Sweden can become first country with circular, self-sufficient communities

March 24, 2020

Doorstep high-yield organic food production, locally produced and stored energy, comprehensive recycling and climate positive buildings. All of this combined, democratised and scaled up thanks to an OS inspired by computer games. White Arkitekter and Silicon Valley based ReGen Villages have joined forces to create fully circular, self-sufficient and resilient communities in Sweden.

An ongoing climate crisis, heavy population growth and urbanisation as well as a housing shortage – these are realities that municipalities and property developers have to face. White and ReGen Villages Sweden will develop self-sufficient communities in and around cities as a way of tackling these challenges while meeting the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. White Arkitekter will be in charge of the overall site planning and the design of energy positive buildings, including housing. Over the last four years, ReGen Villages have met with several Swedish municipalities, landowners, property developers and stakeholders – the goal is for a pilot project to start in 2020.

quote
Self-sufficiency and circularity make our cities and communities less vulnerable by lessening the load on central infrastructure. They are becoming key aspects of sustainable urban development and we are thrilled to be able to soon show what this can look like in practice.
Ulla Bergström, Managing Director at White Stockholm

A ReGen Village is based on the latest climate-smart technologies which are adapted to site-specific conditions. The need for food will be largely met by new technologies such as vertical farming and aquaponics, a closed system in which fish farming and crops are combined symbiotically. Energy will be secured through solar panels and biogas produced from local waste. Water is collected, cleaned and reused. The technologies are combined in an unprecedented way into a single circular system with the help of Village OS.

Using AI on a community level

Village OS is developed by Regen Villages Holding and is based on AI technology and machine learning. It enables the development of similar self-sufficient communities around the globe. The system is reminiscent of so-called “smart homes” in which several home amenities are online and can be controlled from a central hub. Village OS can in a similar way make entire communities “smart“, something that has not been possible at this scale up until now. In practice this means that all neighbourhood systems can be run and balanced digitally.

 

ReGen Villages AB Sweden is a subsidiary of the Holland based company ReGen Villages Holding and was founded by James Ehrlich, a Senior Technology Analyst and Entrepreneur in Residence at Stanford University, with a background in computer gaming.

 

quote
Scalable, innovative solutions are the answers to the challenges of the future. The collaboration with White will give Sweden and the Nordics the world’s first economically, ecologically and socially sustainable communities for ordinary people.
James Ehrlich

The concept is based on five core principles, enabled by Village OS:

  1. Ecological food production, including farm-to-table, vertical farming and aquaponics
  2. Mixed renewable energy and storage
  3. Water and waste recycling
  4. Energy positive homes
  5. Empowerment of local communities

Village OS is based on AI and machine learning and works as a bridge between nature and different technological systems that are combined and optimised. Computer systems will monitor farming, energy use and water flows. The smart homes are connected to the system as well. The idea is that the local housing cooperative can use the system to run the entire community’s daily operations.

 

The size of a ReGen village is approximately 250 000 square meters. 25 percent of the area is occupied by buildings, among others 250–300 housings. The rest of the area is used for the different systems, such as farming and food production, energy production and water management.

 

White Akitekter is ReGen Villages Sweden’s “Preferred Partner” in Sweden.

English
Svenska