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Urban Death Project to turn dead people into soil building material

By Mason White 10:50 AM March 20, 2015
Soil illustration 

By: Wayne Morin
(Scroll down for video) People may soon have a greener way to bury their loved ones.

Katrina Spade of Massachusetts, is the founder and executive director of the Urban Death Project.

She created a new system for sustainably disposing of the deceased by using the process of composting.

The Urban Death Project (UDP) utilizes the process of composting to safely and gently turn deceased into soil-building material, creating a meaningful, equitable, and ecological urban alternative to existing options for the disposal of the dead.

“The project is a solution to the overcrowding of city cemeteries, a sustainable method of disposing of our dead, and a new ritual for laying our loved ones to rest,” her website states.

Spade has focused her design career on creating human-centered and ecological, architectural solutions.

While earning her Masters of Architecture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst she received a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture to build and monitor a compost heating system, a project which helped initiate the Urban Death Project.

Katrina earned a BA in Anthropology from Haverford College, and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.