BY: TYLER FYFE
Dutch architect Raimond de Hullu is currently searching for a location to build his latest concept—one that borrows the environmental accountability and forest serenity of Thoreau while forgoing the isolation.
Dutch architect Raimond de Hullu has designed urban forest-city that is completely car-free.
The houses are inspired by natures most integral structure—trees. De Hullu believes that the most sustainable designs should include green in both function and fashion. That’s why his design is made with re-cycled wood and organic insulation as its structure, but also incorporates living walls and green roofs so that ecosystems can thrive.
De Hullu’s plans also include onsite waste and water treatment to create community self-sufficiency and to ensure that nature is minimally disturbed.
Being that the combustion of gasoline and other hydrocarbon fuels in vehicles is the primary reason for air pollution in cities, de Hullu’s neighbourhood is car-free so that everyone can breath easy while gently swinging in their rooftop hammocks. In an interview with Fast Company, he says “Detached and clustered tree-like houses are mixed with trees within an organic and compact layout. Car parking is kept at the fringes of the communities. By a short and delightful walk through a car-free park, people reach their home.” This comes at the realization that 25 million Americans suffer from respiratory illness as a result of living too close to roadways.
“By a short and delightful walk through a car-free park, people reach their home.”
And while making the world’s most tranquil city is both imaginative and innovative, it’s not even the most revolutionary aspect of his plan—de Hullu intends to make the plan affordable to everyone by eliminating individual land ownership.
It’s called a land trust and it borrows from the ideas of American political economist Henry George who believed that because land is necessary to sustain life and was not created by man, it follows logically that land ownership produces immoral circumstances. As land becomes scarce, its market value rises beyond what it was purchased for and the rich accumulate land and charge rent effectively backing the poor into a corner they can’t fight their way out of. This is why de Hullu wants to separate land and housing to assure that it will stay affordable for everyone in the long-run.
De Hullu intends to make the plan affordable to everyone by eliminating individual land ownership.
And land trusts aren’t that crazy of an idea. The first land trust began on a 5000 acre farm in Alabama in 1970 and currently there are 250 community land trusts in the United States. They allow for community members to directly participate in the decision making of how land is used—so you’ll never have to watch the smokestacks of a nuclear plant being built in your backyard. Secondly, they prevent residents being forced out as a result of gentrification.
Land trusts allow for community members to directly participate in the decision making of how land is used.
De Hullu believes that by making a community both functionally and visually green at a price point that is affordable to low to middle income families, it will push home-buyers to invest in a more sustainable future for everyone. Here is to hoping he finds a location to build soon so we can relocate our office.