Green living in Amsterdam Metropolitan Area

ReGen Villages – a startup company that specialises in the development of regenerative real estate – is planning to build its pilot community in Almere. ReGen sees a problem: the Earth’s resources are running out and the population is constantly growing. To help solve this problem, the company aims to create off-grid communities all over the globe that are efficient in terms of water management, energy usage and waste-to-resource systems.

On-site solar panels will be used to generate electricity, and rainwater will be reused for gardening purposes. The communities will even grow their own food; every family home will have a personal greenhouse attached to the house. Also, there will be communal farms that are run by ReGen staff.

ReGen is a spin-off company of Stanford University, and the founder – James Ehrlich – has a solid background in the industry. Ehrlich describes himself as a ''serial entrepreneur in the areas of technology, media technology and clean-tech'', and he is currently a Senior Technologist at Stanford University.

Regenerative living

ReGen’s end goal is to create a regenerative, sustainable way of living. According to Ehrlich, “Regenerative means systems where the output of one system can actually be the input of another”. For example, general waste is fed to flies, the flies are then fed to fish, and the fish then fertilise aquaponic gardens that produce food for the residents. Ehrlich estimates that enough food will be produced in each community to support 50-100% of its residents. If any food is leftover, he envisions that the profits will be used to lower the residents’ costs.

The Almere pilot community

Back in May 2016, ReGen signed the land grant that secured their right to build their pilot village in Almere, with work due to begin at the beginning of 2017. ReGen is aiming to have the community fully developed by 2018. Ehrlich expects costs to be a little over €500 a month – residents can even offer to work around the community to lower their fees. The first completed village in Almere will have 25 houses on roughly 5 hectares. ReGen houses cost roughly €300,000, and they range in size from 80 to 140 square meters.