by Snell in New Eco on Saturday 22 December 2007

Along with the greening of brown sites, this has to be one of the answers for a more eco future. To take a large piece of land, to maintain the bulk of it as it is naturally, and then to design a highly dense yet attractive living environment. The trick is that a development such as this needs to be desirable to those that can afford it, in the hope that this aspiration trickles down for a more sustainable future. Eminent British architect, Norman Foster, has created the Black Sea Gardens, Byala, Bulgaria, in exactly this vein. A series of car-free hill towns in an unspoilt setting of oak forests, meadows and river gorges, the development will create a year-round community for up to 15,400 residents. The residential clusters are tightly packed and integrated into the contours of the landscape, preserving the majority of the site as virgin terrain. It is proposed to be carbon neutral, with much of the material palette taken from local, sustainable sources, which will be key in lowering the embodied carbon of the buildings.