This Neighborhood Will Grow Its Own Food, Power Itself, and Handle Its Own Waste
The plan for the imminent utopia: Imagine you wake up in a sun-lit home. The air is clean and you open your window. You see your street with the playground, the communal dining area, the community education centre, and the homes surrounding the village square. Each complex is designed with the latest advances in architecture and modern technology. Every residence has its own greenhouse for the family to grow fresh organic produce. In this reality, nothing goes to waste and everything contributes to a healthy lifestyle. This is the promise of Regen Village.
The Oncoming Danger
Within 35 years, nearly 10 billion people will be living on this planet, including most of us who are here now. The need for resources will increase. Yet with the cumulation in deforestation and greenhouse gases, the highest contributor being food production and distribution, the Earth is disintegrating beneath our feet. This destruction is our fault. We are unbalancing the natural ecosystem and filling the atmosphere with pollution with our regular day-to-day routines.
“Our modern lifestyle is utterly unsustainable and this calls for more resilient solutions for the future,” EFFEKT Partner Simon Lynge says.
The concept for the Regen Village came from a research paper for Standford University. Entrepreneur James Ehrlich, one of the authors, cultivated the idea to begin as a technologically-advanced real estate development company. He brought it to EFFEKT, “a Copenhagen-based office practicing in the fields of modern architecture, design and visionary urban development and planning” to build a model of this utopian neighbourhood.
“The time has come to redefine residential real-estate development for the next three billion people coming to the planet,” says Ehrlich.
There are five principles that these Regen Villages are based upon:
Energy positive homes
High-yield organic food production
Mixed renewable energy and storage
Water and waste recycling
Empowerment of local communities
Each house will be powered by solar panels with passive heating and air conditioning systems to reduce the electrical usage. Several public squares will include electric car charging stations. Greenhouses in homes and vertical farms will attain organic produce for the citizens. Waste will be looped to create energy. They’ll use household waste for livestock, and aquaponics, which will use fish waste to fertilize the home greenhouses. Rainwater will be collected and distributed to the gardens and aqua works.
Different families will be responsible for the needs of the community, for example, one is in charge of the greenhouse, one for livestock, etc.
“The technology already exists,” says Lynge. “It is just a matter of applying science into the architecture of everyday life.”
The first Regen Village has 100-homes and is on the outskirts of Almere, which is a twenty-minute train ride from Amsterdam. Even inside Almere, EFFEKT is building a mini 35-condo unit of this system. They have projects planned for Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany, but intend on building everywhere.
The company also wants to develop a system suitable for the climate in the Middle East.
“If everybody in India and Africa wants the same kind of suburbs that we’ve been building so far, the planet’s not going to make it,” says Ehrlich.
The Almere community will launch this summer and will be complete in 2017.