Eco-living ahead of its time

The vision

One of Netherlands'
first eco-villages

The EVA-Lanxmeer project in Culemborg started in the early 1990s as a private initiative. The aim was to develop a sustainable and environmentally conscious society. EVA-Lanxmeer has now grown into a national and international example for sustainable urban planning, in which social and societal developments play a key role.
Energy and substance cycles are largely closed. By applying various forms of sustainable energy generation, combined with local, small-scale waste processing, it is possible to almost completely forgo the use of fossil fuels while retaining all the comforts.
One of the basic principles was that the quality of the built environment should contribute as much as possible to the well-being of the people who live and work there. Sustainable water and energy management are part of the urban plan, as well as optimal connection of landscape elements and architecture. In addition, inventarisation was performed of the existing qualities of the place that must be preserved and/or can be enhanced: the so-called Genius Loci.
An important aspect of EVA-Lanxmeer was the designing ‘meeting places’ and creating conditions for own initiatives of resident participation of future residents and users in the design and management of the neighbourhood. Most residents strongly feel that self-management increases the quality and diversity of the greenery in the neighbourhood. The joint activities enable casual encounters with other residents in the district, making this inclusive approach a success.
How did it start?

Top-down meets bottom-up

The basic idea was conceptualised and developed by Marleen Kaptein in the 1990s. Using her broad network of architects, experts and scientists, she set up a foundation to begin the project. Ambitions were very high from the start. Since resident behaviour was considered an integral part of the concept, a great deal of effort was put into generating support, both internally with the initiators, as externally with the authorities.
Success factors
Did you know that insert lanxmeer fact? 
years to build
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social housing
solar PV panels
What we like

A living lab for communal
green-blue infrastructure

The residents maintain an important part of the ecological infrastructure themselves, in collaboration and consultation with the municipality of Culemborg and water company Vitens. All parties are satisfied with the cooperation. In fact, most residents’ are convinced that self-governance improves the quality of the water system and the green areas.
> Water filtration ponds: Waste water coming from the helophyte filter is buffered and infiltrated into the ground again using a retention and infilatration pond.
> Communal gardens: This type of reed is known for its excellent filtration properties, breaking down polluting chemicals present in the soil.
> City farm: An organic urban farm for local food production and educational goals.
> Community centre: The EVA Center for Integrated Ecology and Social Renewal
Unique aspect

A shared, smart, solar car park

A prime example of the inhabitants’ desire to drive sustainable progress, is the smart solar car park, where (shared) electric vehicles can directly charge from solar power.

Solar carport

The roof of the car park consists of 2 V-shaped segments with a total of 784 solar panels, generating a peak power of 200kW during a sunny day, enough to charge all EV's.
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EV car sharing

A communal shared parking lot charges EV's with local power. The goal is to create a fleet of shared vehicles, instead of everyone owning their own vehicle.
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Residents are exploring options to 'smartly' charge their EV's using an app that controls the charging of the car during peak-hours, in order to lessen the grid load.
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Bi-di charging

Since 2020, new charging points have been installed that allow for feeding in electricity. This saves money while at the same time helping to stabilise the grid.
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Inside the neighbourhood

A healthy neighbourhood with happy residents

EVA-Lanxmeer scores very high on quality of life. The vast majority of the residents are more than satisfied with their living environment and their home. Nearly unanimously, they experience the car-free neighborhood as pleasant and find the social contacts better than in their previous neighbourhood. 
How is SmartHoods involved?

Build your own home

SmartHoods’ architect Amar Sjauw En Wa designed his own eco-friendly house in EVA-Lanxmeer. It features an eye-catching solar roof, that some say representes the eyes and wings of an insect. Amar was also involved in the design and organisation of the green-blue grids and the smart solar carport.

Organisation and design of the smart solar car park

Curious to find out more?

Experience it for yourself

Address: Willem Kloospad 17, Culemborg
Website: www.eva-lanxmeer.nl
Tours: Guided tours