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Self-sustaining wellness villages set for Europe, as work begins on Dutch pilot project

by Jane Kitchen | 24 Mar 2017
We like to think of ReGen as the Tesla of ecovillages. We want to make it easy, convenient and accessible to choose a sustainable lifestyle off the grid
– James Ehrlich, ReGen Village founder

A technology-focused real estate development company that’s creating a new model for self-sustaining wellness communities has launched a pilot 'ReGen Village' in the Netherlands.

Located in Almere, the development, designed by Danish architects EFFEKT, includes 300 homes that will grow their own food and generate their own power on-site.

Other ReGen developments are also being considered in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany and Belgium.

The idea for the communities is to address the challenges of a growing population, increasing urbanisation, scarcity of resources and the growing global food crisis – as well as reducing the global CO2 emission and reducing burdens on municipal and national governments. It also wants to create a sense of community, reconnect people with nature and consumption with production, and restore biodiversity to the surrounding landscapes.

“ReGen Villages is engineering and facilitating the development of off-grid, integrated and resilient neighbourhoods that power and feed self-reliant families around the world,” said founder James Ehrlich. “It’s all about applied technology. We’re simply applying already existing technologies into an integrated community design, providing clean energy, water and food right off your doorstep.

“We like to think of ReGen as the Tesla of ecovillages. We want to make it easy, convenient and accessible to choose a sustainable lifestyle off the grid.”

The company is raising a significant amount of funding from sovereign wealth funds looking to divest from fossil fuels, and then partners with national and local municipalities to develop the community.

As well as providing residential accommodation, the villages will also have large leisure components, including community centres, piazzas, public kitchens and spaces for yoga, meditation and other kinds of wellness activities.

“There could eventually be opportunities for local businesses to take part in our communities – such as spas and other wellness facilities,” said Ehrlich.

Ehrlich himself is described as a ‘serial entrepreneur’ who is also a senior technologist at Stanford University, a senior fellow at NASA Ames Opus Novum consortium, and a White House/State Department appointee to a joint task force on the nexus of food, water, energy and waste. He has also co-authored an organic cookbook, and produced the US Public Television Series ‘Organic Living.’

Further development plans for Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Malaysia, India, China, parts of Africa and further into the US and Canada are part of the global scale initiative for ReGen Villages going forward.

The Global Wellness Institute estimated wellness real estate to be a US$118.6bn (€107bn, £95bn) sector in 2015, a 19 per cent growth since 2013. The GWI launched its Wellness Communities Initiative in 2016, chaired by Mia Kyricos, who is also founder of strategic advisory firm Kyricos & Associates.

ecovillages  wellness communities  The Netherlands  James Ehrlich 
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A technology-focused real estate development company that’s creating a new model for self-sustaining wellness communities has launched a pilot 'ReGen Village' in the Netherlands. Located in Almere, the development, designed by Danish architects EFFEKT, includes 300 homes that will grow their own food and generate their own power on-site. Other ReGen developments are also being considered in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany and Belgium. The idea for the communities is to
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The idea for the communities is to address the challenges of a growing population, increasing urbanisation, scarcity of resources and the growing global food crisis / EFFEKT Architects
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Les Mills International
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