The neighborhood outside Amsterdam aims to be a model for the entire world by surviving in a close-loop settlement, without relying on the grid or food systems.
The layout of the future neighborhood suggests that all the houses will have a seasonal garden outside while the area will be self-sustainable in food as well because everything would be grown in vertical farms. ReGen Village aims to be a new type of community that would take care of all its needs from growing food to handling the waste products.
Waste Handling in ReGen Village
Compostable waste from the homes will be used to feed livestock. Soldier flies will provide for fish whose dung will be used to enhance the productivity of an aquaculture system for fruit and vegetable production. Similarly, the livestock waste will be used to fertilize the seasonal gardens.
ReGen Village community will employ state-of-the-art food production techniques to provide for the residents in the neighborhood. The designers of the society have devised an ingenious combination of techniques including aeroponics, aquaponics, permaculture, food forests, and high-yield organic farming. This mechanism will allow them to get much higher yields from the conventional farms. These techniques are renowned for their reduced resource consumption and improved productivity.
The rainwater and greywater will be redirected for use in seasonal gardens and the aquaponic systems.
James Ehrlich, CEO of ReGen Villages, is quite optimistic about the outcome of the revolutionary farming practices that he plans to implement in the ReGen Village:
“We anticipate literally tons of abundant organic food every year—from vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, fish, eggs, chicken, small animal dairy and protein—that can continually grow and yield in the vertical garden systems all year long as supplement to the seasonal gardens and farming adjacent.”
Living off the Grid
The sustainable home/farm community will be powered by its own energy. The company plans to exploit the potential of the geothermal, solar, wind, biomass, and solar thermal sources of clean energy to power the community.
Similarly, all the non-compostable household waste will be converted into water and electricity by the biogas system. The energy produced by the combination of these sources will then be distributed via a smart grid, to ensure power distribution efficiency.
Ehrlich is enthusiastic about how it will change the global perspective about the energy consumption:
“We’re looking at some very interesting technologies for small-footprint biomass that can take surrounding farm waste and turn that into a consistent energy source in a way that can power these communities in northern Europe even in the dead of winter.”
Redefining Residential Neighborhood
ReGen aims to create a network of similar self-sustainable communities across the globe. The first community will be the 100-home village in the suburbs of Amsterdam. The community will lie just outside Almere, 20 minutes by train to Amsterdam. Ehrlich said:
“We’re really looking at a global scale. 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.”
Tesla of Eco-Villages
ReGen plan to bring the same kind of self-sustainable housing concept to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany. Eventually, ReGen is eyeing the entire international market. The company is looking into a new model specifically designed for the arid climates like the Middle East. Ehrlich expounded the company strategy as:
“We tackle the first two hardest climate areas. Then from there we have global scale—rural India, sub-Saharan Africa, where we know that the population is going to increase and also be moving to the middle class. 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.”
The company will start working on the site for the ReGen community in Almere this summer. The estimates suggest that the housing/farming facility will be completed in 2017.