BY: SAMANTHA TAPP
Photos via ReGen Villages
Around 10 billion people will live on Earth by 2050. This means Earth will need to produce enough food, water and land for three billion more people than we already have. Not only does the growing population mean more resources, but it also means a huge hit to our environment, which is already struggling. While some people (you know who you are, Mr. President) are still refusing to believe in our environmental issues, others are working towards a brighter future.
California-based developer, ReGen Villages, is a startup real estate company that is working towards creating regenerative communities that produce both their own food and their own power. The company, founded in 2015, partnered with Copenhagen-based architecture firm Effekt to design all the villages.
“Regenerative means systems where the output of one system can actually be the input of another,” ReGen’s founder, James Ehrlich said according to Business Insider.
The self-sustaining eco-villages are serious about their dedication to the environment. Food waste from each home is composted to fertilize crops and fed to flies, which then feeds the fish, which in turn fertilizes aquaponic gardens (multi-layered gardens that are a combination of fish farming and hydroponic agriculture, with plant roots in nutrient-rich solution instead of soil). Those gardens then grow food for the residents to eat. There are also seasonal gardens that are fertilized from the waste from livestock that are raised to feed the residents.
“In the next 30 years the size of the aspiring class will double to 4 billion, creating an enormous demand for integrated neighbourhood designs that incorporate door-step agency with high-yield organic food production that feed diverse nutritional needs,” reads ReGen Villages website.
The residents will also each have their own greenhouses attached to their home so they can grow their own produce. Rainwater will be gathered and filtered to use in the gardens and farms, and as you can probably guess, solar panels will power the homes.
The company estimates that the food being produced on site will be able to sustain 50-100 per cent of residents’ needs, dependant on where in the world the communities are and weather permitting. Every village will house 100 families on about 50 acres on land. The greenhouses are each family’s responsibility, but the communal farms and livestock will be taken care of by ReGen staff. However, residents can work labor positions to reduce their monthly fees homeowners will pay separate from their mortgages.
“ReGen Villages adds not only environmental and financial value, but also social value, by creating a framework for empowering families and developing a sense of community, where people become part of a shared local eco-system: reconnecting people with nature and consumption with production,” reads the Effekt website.
You may have the opportunity to live in one of these resilient, futuristic villages sooner than you think. The first site is in Almere, Netherlands. ReGen expects to begin construction by the end of the summer and have the first 25 homes built by the end of the year. They are also looking to buy sites in Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Norway.