Officials in the Netherlands have given American architect James Ehrlich permission to begin construction an eco-village about 30 minutes outside of Amsterdam. The project hopes to break ground in late 2020. The master plan involves up to 300 homes that already received infrastructure permits in 2018.
The idea of building new, durable housing isn’t one that is new. What Ehlrich hopes to accomplish with this project is a 100% sustainable loop. If he is successful, it would be the first modern community of its size to accomplish such a feat.
What Does It Mean to Have a Sustainable Loop?
ReGen Villages hopes to build an infrastructure in the Netherlands that provides self-sustainable systems for food productions, electricity, waste management, and water treatment. Power for the homes and businesses would come from geothermal sources, biogas, and solar energy.
Ehrlich included aquaponic gardens in the village’s design to combine fish farming with traditional agricultural activities. This system would become a micro-environment that could produce everything the entire population needs for comfortable living.
The entire project has 61 acres of land with which to work in the Oosterwold District. Each home would cost between $216,000 to $918,000, depending on the luxury and size of the house desired.
Each family home would have a greenhouse to use for personal gardens. Water would come from catch-and-filter systems that take advantage of local precipitation. Residents could even work in a communal farming system to reduce energy and food fees.
Ehrlich says that the two primary obstacles standing in their way are politics and funding. ReGen Villages is working on a funding round of about $17 million in private equity.
It could be a project that helps us to rethink what is possible with humanity’s synergy with nature.