The flows of people and matter

at Gunter Pauli – (Sixth part, continue from here) Systems engineers, urban planners and designers have studied in detail the flows related to the movement of people and products: we want them to be efficient and optimal in airports and in queues at the checkout, in deliveries and collections, in the transport of goods and people, in the consumption of goods and services, entertainment and training. By linking these flows to the others already presented, we might realize that it would even be possible to design a building capable of generating nutrients. Bathrooms, usually humid and well heated, would be the ideal place for mushrooms to grow. The starch in the scraps of our tables could be transformed into bioplastics, simply thanks to a fungus.

Vegetable gardens could be created on the roofs which, in addition to producing fruit and vegetables, would reduce the surface temperature of the structure and reduce energy consumption. Buildings designed to recycle nutrients and increase food security could also provide unexpected benefits, creating a stimulating environment for growing food and exercising. They would be buildings worthy of the genius of the brilliant Viennese architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

Both the Center for Ecoliteracy of Berkeley, California, either Slow Food in Turin they are active in the creation of gardens in schools in urban contexts. Today, however, we have the opportunity to go beyond these successes, creating a self-sufficient environment: let’s think of Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, which thanks to the visionary architect Oscar Niemeyer manages to satisfy 90% of the fruit and vegetable demand of its two million inhabitants thanks to crops within the city limits. If access and allocation problems were addressed through the flow in and around buildings, putting well-being and livelihood first, we would have plenty of food and water to meet our needs. The waste generated by consumption can remain available locally and contribute to the nutritional cycle which, in a simple but extraordinary way, provides for our livelihood. And an elegant waterfall that circulates resources and recycles them, using everything and giving everyone advantages. It is an integrated system model perfected by nature and ready to meet anyone’s needs.

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