katrinaspade

Should Human Remains be Composted as a Soil-Building Project?

by , 04/22/14

Urban death project, bodies, human bodies, human remains, human compost

Everything that lives will eventually die: it’s the one absolute that can be counted on. One question that comes to everyone’s mind eventually is what to do with their body after they’ve passed away; some choose cremation while others choose standard burial, but as the population grows and urban areas sprawl, will there be enough space to inter everybody once the time comes? Or should we be looking at a more eco-friendly, forward-thinking solution?


Urban death project, bodies, human bodies, human remains, human compost

Enter The Urban Death Project: a system designed by Katrina Spade for the disposal of our dead in cities. The project utilizes the science of composting to safely and sustainably turn bodies into soil-building material, which is then used by nearby farms and community gardens. Envisioned as a place to honor the dead at a neighborhood scale, the project supports sustainable cities by engaging inhabitants in issues of soil heath, resource depletion, and climate change. Our bodies, once no longer needed, can gracefully and respectfully be broken down back into the basic materials they’re made from, and then used as mineral-rich compost to nourish soil and nurture plant life.

Related: The Staggering Environmental Impact of Funerals

Urban death project, bodies, human bodies, human remains, human compost

How would you feel about this idea? Is it a smart, ecological solution to an age-old issue? Or is it a bit too “soylent green” for your tastes?

+ Urban Death Project

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