The old Campina factory in Eindhoven (NL) as a food forest?
Campina is the historical name of the local Kempen landscape and translates freely into the ‘wild land’ found here by the Romans 2.000 years ago. This wild land can be re-introduced into the area by deploying the future residents as a renewable resource producer. This creates a complete and vital ecosystem that can provide the residents with food, among other vital supplies.
Anthroponix* presents a circular future vision wherein the new residents of the former milk factory become co-producers of their own green living environment. The human ’waste’ produced by the future residents, in particular urine, contains an abundance of valuable nutrients. By harvesting and using these human resources from the ‘waste’ water creates an abundance of fertile or wildland in the area.
As designers of future scenarios regarding living environments, we have a responsibility to answer numerous urgent questions. The Campina case study focuses on the question ‘How will we organize our energy and food supply in the near future?' Inspired by the BPD (property development) statement No drop of (waste)water leaves the Campina site, Anthroponix presents a speculative concept in which the new residents themselves become the source of renewable energy.
The new residents of the former milk factory become co-producers of their own green living environment. The human ’waste’ produced by the future residents, in particular urine, contains an abundance of valuable nutrients. Which are well suited to be used as fertilizer for plants and crops. Human urine contains the three main nutrients plants need to survive: Nitrogen Phosphorus and Potassium. If instead, we harvest these nutrients from our own body, we can use them to grow new life sustainably. Making ourselves part of the nutrient cycle again.
Every day we flush away 1.4 liters of our own urine and in total we use about 33 liters of clean drinking water for our toilets. By processing the wastewater on site, the fertilizing power would add up to 207 square meters a person per year. That’s about 30 hectares of green environment for the 1500 inhabitants of the new Campina area. By reintroducing humans into the food loop we close the nutrient cycle and a truly sustainable, regenerative, circular living environment can emerge on the new Campina site. By including the canal, the canal zone changes into Wild Land, an area with an enormous biodiversity. From an outdated, stone industrial site, the former Campina factory is transformed into a lively ecosystem that thrives on the overabundance of nutriënts the inhabitants expel.
Forest gardens are the world's oldest form of land use and most resilient agro-ecosystem. Based on woodland ecosystems, forest gardening is the ancient art and science of combining (especially edible and useful) plants into polycultures and biotopes that mimic a natural forest, creating symbiotic relationships between the plants and thus creating a powerful ecosystem that becomes self sustainable.
By planting in guilds (a group of species that have similar requirements and play a similar role within a community, which are indicated by the circles) and different layers insects, animals and plants flourish together in healthy habitats. Cultivating a communal garden providing and surrounding the new residents with a versatility of edible, medicinal, useful and enjoyable plants and trees powered by their own nutrients!
*Anthroponix is a transdisciplinary research- and design agency, in search for regenerative human and environmental development. Driven to research and design a new approach to our ‘human waste’.