maandag 3 mei 2010

Hunt for a plot

It has been some weeks since I last published steps and thougts. Main reason is I have been sollicitating municipalities, hunting for a piece of land in a period of elections. That is bad timing. In the Netherlands and certainly in the Amsterdam area there is little spare land left. Without cities -with their mandatory territory- helping, I certainly won't stand a chance. Now I'm facing both at the same time.

Meanwhile I presented my vision, ambition and plans and shared my proposal appealing for a building plot to several cities' aldermen, that are between terms of office. In that walk ending with my foot between their door I have witnessed a clear dinstinction in municipalities' attitudes: or they invited me to come over and reacted positively after hearing my presentation, or they immediately turned away, not inviting me over, saying they don't have any means of helping not showing any will to explore any alternatives. They might help me find some plot that suites my projects' needs and that can fit their development plans, for example adjacent to existing plans or areas. In the Netherlands that is the way developpers of urban spaces make a living: they buy land with a farming destination and after a period of time it legally becomes a building site. Value is created out of nothing. It is a billion euro ballgame paid for by future owners. Besides our fiscal law that facilitate 100% deduction of mortgage cost from our gross income it explains for a good deal why houses in the Netherlands are much more expensive than in surrounding countries.

For my project where harvesting warmth, sun, wind and rain is at the core of it's raison d'etre such a piece of land may very well help me out. The "farm" will need just a very small plot to fullfill the needs of it's residents, that in some way are farmers indeed. The roof will have a surface of approximately 125m2 to harvest sufficient rain water, and wind and sun must freely flow on the spot, besides some space is needed for cisterns. That's all I'm looking for.

The plot probably will have a rural character, yet not too far from a city as it does not make sense to pursuit a sustainable way of living reducing our footprint and at the same time having to bridge many kilometres for work and social and cultural life. That is, if I would burn fossiles to move around, but I don't need to. Time to take mobility into account whenever it comes to correct dimensionning of the electrical infrastructure: batteries for a car or scooter needs to be filled as well. Once filled but not used for mobility, the batteries can serve as buffering units.

So, what am I'm going to do now? While waiting for feedback on possabilities within the Amsterdam area and while re-addressing local authorities, I will set up a not for profit organisation to raise funds and sollicitate companies that may benefit from association with this project and investigate how to work together.

Next posting probably will share a vision on energy, water and waste that -besides notions of quality (read previous posting)- form other foundations of this house.

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