What do you want to have happen with your body when you die? Most people default to a standard burial, or cremation, with their final destination being a cemetery. At The Urban Death Project, the goal is to create an alternative that would allow the deceased to be transformed into tillable soil and thereby help the environment.
The Urban Death Project is currently fundraising on Kickstarter after three years of planning, including an Echoing Green fellowship. Architect Katrina Spade is proposing the project, where the natural decomposition of humans will be transformed into usable soil that can be used to grow flowering plants and other vegetation.
According to its Kickstarter page, The Urban Death Project is a new system that utilizes the natural process of decomposition to safely and gently turns our deceased into soil. The project is creating a meaningful, equitable, and ecological alternative to existing options for the care of the dead. Part of the Urban Death Project’s Kickstarter Campaign page reads:
“By funding this Kickstarter Campaign, you will join people around the world who believe that:
- Death is a remarkable human event
- Our bodies are full of life-giving potential
- There is deep meaning in giving back to the earth after we have died
- Every person has the right to sustainable, meaningful death care”
The Urban Death Project has been made possible in part through an Echoing Green Fellowship. Echoing Green will be offering more than $4.6 million this year through their fellowship program in seed-stage funding and support for emerging leaders who work to bring positive social change. Echoing Green is guided by highly successful and innovative members on its board of directors, including Maya Ajmera of Society for Science & The Public, Robbert Vorhoff and David Hodgson of General Atlantic, Marc Saiontz of American Securities, and Esther T. Benjamin of Laureate Education, Inc. among many others.
The Urban Death Project has already surpassed its backing goal on Kickstarter, which means that it will receive the funding its needs to launch. On Kickstarter, if a project doesn’t reach its projected goal, then none of the project is funded.
This project contrasts to the resources and toxic byproducts of common human burial, which places enough metal in the ground each year to build a new Golden Gate Bridge along with the hazardous embalming fluids, or cremation, which releases millions of pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. This project hopes to be the first steps towards reducing these pollutants entirely and instead helping the environment by allowing the deceased to return to a natural state.
What do you think of The Urban Death Project? Would you want to be turned into soil after you die? Let us know in the comments section below!