Cities are the major contributor to Climate Change, being responsible for 75% of global CO2 emissions and resources consumption1.
By 2050 2.3 billion people more will live in urban areas2,3. At the current rate, every five days, we build a new Paris. Each year, the total size of Japan4,5.
Making cities greener won't solve the problem, that lies at the root of how cities are conceived. We need to move from a linear model to a regenerative one6.
We need a joint effort to co-design from the ground up a new model of metropolis based on a thriving interrelationship between human and nature.
Imagine a new paradigm of human settlement based on regenerative, circular principles that inspire every aspect of it, from food production, to health care, economy, social life and so on.
Let's think BIG, modelling the way humans can live and thrive in the future world, starting from an empty piece of land. A white canvas to create the Regenerative Human Settlements (RHS) of tomorrow.
Regenerative Human Settlement
A place where humans and nature live in a mutually beneficial relationship that actively restores ecosystems and supports the local population to thrive.
A cooperative approach that dynamically renews itself, and stimulates inclusive well-being, health and happiness for every living being, now, and in the future7.
THE 4 PHASES
Research & connect
The scale of this project is huge but we are not reinventing the wheel. The solutions are already out there, our task is to map them, connect and to bring them together to the next phase!
We want to bring together experts of different fields of human society, having them working together with a systemic approach in order to create a scalable model of Regenerative Human Settlement.
Full scale prototype
We aim to create three parallel prototypes in different areas to test and stretch the model's adaptability and capacity to be regenerative in very diverse contexts, climates, environments and cultures.
Replicate & multiply
To reach a global regenerative transformation we need to apply the model everywhere in the world. The last step is to create tens of thousands of Regenerative Human Settlements all over the globe.
Life is regenerative by nature, what is an output for a system becomes a nutrient for another. A human settlement must follow the same principle in all its aspects, mimicking nature in its design.
A human settlement encompasses all the fields of human living, and focuses on the systemic interrelations among all stakeholders involved to create participatory cycles of mutual support.
A regenerative society focuses on the well-being of all the living beings in it, and aims to redesign the dysfunctional aspects of the current system and foster inclusion, equity and direct participation.
12 FIELDS OF REGENERATION
There are different ways to contribute to make the Regenerative Human Settlement happen!
Join our team
We are looking for volunteers and team members to build regenerative human settlements all over the world.
If the vision touches you and you want to dedicate some of your time to the project let us know! We welcome both sporadic contributors and full time team members.
- 20+ years in the field of sustainable and impact investing
- Relational Counselor
I am constantly experimenting ecological and intentional ways of life. From zero waste, to relying only on renewables, to going vegan, looking for a lifestyle that is fulfilling for humans and sustainability for the planet. Now I want to scale up my impact, designing a regenerative settlement, where nature can thrive, and humans within it.
- Master degree in Eco-Design at the Politecnico di Torino
- 10+ years of group facilitation and personal development
- Founder & Trainer of Playfight
As a child I couldn't figure how humans could treat the planet as a litter. I then understood that the environment we grow up and live in has a strong influence on our actions, beliefs and priorities. I believe that we need to re-imagine how humans can live in harmony with nature. A Regenerative Human Settlement where both humans and nature can thrive.
- Master degree in Human Computer Interaction & Psychology
- 10+ years of positive Impact Coach & Consultant
- Sustainability Influencer for Teens
The most beautiful memories of my childhood are from the countryside. Today, living in a city, I miss the colours, the smells, the slower rhythms, and the freedom to learn by play. I believe that a regenerative way of living is not only possible, but needed for the well-being of ourselves and the future generations. It’s up to us to play.
- Master degree in Marketing Communication - 5+ years in the field of Marketing and Teal Management - Ambassador of SEEDS and Gaianet, Photographer and Graphic designer
When I was young, I thought about behaving differently from my schoolmates as a weakness. Becoming an adult I realised that it is my strength to be able to distinguish unnecessary waste from something that brings value. Therefore, it is an honour to participate in such a bold concept as RHS and implement global tools into the local scale, because “there is no planet B”.
Q & A
This project is huge, maybe too much?
It's true, it is huge. So huge that it scares, and yet this is the scale we need to work with. We are facing a colossal challenge and we need both small actions and huge projects to tackle it. It's estimated that in the next 30 years cities around the globe are going to expand to make space for almost 3 billion people. This is the scale we are dealing with.
Why start from scratch instead of existing cities?
We believe that doing something from the ground up will allow us to rethink completely the way human settlements can work. Current cities need regeneration and at the same time we also need the courage to start something new, where the principles of regeneration and nature care can be protagonists from the very beginning. In this way creative solutions can arise, and be shared so that they could be applied also to existing cities.
Why call it a settlement and not a regenerative city?
Because the word "city" has a strong and defined connotation that is often associated with buildings, skyscrapers, roads, cars, bad smell, billboards, flashing lights, supermarkets and so on. The word "settlement" is wider, more flexible, so that we can re-thinking it starting from the purpose of it and not from what we are used to seeing.
I want to live there, where is it going to happen?
At this stage of the project it's too early to define where it's going to be. Our current goal is to create a model that can be adapted to different locations and sizes. Once that's done, the following step will be to define the locations where we'll build the first prototypes. Once there, we'll open the call for the first inhabitants to move in!
Are you trying to create an eco-village?
Similar principles but scaled up 100 times. By definition an Ecovillage is: "a community whose inhabitants seek to live in a way that has minimal impact on the environment", we are aligned on that. Currently Auroville is considered the biggest ecovillage with 2814 inhabitants. RHS aims to create a settlement that can welcome up to hundred thousand people.
What is the point to create something of such scale?
Cities are a crucial element of society. They can be both a source of innovation, cultural diversity, economical opportunities, and at the same time for crime, pollution, and social injustice. We believe that shaping from the ground up a new paradigm of human settlement we can foster the benefits of a large urban population and reduce the negative outcomes that affect current cities.
Will you create a model and replicate it everywhere?
Our intention is not to replicate the model around the world, but to produce a method that stimulates questions and offers possible solutions that local designers can adapt to the local needs, environment and culture to create their unique RHS. There won't be a RHS looking like another. We believe that a regenerative approach to create human settlements is needed everywhere in the world, but the way to implement it is unique and diverse for each and every place.
How can a settlement that big be regenerative?
If we would have the answer we wouldn't be in the phase of research but already designing it. We don't know how but we know that is a concrete need. We think that the key is a modular design, regenerative pods where the essential human needs are responded in a small area (see 15 minutes city by Carlos Moreno 8), and systemically having them in relation with other pods with different functions.