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.

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
fashion
PROMOTED VIDEO
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

Humanities Teacher - Greater Manchester

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...

Design Technology Teacher

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...

Foundation Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...

English Teacher- Manchester

£19200 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Are you a ...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes