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Inspired by ReGen Villages idea?

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Last year I heard about a similar concept. It was introduced by ReGen Villages here in Europe and it went viral. They did their first project in Netherlands and they want to start several more in other countries, including Germany. Did you guys get inspired by their idea?

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We heard about their project. It was all over the internet. At the time when we heard about ReGen Villages, we already have been in the process of purchasing our property in Chile. Answering your question. No, we did not take their idea, but we have very similar concepts.

The fact that ReGen Villages idea went viral is very encouraging to us. It's another confirmation that green, eco-friendly and off-grid communities are in high demand.

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Oh, I read about the ReGen Villages as well. As far as I know they have not built their first subdivision yet. Idea is great, will see how it will work out. I would love to visit their place one day.

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I am not sure if living in a green house would be a pleasurable thing. The sizes of their properties seem so small. On their pictures, I saw animals roaming around the houses. Is that what they are planning to do? Still, it would be very educational and exciting to visit their subdivision.

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I don't know what is going on with Regen Villages. They started so strong, been all over the internet, created a lot of buzz and then went silent. No updates about the progress on their website, Facebook or Twitter. If someone has any other information, please let us know.

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This is a letter I got from ReGen Villages in my email this morning. I will just copy and paste it below.

 

Dear ReGen Villages friends and family,


Although it may seem we have been quiet the past few months, we wanted to let you know that behind the scenes we have been working diligently on bringing ReGen Villages to life in the Netherlands and beyond to our other Northern Europe (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, UK) and U.S. initiatives.

Designing and building the neighborhood of the future means on-going dialog with government officials locally, regionally and nationally – especially in our path to provide the right mix of housing types at a variety pricing levels that can deliver on the promise of affordable and approachable avenues for families to purchase or rent into our diverse, multi-generational communities..

 

ReGen Villages Almere, Netherlands

We are happy to say that our negotiations with government officials have been very productive and fruitful to our aims of following all the rules, while also presenting strategies that benefit other family and group initiators in the Oosterwold district, in ways that make us a good neighbor in this growing area of like-minded families.

We shifted our ground ceremony this summer to later Q4 2017 with the first homes becoming available for residence by early summer of 2018, because of our absolute commitment to designing a true neighborhood of the future, where autonomous mobility with car-free zones, extended water features for resiliency and recreation, and an updated master plan with innovative energy-positive housing units (made with sustainable and circular economic materials) can be realized for all budgets.

 

Exciting momentum on all fronts

ReGen Villages is partnering with one of the top real estate development companies in the Netherlands, with a respected name in bringing beautiful neighborhoods to life.

This past summer we selected the best-in-class technology platform partners, who are leading the way at the nexus of food, water, energy + waste-to-resource management systems.

We also have some very exciting announcements on our integration of electric  shared mobility resources with one of the world’s largest and trusted automakers, bringing autonomous transport into every day life.

The past few months we have also established significant banking relationships for entire project financing and green mortgage offers for prospective home buyers with the most sustainable banks, as well as moving our Blockchain neighborhood economic system forward.

We have a clear vision and plans for creating ReGen Villages in Almere/Oosterwold and beyond to global scale. Living within nature and not separate from it by building resilient and regenerative neighborhoods as the only logical way forward for the future of humanity during dynamically changing environmental and economic times.

 

Coming soon

In the next few weeks we will reach out to our Almere, Netherlands future resident list.. We will commence the phase of introducing a selection of housing types, floor plans and cost ranges. Then we will engage with families directly to walk through their interests and needs during the selection process to become part of our pilot community.

We are grateful for your continued excitement, enthusiasm and support! 

 

Very kind regards,

ReGen Villages Team

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Hi,

This is what I found today.  Its from the singularityhub website.

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, James Ehrlich shared insights on how combining lessons from nature with new technology is pushing sustainable housing into new frontiers.

Ehrlich is the founder of ReGen Villages, a company that spun out of Stanford University and is building the “Tesla of ecovillages.” Ehrlich is also Singularity University faculty and won the Global Grand Challenge award in the shelter category at last year’s Global Summit.

These sustainable neighborhoods integrate renewable practices in food, water, energy, and waste management to create self-reliant communities in which all essential needs for a healthy life are met within the footprint of that community.

“The idea is to take energy positive homes and add infrastructure that is actually regenerative. What that means is that the output of one system becomes the input of another,” said Ehrlich. “We think this is the best solution for the next two to three billion people coming to the planet in the next 30 years.”

Watch the full interview and learn how biomimicry and other lessons from nature are helping build more resilient and sustainable neighborhoods.

 

If you want to see their video, click below.

 

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Like always, Regen Villages does not have much coverage on their progress. Why do they drag their feet? Is it hard to provide a bit more information on their website? Is anyone out there that knows what is going on with the pilot project in EU?

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This is a great video explaining sustainable communities very well. Wow, it sounds so much like what you guys are doing  Amazing!

 

 

Edited by Sophia

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I like the idea of having golf carts or other electric vehicles beyond the club house. They could be charged with solar panel car ports . You could have two, four and six passenger carts available to motor around in quietly. Who knows, they may drive or fly themselves in a few years!

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Hey everyone, did anyone hear anything from them? Any news? Did they actually build something? Looking for updates, can't find any...

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Finally, Regen villages posted an update about their progress. Found several articles online. They plan to break ground by the end of 2018 with the first houses to be constructed in 2019. The rendering pictures have been changed and it looks like they will have much bigger property.

 

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This is an article I found on www.fastcompany.com

The world’s first “high-tech eco village” will reinvent suburbs

ReGen village, in the Netherlands, will collect and store its own water and energy, grow its own food, and process much of its own waste. Also: no cars.

 
[Photo: ReGen Villages]image.png.aa586eac7b1888f532d487f8b8ca1c65.png
By Adele Peters5 minute Read

A half-hour commute from Amsterdam, a piece of farmland is slated to become a new kind of neighborhood. Vertical farms, along with traditional fields and orchards surrounding homes, will supply food to people living there. Food waste will turn into fish feed for on-site aquaculture. Houses will filter rainwater, but won’t have driveways. A “village OS” tech platform will use AI to simultaneously manage systems for renewable energy, food production, water supply, and waste.

The 50-acre neighborhood, which will be nearly self-sufficient as it collects and stores water and energy, grows food, and processes much of its own waste, was initially planned for construction in 2017. The developers, called ReGen Villages, struggled with red tape–the area, on a piece of land that used to be underwater but was reclaimed in the 1960s when a seawall was constructed–has regulations that make it difficult for someone other than an individual homeowner to build on land that is mostly used for farming now. But after the project finally got government approval this month, it’s ready to take its next steps.

4-the-worlds-first-high-tech-eco-village [Photo: ReGen Villages]

“We can connect a neighborhood the way it’s supposed to be connected, which is around natural resources,” says James Ehrlich, founder of ReGen Villages. If the project raises the final funding needed to begin construction, what is now a simple field will have new canals, wetlands, and ponds that can soak up stormwater (the area is seven meters below sea level, and at risk for flooding) and attract migrating birds. The land will be planted with trees, gardens, and food forests. Vertical gardens inside greenhouses will grow food on a small footprint. The 203 new homes, from tiny houses and row houses to larger villas, will provide needed housing in an area where the population may double in 15 years. The houses range in cost from 200,000 to 850,000 euros.

As cities become increasingly expensive and crowded, Ehrlich believes that this type of development may become more common. “In the last few years, we’ve really seen that the market has shifted and that there’s a hollowing out of cities,” he says. “They are really expensive and the quality of life is going down, and as much as millennials or younger people really want to be in the city, the fact is that they can’t really afford it . . . the trends are really moving toward this kind of neighborhood development outside of cities.”

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–– ADVERTISEMENT ––
 
 

 

2-the-worlds-first-high-tech-eco-village [Photo: ReGen Villages]

There’s also a need to rethink infrastructure so it works more efficiently, with a lower environmental footprint. The new development considers everything–from electricity to sewage–as an interconnected system, and software links the pieces together. Electric cars, for example, which will be parked on the perimeter of the neighborhood to keep streets walkable, can store some of the extra power from the neighborhood’s solar panels and other renewable energy.

