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ECO ECHO: A sustainable syphon of moneyed construction

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����������� ��: 07 ��� 2007
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������� ��: ��� ��� 04, 2008 12:39 pm    ��������: ECO ECHO: A sustainable syphon of moneyed construction


ECO ECHO: A sustainable syphon of moneyed construction
17:00 Fri 21 Dec 2007 - Elitsa Grancharova

On December 12 during the opening of his first exhibition in Bulgaria, held in Sofia�s Gallery for Foreign Art, architect Sir Norman Foster also talked about his other reason for visiting the country. His firm Foster + Partners, in co-operation with a Bulgarian investor, has developed a project (pictured) for a residential village in Karadere, one of the Black Sea beaches not yet touched by infrastructure developments.

This is one of the last territories still covered with forests on the Bulgarian seacoast on which construction has not yet been carried out. The site was included in the Natura 2000 environmental protected zones list according to the European Union Wild Birds and Habitats Directives. There is a thriving native wild boar population that is not aggressive and can be observed by visitors from a short distance. There are various other species of animals, including sand mice and many birds.

The name Karadere comes from the Turkish words �kara�, which means black, and �dere�, which means gully. As visible from the picture, to reach the beach one passes through a forest. There is no street connecting the land to the shorefront, only a rural road. The sole visitors to the place so far have been fishermen from nearby villages and tourists preferring repose far from any urbanisation. There is no electricity or drinking water supply and the visitors have so far enjoyed absolutely calm holidays, going to bed and waking up with the sun, using only contained fires for cooking on the sand and torches for light. They would bring clean water from a tap one kilometre away and were extremely happy that such places existed in Bulgaria, a place to indeed escape to and to fully relax.

But recently their inner peace was challenged.

According to environmentalists, the Bulgarian Parks Association (BPA) and a group of landowners from Goritsa, the village nearest to Karadere, Foster�s project would mean devastation of the site. As visible from the picture, the project plans to construct over a large part of the hills, felling many trees and destroying the forest. Foster said that the project would be �carbon neutral and environmentally friendly�, but there are several facts that contradict such sustainability: trees would be cut down; as they are plants they are the only organism on Earth that uses carbon dioxide and produces oxygen, thus postponing climate change.

Secondly, many local animal, bird and plant species would be ousted by the humans and by the huge amount of materials that would be used for facility and road construction.

And thirdly, this project would pave the way for projects of other developers, who might not be as �ecological� as Foster + Partners.

Bulgarian environmentalists, together with landowners from Goritsa, all of whom are mainly from Sofia, and the BPA are trying to stop the project.
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