For scenario’s for BOTU have to be distinguished.
1. Rotterdam: BOTU resilience program:
- Aanpak in wijken:
2: IABR: studie
Spatial-Energetic Building Block
by OOZE Architects and Urbanists
Study with calculations.
Realistic, SWOT analyse.
3: Huis van de toekomst: House of the Future
Manifesto about “Human Power”, linked to 4:
Human Power Plant:
Speculatief Scenario, energy generated by human power, for example a tram “running on” 60 people making it move.
which comes from:
Unlike solar and wind energy, human power is always available, no matter the season or time of day. Unlike fossil fuels, human power can be a clean energy source, and its potential increases as the human population grows. In the Human Power Plant, Low-tech Magazine and artist Melle Smets investigate the feasibility of human energy production in the 21st century. To find out if human power can …
More about 4:
BoTu – House of the Future – is an initiative to look at the scenario for an area of the city of Rotterdam Bospolder-Tussendijken functioning on their own energy.
Links: https://www.huisvandetoekomst.org (Dutch)
English version: https://www.humanpowerplant.be/human-powered-neighbourhood/
The story on this website regarding human energy is based on the article in LowTech: https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2017/05/could-we-run-modern-society-on-human-power-alone.html
The story starts with a lot of positive things: making your own bread for the community seems nice! Growing your own food – very bucolic. So, a paradise? Well not if there is no wind and sun: then the power needed must be provided by your exercise!
The stories in my opinion are “speculative design”, this means they provide an impression. For instance they suggest to be able to say no “to modern healthcare, which is completely dependent on fossil fuels. Yet the inhabitants are just as healthy as other Dutch people.” (citation from the site https://www.humanpowerplant.be/human-powered-neighbourhood/).
To me personally this sounds strange: people get ill, needing special care, specialized hospitals.
Or: “the residents … are flocking to the main shopping street. They do this on their own, without the use of fossil fuels or electricity.” (citation from the site https://www.humanpowerplant.be/human-powered-neighbourhood/).
To me this sounds strange too: I always get around on my bike (on muscle power, not an electrical bike) shopping not with my car. And this bike has to be produced in a big factory, like any bike. This production already has consumed a lot of energy.
On the one hand there is a lot of technology inside this neighborhood, like solar panels and wind turbines, but at the other hand (no wind and sun) everything has to be powered by hand. But where are these solar panels and turbines coming from? And the electronic gadgets for parties which are still organized when there is enough energy?
In the story of LOWTECH about muscle power there are self critical remarks included, like “a human generating electricity would earn only 0.015€ per hour.”, meaning: can anybody be really motivated to spend 2-6 hours every day on exercise machines for “community purposes”, like in the student house project they describe?
On the BoTu site this slightly critical tone is abandoned. It is suggested that it is possible with human power to provide all the energy needed.
What seems more realistic is the story of the tram line, powered by human energy. They calculate that for a tram having 60 passengers, the energy need to make it move should be coming from 20 persons powering this vehicle with their muscles. Realistic – but then a bit absurd…and do you really need a tram inside this not so big area?
Reading all the scenario’s a feeling of the Middle Ages with hard labour and little individual choice is coming up. No private space anymore, because sitting together is more energy efficient. Eating in community kitchens (in Dutch “eten wat de pot schaft”), probably what everybody wants, which might be only French fries….(Dutch: Patat).
And maybe that feeling is what is meant. Indeed, maybe we are spending too much energy. Sure! The climate is reacting. But getting back to manual labour for every drop of energy in our climate…
So the purpose of the project is reached for me! Now I am scared!