• Share and use open source designs

  • Apply ENA designs in your community

  • Solve environmental problems in your neighbourhood

  • Join our network of off-grid designers

What is ENA?

Experimental Network Autonomy (ENA) is an experiment in living and working off grid an urban setting. Our idea is to build a local production system and ecosystem that is able to thrive, parallel to the existing capitalist mode of production. On a local level, with a small group of dedicated people, we can make a real difference for ourselves, and for our surroundings. We have developed a manual to describe our theoretical principles and the technical solutions we use to achieve our way of living. In this way, we are sharing our designs in an open-source manner so that other communities can experiment with and test our methods.
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Challenges

In our manual, we focus on common local problems and challenges, listed below, which many people living in urban areas are confronted with. With our technology, and as an active community, we can actually work towards answering these questions!

Waste management

How can we limit litter on the streets, as well as limit household waste? How can we better separate and reuse waste? How can we better limit consumption? Look at our manual for composting and food saving techniques.

Energy use

How can we limit energy consumption and economise energy use? How can we produce our own green energy? How can more household and electronic appliances fit within a lifestyle where less energy is consumed? In our manual we describe our methods of off-grid solar energy production. 

Water management

How can we collect and save more water in summer, or during drought? How can we more effectively use rainwater? How can we promote cleaner water in the canals? How can we test whether the water we collect is fit for our garden or consumption? We use rain water collection and filtering techniques, described in our manual. 

Citizen and neighbourhood engagement

How can we mobilise our co-citizens? How can we involve children in these challenges, and how can we encourage children to transform the unsustainable lifestyles of many adults? We discuss how citizen self-organisation is a critical aspect of our living community. 

Growing food

How can we green the house, the street, and the neighbourhood? How can we more efficiently and effectively grow our own food? How can we fix CO2 using trees? How can we promote more flowers for bees and butterflies? How can we maintain a natural habitat while still producing food? We describe our methods for bed gardening and aquaponics in our manual. 

Principles of ENA

From 6 years of experimenting with our “survival units” and observing other community experiments, we have identified five principles that, when addressed, might together form the key to growing and promoting this new mode of production

1. Network Autonomy

We found that our production system should act relatively autonomously from the larger system in order to be resilient, and withstand the shocks and big policy changes that are currently occurring or upcoming.

2. Micromanagement of functional integration

Sectoral integration is much easier to realise on a micro level. The ecosystem approach integrates all sectors in one production system. System needs can be easily fine-tuned with the local circumstances

3. Ecosystem approach

We should make sure that nature keeps on being the support system it is, and in doing so, guarantee the survival of all our fellow beings on the planet earth.

4. Neighbourhood commoning

Reclaiming this right for commoning of resources might very well be an answer to the problems created by extreme privatisation and the concentration of private property and production.

5. Modular growth

Production can be easily up- or downscaled by the modularity of the production units which make up the community. Modules can be transported to - and used in - other or new settings.
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How ENA works

Below is a flowchart with the different modules presented in our manual. It demonstrates how local waste streams and local natural materials are transformed into community values. Click through the slide-show to see how the interconnected components of our ENA system function together.
  • 1. Inflow and outflow of water, energy and waste
  • 2. Interconnected ENA modules for water, energy and waste process resource flows

Our story

We are community initiative "The KasKantine" located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We empower ourselves with tools to fight against climate change and biodiversity loss, and at the same time mobilize our community against its consequences.
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Ready for Action?

The ENA Manual

This book is an open invitation to everybody who is willing to do some practical work, to be part of this experiment in taking back control over your life and your local environment. We share hands-on design knowledge on constructing off-grid systems that can empower local communities.
Check the book

Target audience

  • Activists that want to start an initiative or apply ENA designs to existed ones
  • Researchers that study community self-organisation
  • Designers that want to support communities in producing open source urban designs
  • City officials that can enable and facilitate such projects
  • Private companies that can collaborate with initiatives

Feel free to contact us!

Handbaalstraat, 10, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The contents of this website are licensed under a
Peer Production license.
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