These self-reliant communities are about to take a leap into the future by living fully off-grid, yet surrounded by the latest technology.
Text by Isabelle Pinto |
Photography by EFFEKT Architects & ReGen Villages Holding, B.V.
In many rural areas in the world including the Western world, self-sustaining communities that live off-thegrid (independent from centralised supply of power, water and food) have been in existence since the last few thousand years. This idyllic and romantic lifestyle (save for the occasional battles and raids), will soon be staging a comeback – but with a techno twist. Technology in the form of apps and the latest gadgetry will be integrated into this ‘ecovillage’ to make this a modern utopian residence.
A pilot community of 100 eco-homes named ReGen Villages will be erected in Almere, the Netherlands this year which will test the viability of this modern adaptation of our ancestors’ living conditions. The rationale is simply to use less from the Earth due to the increasing scarcity of resources.
“10 billion people are expected to be on the planet by 2050,” says ReGen Villages CEO James Ehrlich, alluding to the huge upcoming demand for resources. Dutchman Ehrlich came up with the idea of the ReGen Villages which aims to be fully self-sustainable and off-grid.
Residents of ReGen Villages will produce its own organic produce including livestock and vegetables, and use rain harvesting method for its water supply while electricity will be generated from solar power. Hence, a total nonreliance on external sources; albeit with some dependence on technology. Ehrlich has enlisted Danish architects EFFEKT to help with the design of the homes which will initially see pilot projects being implemented on sites across Northern Europe in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany.
Eventually, the eco-innovator hopes to develop these ecovillages in Asia including China, India and Malaysia, as well as the UAE and parts of Africa.