The neighborhood works differently than most. Because of the expected arrival of self-driving cars in coming years, and to encourage walking and biking, the houses aren’t designed with parking; a new bus line along the edge of the neighborhood, with a dedicated bus lane, can take residents to the town of Almere or into Amsterdam. (As in other parts of the Netherlands, separated bike paths also connect to the city.) Water will come primarily from rain collection. The on-site farming, including raising chicken and fish, will supply a large portion of the local food supply. If neighbors volunteer for the community–to garden, or teach a yoga class, or provide elder care, for example–the community will use a blockchain-based time bank to track their hours, and then provide a discount on their HOA fees.

1-the-worlds-first-high-tech-eco-village [Photo: ReGen Villages]

A “living machine,” a system that uses plants and trees to filter sewage, and a separate anaerobic digester, can handle the neighborhood’s sewage and provide irrigation or water reused in energy systems. A system for processing food and animal waste will use black soldier flies and aquatic worms to digest the waste and create both chicken and fish feed. Other household waste–like cans and bottles–will be handled by the municipal recycling system, at least initially.

It’s a design that Ehrlich believes is feasible elsewhere, though it may not easily fit into existing regulations, and it would need political support. (Some other “agrihoods,” neighborhoods with built-in farming, do already exist, like Kuwili Lani in Hawaii, which also uses renewable energy and harvests some rainwater.)

“We know that governments around the world are in a desperate situation to build probably over a billion new homes around the world,” he says. “It’s a terrible housing crisis. At the same time, they wrestle with a number of things: the commercial interest of farmers, the commercial interests of traditional real estate developers, material companies who have a way of doing things that they’ve been doing for 100, 150 years. Most of the rules on the books relate to this district-scale thinking–of grid-based electricity, of district-scale water, of district-scale sewage.”

Financing is another challenge: While typical real estate developers look for large rates of return and quick exits, ReGen Villages plans to stay involved in its developments and get long-term, single-digit returns. The company is still raising the last round of money needed for the new development. Because Almere has regulations that don’t allow for high density, the initial development will also be more expensive. But once it’s built–something that Ehrlich expects to happen in 2019–others can follow more quickly. “We have access to a lot of really big money that’s waiting for us to finish the next pilot, and so we need the proof of concept,” he says.

The company has plans to build future developments near cities like Lund, Sweden, and Lejre-Hvalso, Denmark, and it ultimately hopes to bring a low-cost version of the neighborhoods to developing countries. “We can imagine going to rural India, sub-Saharan Africa, where we know the next 2 [billion] to 3 billion people are coming to the planet, and where we know that hundreds of millions of people are moving into the middle class,” he says. “And [we want] to get there as quickly as we can to provide new kinds of suburbs, new kinds of neighborhoods.”

 

Edited by Anna B

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Anna B, thank you for sharing an interesting article. Finally, they provided some more information.

Please understand me correctly, I do not want to criticize their project, I love their idea and I am trying to learn from it as much as possible. But according to the information revealed in this article, does anyone sees any flaws in their plan or is it just me?

 

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Their outline of the project seems good! I don't see any imperfections yet, hard to tell without knowing all of the details. It is the price, right? I just checked, and the cost of EUR is 1.15 USD. At that exchange rate, you have $230K  to $977K. That is for tiny houses, row houses to larger villas. I think that the opening point for a little home is pretty high.

Edited by FunkyJazzNinja

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Price is high but considering that this is in Europe - its ok but still at the higher end. I lived in Germany and prices are always shocking. But I was actually expressing about something else, can someone find it? :)

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Some of these may be pluses to some folks.  I see them all as negatives...

  • Half hour away from large population centers
  • Below sea level and at risk of flooding
  • A.I. controlling all of their systems
  • No cars - houses aren't designed with parking
  • They say water comes primarily from rainwater, but did not mention a backup system.
  • HOA fees (no thanks!)
     

