First green tourist resort is modelled on London estate

A A A

Holidaymakers will soon , for the first time, be able to claim to be saving the planet, under plans unveiled in Portugal last week.

An unprecedented green giant tourist resort - with 30,000 beds but emitting little waste and none of the pollution that causes global warming - is scheduled to open in three years' time near the coast south of Lisbon. The £670m project - the first of a series around the world - is designed to pioneer environmentally friendly living.

It is drawing on the unlikely example of a former sink housing estate in the south London suburb of Wallington - an offbeat British import to a country which will host our football fans for this summer's Euro 2004 tournament.

The Mata de Sesimbra resort, planned to cover 13,000 acres, is being launched by the international conservation group WWF and the British environmental group Bioregional, in an area scarred by disused quarries and diseased pine forests.

Due to be developed by a Portuguese property development company - and endorsed by the European Commission and the British government - it is designed to replace plans for 11 traditional, environmentally damaging, resorts in the area.

WWF estimates that tourism to the Mediterranean will rise by 50 per cent to reach 350 million people a year in 2020. "It is eating into our natural capital", says Dr Claude Martin, the group's international director general. "New models such as Mata de Sesimbra are vital."

The group is launching the resort to demonstrate how Europeans can reduce their "ecological footprint", the impact they have on the planet. It estimates that if everyone in the world lived as Europeans now do, humanity would need three Earths to provide the necessary energy, resources and agricultural land.

The resort is modelled on BedZED in Wallington, a former sink housing estate turned into a futuristic model of ecological living. Developed by Bioregional, the 82-home estate burns no fossil fuels and - through innovative design and energy conservation - uses half as much energy of all kinds as normal. It recycles its water and the families share cars communally.

The resort will be powered completely by renewable energy, produce only a 20th of the normal amount of waste, and dramatically cut its use of water by collecting rain and recycling waste water.

Half of the materials used to build it will have been recycled and half will come from within 30 miles, to reduce transport pollution.

Half of all the food served in the resort will be grown locally, and most of the resort's area will be devoted to an 11,800-acre nature reserve.

Traditional cork oak and umbrella forests will be planted, in one of Europe's biggest single re-forestation projects.

WWF and Bioregional plan to make this the first of five to 10 sustainable communities, each serving some 5,000 people, in the USA, China, South Africa, Australia and other European countries.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high