In Self City, participatory democracy, economic and social solidarity, environmental awareness and
circular economy are the city's banners. Self City is careful, thrifty and has learned how to transform its
convictions into sources of income by favouring green economy and direct relations between producers
and consumers. Urbanisation has been controlled and regulated, thanks to a structure of networked eco-villages.
Self City thinks small and close: organic agriculture grows into city farms, greenhouses, collective gardens.
Inhabitants fly the values of inter-generation solidarity high: the mentoring of the youngest by the oldest is common
practice. Neighbourhoods in the eco-villages are incidentally very socially and operationnaly
heterogenous, and allow for the pooling of urban services.
Lucie is waiting for the tram to open the bicycles-carriage and drives hers inside energetically.
The bike clicks in its rail. The tram starts again, Lucie sighs and smiles.
Tom is caring for the collective garden at the foot of his building. To water the vegetable garden,
he attaches the water hose to the vane of the rainwater collector-tank located on the building's rooftop.
Lucie meanders around the supermarket-showroom alleys without a shopping cart. Apricot jam is on sale.
Delighted, she whips out her smartphone, flashcodes the reference number, chooses the quantity
and validates the total amount of her grocery shopping.
Tom drops the recyclable plastics he collected at home at the Mill. The Mill is busy grinding and the miller
shows him the 3D printer, which is completing a lamp made of dropped of raw material.
Lucie is in her bathroom and receives a message on her tablet. She's been notified
that her washing-machine will start around 3 am, at the the time when P2P energy will most likely be available.
Self City encourages soft and clean means of transport; the city facilitates those practices by enabling multipodal transports,
by giving the possibility to integrate bicycles and small-sized cars abord tramways for example.
Bike riders and pedestrians go in from the same side and go out
on the opposite side to ease the climbing in/climbing out process.
Bike riders access the tramway via a dedicated platform and can
then ride on the bikeways, which start at the tram’s exit.
During the ride, a clip across its tires maintains the bike in place.
If he so wishes the passenger can remains seated on the bike
and rest his feet on tiny platforms.
In Self City, which is a sober society committed to sustainable development,
inhabitants use soft, light and clean means of transportation.
Long-distance trains can embark individual cars. Self-city-dwellers
can thus connect rapidly and with low-impact with other cities.
Loading is done via rotating platforms, which reduce manoeuvring
and optimize space occupation. When the train is rolling, vehicles
are “blocked” by retractable wedges and can even put the journey
to profit by charging their electric batteries.
Improving and securing bikeways, as well as increasing bicycle
parking space will help the generalisation of combined transports.
Transforming station platforms, train-station planning and layout
will facilitate the access of small cars and bikes to trams.
The water collected in the tanks located on Self City's rooftops is then used to fill tankers in charge of
watering public gardens, to clean the city hall and public spaces, to supply water for toilet blocks,
for firefighters' interventions and other industrial purposes (cooling down, removal from a mould...)
1. Collection system
Two water vanes have been set up: one high up, at the water tank’s exit,
the other at the bottom of the rainwater gutter at street level. This last device
is a “3 way” vane: a storage position keeps the vane closed, a distribution
position opens the vane for immediate use and a draining position leads
the water towards the sewer network in case of freezing or overflow hazards.
Rainwater, valorised as “water points”, can be traded between co-ownerships
and the city, bearing in mind that rainwater has less value than the water
from the city network. Smart meters monitor the consumption at the street
level gate. The various “water points” help reduce the city’s water bill.
The rooftops of Self City are used to collect rainwater.
The water is then stored in tanks included in the building and its downpipe.
Concerns regarding water have led the legislator to reconsider the possible
uses of rainwater. The regulation’s evolution regarding buildings’ protruding
elements enables water collection devices to be placed above streets.
Supermarkets have become showrooms where you browse and choose real but for-show products.
A warehouse agent then packs the selected items in reusable containers.
When they don’t opt to e-shop and have their groceries delivered
at home in returnable containers, citizens of Self City go to the
showroom-supermarket. There, they walk around without a shopping
cart or basket. They can see and touch products. Once they've picked
a product, they confirm the reference number and the chosen quantity
thanks to their smart device.They pay in one click and retrieves a cart
filled with the products purchased, packed in reusable containers by
a warehouse agent.
In 2030, the packaging of general commodity products are all recyclable, reusable,
refundable or returnable and designed to be piled up easily in a cart or a cupboard.
Containers can be compacted (they’re flexible, fold-out and
deployable) and piled up. They’re compatible with a corking system
composed of a standard-spigot associated with a functional cap.
Depending on the model, caps can be hermetic, serve as a spout
or as a sprinkler… All packaging is compatible with the various
shopping cart models, which can then be fastened to bicycles.
Packaging-free shopping supposes a true environmental awareness
and motivation of Self-City’s inhabitants, a durable offer of loose
products and a global reflexion on the compatibility of reusable
packaging-medium covering the whole chain (shopping carts,
transport containers, storage containers).
Instead of throwing them away, Self City inhabitants offer their used goods a second life by transforming them
into new objects or by dropping them of the the local grinder against a compensation.
Inhabitants have been encouraged to differentiate between “healthy”
plastics – whose fusion temperature is close to 130°C – and
“potentially harmful” plastics. “Healthy” plastics have more
value than the others.
2. Virtuous circuit
Plastic waste is dropped off at the local grinder, which will then
transform it into granules. In exchange, the self-city-dweller receives
compensation, either in granules or money. With granules, he can then
print 3D objects directly at the mill if it has a 3D printer.
Self-City valorises used plastic matter by an efficient sorting and recycling system.
It is based on local, neighbourhood-scaled recycling, with no transport involved.
In order to work, the Plastic Mill needs to be equipped with a grinder
and 3D printer in each district. 3D modelling software is easily accessible,
either in self-service, or by ordering directly at the mill via a catalogue
of printable objects. Plastics are marked in order to be easily identified
and to differentiate “healthy” plastics from the others.
In Self-City awareness regarding energy issues (supply security, cost, consumption controle)
enticed inhabitants to become local energy producers and to share the energy produced in the districts.
When an individual accommodation or a building produces more
energy than it will use, this extra energy is made available for
the clients of the private P2P network. On the contrary, when
a household uses more energy than it produces, it can call
on the energy distributed by the network’s other clients.
2. Economical model
The energy traded between contributors is free. However, the
installation of the device to produce energy and the entry-right
to join the P2P network are both charged. In and out flows are
monitored and translated in points, balanced depending on the state
of the network at the time of the trade. Producing energy when
the network is in shortage generates more points than if the network
is in surplus. A yearly assessment is done on every user account.
Those in deficit pay for the energy they used, those in surplus
are paid in the local currency or vouchers valid in their district.
Money doesn’t directly enter the circuit to avoid any temptation
Self-city-dwellers are both local consumers and local producers of energy.
This is an additional electric energy to that of the national network, produced locally via equipments
set up in and around building: photovoltaic, tiny rooftop windmill, waterheater cogenerating warmth and electricity.
The development of P2P energy requires both technical evolutions
(the decentralization of electric production, the development of
connected and smart energy networks) and organisational evolutions
(creating a local manager of electric flow at the district scale, ability
to link it to the consumers’ production).