I fervently advocate: “To build a better world, start in your community.” Recently I became aware of a futurist community currently being built in the Netherlands, opening its doors to its first residents in 2021 – a smart community!
The Brainport Smart District Foundation is leading an initiative to develop in the city of Helmond, southeast of Amsterdam, a contained, self-sufficient/self-organized district on 380 acres to support the needs of 4,500 residents. Via public-private financing, the developers envision a community which will deliver an enhanced quality of life – health, energy, safety, emission free mobility, etc. Architects plan to design different types of residences on a grid mixed with businesses, green leisure spaces and agricultural landscape. The utilization of data sharing and smart technology (e.g., sensors) will be vital to the community’s success.
This innovative Dutch experiment may well be an early model for a smart community prototype. Stay tuned and remember: “To build a better world, start in your community.”
To live in this sort of community, one would have to have no apprehension regarding invasion of privacy. Living in a planned community can have many benefits. But does it force all its residents to act the same? Does it enable friends and non-friends alike to be able to learn too much about a person and their living habits? Living in this sort of community has a lot of trade-offs. Not sure I would be willing to make such a move.
Maybe extreme, but at least it is a community given how the world is evolving with everyone for themselves during our COVID-19 health crisis.
While I am supportive of building a better world starting in your community, this type of “community” does not sound appealing to me either. The world is a place filled with haves and have nots… and I think this sounds like yet another place for the haves with no “hot spot” for the have nots… a The Villages for the tech set. It will be interesting to see how it works out.
On paper it does sound like a sheltered community for the haves, but 1.) 20% of the housing will be subsidized; and 2.) Europe, especially the Scandinavian countries when it comes to utilizing technology for environmental issues.