Publication Date



Yingzhi Zhao


East Asian Studies (EAST)


English (United States)


As a study in both East Asian traditions of thought and “environmentally sustainable’ landscaping principles, this paper aims to trace the overlaps between some of the fundamental principles of Shintoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism and then, after making a second connection to the ’environmentally sustainable’ landscaping system of permaculture, it will work through an evaluation of our current, heavily globalized and industrialized, blindly consumeristic and homogenizing societal structure to suggest the previously-developed principles as a background guide for a more ’sustainable” future. Chapters Three and Four will cover the following principles as they overlap in the traditions of thought and permaculture: the abstract and obscure nature of language, the position and (non-) existence of “self’ (and how that plays into our interdependencies), situational dependency, perceptions and relativity, and, finally, knowledge. The latter half of Chapter Four is a guide to the ’practical permaculture implementation” branch of this thesis, which is a landscape redesign of 160 Cross Street that utilizes the connection to the traditions of thought as well. As the conclusion, Chapter Five is the examination of our “current societal situation’ and how we might, with non-drastic measures, make that more ’sustainable’ (given the principles that were traced in the previous chapters). It will cover: how we lost ourselves by ’creating’ a ’nature’; consumer habits; modern morals, education, and technology with their scientific bases; (community) awareness; a functioning economy with environmental awareness; a redefinition of ’progress’; and, finally, ’right” effort.



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