Swedish retail giant Ikea has frequently made headlines over the last few years with its environmentally friendly (if not downright aggressive) policies. As of July, 23 of the chain’s U.S. locations were equipped with solar panels with an additional 16 under construction. The company is taking advantage of its massive rooftop space to get 38 megawatts of solar capacity up and running by the end of the year.
But now Ikea is taking it a step further by developing a “carless, high-efficiency town” near the site of the recent summer Olympics in London, England. The location is described as a “1 hectare lot full of trash piles, old construction equipment, abandoned warehouses, and rusty machinery” but Ikea sees more potential then that for the 26 acres of disused land.
A company called LandProp Services will construct a 100% Ikea neighborhood that will include 1,200 residential rental units as well as retail and office space. Green building practices will be used to construct all the buildings, which will include extensive insulation and highly energy-efficient systems.
Cars will be required to park in an underground garage at the entrance of the community, making the neighborhood–called Strand East–pedestrian and public-transportation only. Only buses, emergency vehicles, and delivery trucks will be allowed to drive on the streets of Strand East.
A similar eco-friendly and “carless” community is planned for 12 acres of land in Hamburg, Germany, although critics say the development isn’t likely to get off the ground because of Germany’s stringent urban planning policies.
Even if the community development doesn’t come together, Germany will certainly be the site of the first of one hundred hotels Ikea plans to build across Europe.
Check out the Strand East website to take a virtual tour of the community.