The Hanover Principles were commissioned by the city of Hanover Germany as the general principles of sustainability for the 2000 World’s Fair. The principles were written for consideration by designers, planners, governmental officials and all involved in setting design priorities for humanity, nature and technology. For the development and improvement of human kind, it is imperative we renew our commitment to living as part of the earth. It is imperative we understand development and growth, as processes that can be sustained, not exploited to impractical limits. We believe that they principles should be an integral part of any planning effort. The Hanover Principles in consort with the Earth Charter and Blue Planet 2020 plan will serve as the basic tools to lead us toward the world we have only dreamed of. We believe these general principles should be adopted by planners, designers and governmental officials all over the world that are involved in any planning efforts.
1. Insist on the right of humanity and nature to co-exist in a healthy, supportive, diverse and sustainable condition.
2. Recognize interdependence. The elements of human design interact with and depend upon the natural world, with broad and diverse implications at every scale. Expand design considerations to recognizing even distant effects.
3. Respect relationships between spirit and matter. Consider all aspects of human settlement including community, dwelling, industry and trade in terms of existing and evolving connections between spiritual and material consciousness.
4. Accept responsibility for the consequences of design decisions upon human well-being, the viability of natural systems, and their right to co-exist.
5. Create safe objects of long-term value. Do not burden future generations with requirements for maintenance of vigilant administration of potential danger due to the careless creation of products, processes or standards.
6. Eliminate the concept of waste. Evaluate and optimize the full life-cycle of products and processes, to approach the state of natural systems, in which there is no waste.
7. Rely on natural energy flows. Human designs should, like the living world, derive their creative force from perpetual solar income. Incorporate the energy efficiently and safely for responsible use.
8. Understand the limitations of design. No human creation lasts forever and design does not solve all problems. Those who create and plan should practice humility in the face of nature. Treat nature as a model and mentor, not an inconvenience to be evaded or controlled.
9. Seek constant improvement by the sharing of knowledge. Encourage direct and open communication between colleagues, patrons, manufacturers and users to link long term sustainable consideration with ethical responsibility, and re-establish the integral relationship between natural processes and human activity.