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16 hours ago, Elwez said:

Some of these may be pluses to some folks.  I see them all as negatives...

  • Half hour away from large population centers
  • Below sea level and at risk of flooding
  • A.I. controlling all of their systems
  • No cars - houses aren't designed with parking
  • They say water comes primarily from rainwater, but did not mention a backup system.
  • HOA fees (no thanks!)
     

Elwez, I agree with you and see them as a negatives

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The main flaw in their plan that I see is - 203 houses on 50 acres. According to this article, they want to be "nearly self-sufficient". IMHO this will be hard to achieve. They need more ground! After some area (I hope there will be some) will be designated to the community use, like clubhouse, pathways (they can't cut those out), parking for electric cars that will be on the perimeter of the property, they will not have much space left. Plus they still promise traditional fields and orchards surrounding homes. From their original plan, larger animals have been already illuminated and now it is just chicken and fish. Even that also takes space.

If you do quick calculations the lots of only 1/4 of an acre would take the whole area. What about all of this cool stuff? Where would it fit? That is why they don't want to do roads, they can't lose more ground. So, they took a clever path, wrapped this packed urban living into "new, modern idea" and are trying to sell it as a self-sufficient farm.

I am a bit disappointed in these guys on one hand. They had such a promising start and end up with this... On the other side - I respect them. If they can sell it at that price, charge HOA on top, plus make residents work there?!!!!!!!! Wow, that takes some selling skills. :)

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  • Posts

    • Hello Karen,
      YES! In fact, we do encourage planting trees, vineyards, and gardens. We do not want to micromanage your property as some other developments might do, but we do want every owner to plant trees or vineyards. After all, this is a sustainable community.
    • I was just on my lot in late September, walking the grounds with the project developers.  We walked through the plans my wife and I have in mind for the land, and altered them with their suggestions.  We are looking to make as much of the land as productive as possible.  We picked out over 50 fruit and nut trees, though we soon realized that we will need more than that.  Then we marked off about a quarter acre or so for a small organic vineyard.  Finally, we walked off about a 500 square foot plot for an initial garden for veggies and annual fruits.  We plan on doing a lot of canning for the winter months, so a lot of the garden will probably go towards that effort. So, short answer - you can do what you want.  It's your land.  Hopefully there will be some general neighborhood guidelines that discourage eye sores like junk cars on the land, but other than that, it's dealers choice.  I looked at another property in the O'Higgins region where the land was micromanaged by the neighborhood and very restrictive.  It was an enormous turn off.  I wouldn't have made my purchase if I was being told what I can and can't do with it in terms of what I could plant. Hope that helps...
    • As I already mentioned before, I do love to garden and since I am retired, I always eat from my own garden. Is that something you will allow in your subdivision? I think a community garden and aquaponics are amazing, and I do love to volunteer my time for that, but there is nothing as awesome as going outside your backyard door and getting the fresh herbs and veggies for your dinner salad.
    • Hello Elwez, Yes, the farmers market has changed somewhat in the spring. Some prices on products like the bell peppers started to go down and some, like the apples, started to climb up. And of course, with the new season, we see new produce. I think you guys left right before the great stuff started to appear.  Right now we enjoy lots of great asparagus at a $1.45 a big bundle. About 4 weeks ago we started having strawberries. First, they were at 1,700 CLP/kg, which is $1.12/pound and today I bought some at 750 CLP/kg, which is $0.49/pound. Within the last week, we bought more than 50 lbs of strawberries. We love to eat them while they are fresh and in season and freeze a lot for smoothies as well. The watermelons are still by the slice and I think that will change only in a month or so....  
    • The farmers markets are near the top of our list of things we miss about Chile.  It's been about a month since we last did our grocery shopping at one in Santa Cruz.  The last day we went they were selling watermelon by the slice at the Saturday market, and I heard that someone found fresh strawberries at the Sunday market.  With Spring in South America now in full swing, we're wondering how the varieties and prices of fresh foods at the markets have changed?