ReGen Villages: sustainable housing of the (near) future

Imagine living in a luxurious home where your carbon footprint was minimal, your groceries grew down the way in smart hot houses, and everything was designed to be beautiful and sustainable

Take a look at this talk with James Ehrlich, founder of ReGen Villages.

Ehrlich and his team are bringing to life a vision of communities that are fully self–sustaining and sustainable, where some of the best technology for environmentally sustainable living is paired with the designs of the future.

ReGen Villages reminds me of my idea about sustainable communities of tiny homes, except the first neighborhood is already being built and seems like it could be much more luxurious than what I had imagined.

The ReGen website describes the villages as “desirable off-grid capable neighborhoods comprised of power positive homes, renewable energy, water management, and waste-to-resource systems that are based upon on-going resiliency research.”

Here’s a visual peek:

(INDEX: AWARD 2017 FINALIST – REGEN VILLAGES from INDEX: Design to Improve Life® on Vimeo.)

James Ehrlich’s goal is to address the critical issues of climate change and food, energy, and housing shortages.

In contrast to my imagined tiny house communities, it seems like these homes would be full size, and designed to have all the amenities of modern living along with being environmentally sustainable.

An article in the Atlantic describes the development of ReGen’s first village, planned to open in 2019 in the Netherlands:

“By 2019, the project will turn Almere into its first closed-loop, regenerative, self-sustaining, off-grid smart village. It will house about 200 families on 40 acres of land and marry on-site solar- and wind-energy generation and storage with clean water recycling, waste-to-resource management, on-site aquaculture, small-animal ranching, and organic farming.”

I do wonder how Ehrlich and his team are addressing the challenge of cyber security, since they explain that data from all major features will be collected in the cloud. I understand the benefits of IoT for optimal operation and improvements, but if I were to live in a home that’s tracking everything about my environment and interactions I’d want to know that my safety and privacy are preserved along with the future of our planet.

In any case, I’m hooked and excited to see Almere in action.

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