Malta is becoming the first smart grid island. Now comes an architectural plan to turn a whole Asian island into a zero-emissions eco-resort. Call it one massive brownfield reclamation project.
The Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group, or BIG, wants to turn Azerbaijan’s Zira Island into a resort and residential complex that would produce the same amount of energy it consumes. Some towns have looked to become carbon neutral and eco-cities are under construction. BIG’s idea seems to match any of those ambitions.
The 1 million square meter island sits in a bay near the capital city of Baku. BIG says the project would use sea water for heating and cooling buildings and use solar and wind for power. Run-off and waste water will be recycled and sewage will be treated and made into fertilizers. The major buildings on the island would be built to mimic the mountains known as The Seven Peaks of Azerbaijan, helping to create the island’s own ecosystem, BIG says. Of course, there will also be hiking trails, gardens, a golf course and some pricey houses.
BIG will show off the plans at a Feb. 21 exhibition. There’s no price tag associated with this yet, but you can be sure it will cost billions. Though there is oil wealth in Azerbaijan, economic conditions may make financing for this project hard to come by. It will be interesting to see if the project ever gets off the drawing board. But it does represent forward thinking for a nation built on oil that has had cities named to the list of the world’s most polluted places.
Image Credit: BIG architects.
Dave has over a decade of experience in journalism covering a wide variety of topics. He spent 7 years on the business beat for the Rochester (N.Y) Democrat and Chronicle, covering technology issues including the state's growing green economy. When he's not writing, you'll find Dave enjoying his family, being a bit of a music snob, and praying that the Notre Dame football team can get its act together. He lives in Rochester.