Eden Project for Christchurch?

04:57, Aug 08 2014
eden project
EDEN PROJECT: Should Christchurch build an Eden Project in the red zone?

A major new attraction could sprout up in the red zone after a proposal to create a Kiwi version of the UK's Eden Project.

The scheme, proposed by the Water For Life Trust, is modelled on a successful project in Cornwall, England, where a large tract of land has been turned into a sustainable, green, nature-focused tourist attraction and research centre.

The Eden Project's bio-domes house the world's largest ''captive'' rainforest. It attracts more than a million visitors a year and also has gardens, art displays, music events, an ice rink, restaurants and cafes. 

Water For Life Trust spokesman David Simmons said an adapted version could be an option for the red zone, and was now included in the ideas up for consideration on community consultation group evospace.co.nz.

The Eden NZ: Mountains to the Sea is earmarked to sit in the Avon Loop and will form part of the Avon-Otakaro Network's proposals.

The network is an environmental group dedicated to protecting the Avon River.


Simmons said the concept could include community science facilities, ''wow factor buildings'' and green space. 

''This is a destination tourism project for the recovery of Christchurch,'' he said.

The facility would have meeting and events spaces, an education centre, an entertainment centre, an outdoor amphitheatre, outdoor exhibition space, retail and hospitality outlets. It would be expensive to build though, Simmons said. 

EVO::SPACE organiser Evan Smith said he would expect national and international funding for the project if it went ahead. 

''An iconic proposal such as this could be a magnet for international investment that will benefit the other proposals.''

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said if the project got off the ground, it would become a legacy for Christchurch.

It was a project that would capture everyone's imagination.

The Press