It is well-known how modern agricultural methods are damaging our surroundings, environment and the quality of the goods we consume. Is it possible to truly liberate us from this burden while keeping the same quality of life? A Danish architecture firm, EFFEKT, developed the creation on California-based builder ReGen Villages, which envisioned an utopian future where self-sustained communities could be completely autonomous by producing their own food and energy.
This 'regenerative neighborhood' is being realized in Almere, the Netherlands, not so far from Amsterdam. This eco-village includes high-tech farming systems and waste management with an independently run infrastructure, all surrounded by beautiful, sustainable design. This off-grid community addresses issues ranging from climate change to food security. The plan is to implement the same concept in Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Norway. According to the creators of the project, the idea of communal farming, which is no new concept, can only compete when integrated with functional technology. Only in this way it will be possible to provide the comforts of a regular modern lifestyle, while being entirely self-reliant and sustainable: growing their own food, generating their own energy, managing waste locally, and recycling their water.
"We're really looking at starting off as the Tesla of eco-villages" says ReGen Villages CEO James Ehrlich. "We are redefining residential real-estate development by creating these regenerative neighborhoods, looking at first these greenfield pieces of farmland where we can produce more organic food, more clean water, more clean energy, and mitigate more waste than if we just left that land to grow organic food or do permaculture there".
The plan includes 25 pilot homes, but these numbers will grow according to the success of the experiment. The five principles behind the ReGen Villages are "1. Energy positive homes, 2. Door-step high-yield organic food production, 3. Mixed renewable energy and storage, 4. Water and waste recycling, 5. Empowerment of local communities". They expect to share this concept across the cool climates of Northern Europe, and then expand into the Middle East. If this way of life will be proven to be successful it could represent a solution to many of today's problems. Some could argue these utopian project could only work in certain parts of the world, but at least it is an effort towards improving our planet with the help of technology.