructure. We have helped to obtain funding from the Technology Strategy Board to support advanced practice on design for climate change adaptation, working in partnership with Oxford Brookes University.

Next steps

We are now supporting the eco-town team on a sustainable masterplan and in preparing the outline planning application for the whole area and in defining a programme of work for the existing town. The lessons learnt from this project will inform new developments in the UK that consist of an urban extension to an existing market town in a rural location.