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Nafeez Ahmed:

" The end-goal of the Metabolic team’s technology research is a concept called “Smarthoods.”

The project aims to design an urban system which integrates decentralised food, water and energy flows in order to create a nearly fully self-sufficient neighbourhood.

It works based on the principle of “circularity”—recycling water, materials, and waste as much as possible within the system.

“Our current simulations show it should be possible to become 100 percent power, heat and water, and 50% food self-sufficient,” de Graaf said. “Living in a Smarthood will instantly reduce one’s ecological footprint by near 40 percent. We envision it as the circular, resilient neighborhood of the future, that solves many of the 21st century’s greatest challenges.”

The simulations demonstrate the potential viability of this model—the next step, which the de Graaf and his team are working on now, is to execute it on the ground in the Netherlands, and, from there, to encourage neighborhoods around the world to take it up." (