Elke Miedema is an ambitious architect. She is part of Except, a multi disciplinary co-operation of sustainability professionals. She explains Urban Renaissance: a new way to re-develop our living environment, using the existing strengths to enable transformation, leaving room for innovation and stakeholder responsibility.
Except is a worldwide cooperative of about 30 sustainability strategists, researchers and designers. Together we innovate for those organizations that wish to lead the way in sustainable development.
Polydome is a revolutionary approach to greenhouse agriculture that offers the possibility of commercial scale, net-zero-impact food production. The Polydome system strategically interweaves a wide variety of crops and animals, taking advantage of every inch of the greenhouse while eliminating the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
With its high yields (60 – 90 kg per square meter), and diverse outputs (over 50 crops, two mushroom varieties, chickens, eggs, fish, and honey), even a small Polydome system can provide a richly varied food supply for a large population.
Except developed a sustainable conversion and development plan for the post-war social housing area Schiebroek-Zuid in Rotterdam.
The project provides a flexible and exemplary roadmap for converting the neighborhood into a self-sufficient and sustainable area. It applies innovative energy solutions, various urban farming methods, social and economic programmes, secondary currencies, and adaptive redevelopment strategies.
Social housing conversion
As a first of its kind, the Sustainable Schiebroek-Zuid project provides a template approach to converting a commonly problematic housing typology into a beautiful, equitable and resilient sustainable community. The neighborhood uses proven, common technologies in smart ways, in combination with ‘biological engines’ to provide the neighborhood with its own water, electricity, heat, waste processing and 70% of its own food production.
Closed loop metabolism
The plan combines socio-economic programs and proven technologies to create a closed-loop urban metabolism. All energy and water are locally provided and most wastes are handled on site. Local agriculture is the “biological engine” that drives many aspects of the plan, such as energy generation, nutrition, education, recreation, social programs, and local economic activities.