Change Alley

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Eden Project On The Edge

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Eden Project ‘The Edge’

The Eden Project is already a world-renowned attraction and now it’s looking to add an extra edge to its success. Their latest building, the Edge, will demonstrate options for energy supply, water conservation and waste management intended to act as models of how we all might live in the next decades. From :

“Its scale and ambition will make the Edge an international icon of sustainability, showing mankind is capable of amazing things. The building will be a model of cutting-edge architecture and technology, harvesting water and energy from the sun, wind, and rain to show how we all might live in the future. It will be a testament to one-planet living, built to the lowest possible carbon footprint and designed to last.

“The awe-inspiring oasis, desert, water gardens and underground chambers inside the Edge will become somewhere to inspire and explore new solutions, rethink our values and our goals, work together to create a positive future.

“The point of the Edge is that while resources may be limited, the imagination isn’t. The building will create a setting for asking questions fundamental to our future

  • What makes humans content?
  • How can we still find richness in our lives without rampant consumption?
  • What lessons from the past can inform the future?

“We will look back to understand how people coped with change in the past. We will look at people living ‘on the edge’ today to learn from the ingenious solutions they have put into practice. We will look forward to explore how we can find the spirit, imagination and knowledge to adapt to the challenges facing us.

“The Edge won’t be a building about climate change, it will be a building because of climate change.”

Sounds wonderful, but once you’ve fought your way past all that blowsy rhetoric, what have you got? Using language reminiscent of an Olympic bid, under the flag of sustainability, the Eden Project wants to build another biome to attract more visitors and generate more revenue. Why should we care? Because Eden wants to fund this with Lottery money. The Big Lottery Fund has put up a prize of £50m to be granted to a single “inspirational” project as part of The People’s £50 Million Lottery Giveaway. The Edge is one of four shortlisted projects, along with Sustrans’ Connect2, Sherwood:The Living Legend and the Black Country Urban Park.

The winning project will be decided by public vote in December 2007. Have your say at


2 Responses

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  1. Is the Somerset bid still in the race? I was all for that option personally. I am a little wary of The Eden Project. Not sure they have their intentions clearly thought through.

    A recent survey across the UK found a quarter of the population suffering from eco-fatigue, poor souls. Maybe they should be prescribed happy pills but I doubt they would be Eden Project customers.

    The crest of the eco-wave may have passed.


    November 13, 2007 at 4:45 pm

  2. You are right to be wary matt

    You can glean some interesting information about the extremely un-eden-like ‘eden’ here:


    December 9, 2007 at 11:59 pm

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