Netherlands to boast self-sustaining eco-community

Ground will be broken this summer on a high-tech, self-reliant farming village just outside of Amsterdam. The closed-loop settlement could be a model for the future of urban design.

The first ReGen Village will be built in Almere, just outside of Amsterdam. It will be an entirely self-sufficient and sustainable community that will grow its own food, produce its own energy, management its own waste and recycle its own water. Writing for Fast Company, Adele Peters describes it as a “fully closed-loop settlement”.

ReGen Villages CEO James Ehrlich says that the project, which should be completed by 2017, redefines residential real-estate developments, calling it “the Tesla of eco-villages”.

By employing the most modern methods for growing food, including vertical farming, the community will be able to grow food all year long to supply around half of what the community eats. Household waste that can be composted will be used to feed livestock, whereas fish and livestock waste will be used to fertilise the aquaculture systems and seasonal gardens.

Thanks to a mixture of geothermal, solar, solar thermal, wind and biomass, the community will be energy-independent and will even feed surplus energy back into the electricity grid. Rainwater and grey water will be collected and redistributed to the seasonal gardens and aquaponic systems.

The California-based developer ReGen Villages, which teamed up with the Danish architecture firm Effekt to design the first ReGen Village, has more projects planned in Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden. But its ambitions extend well beyond north Europe.

“We’re really looking at a global scale,” says Ehrlich. “Rural India, sub-Saharan Africa, where we know that the population is going to increase.”


Image credit: EFFEKT

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