When envisioning theme parks many images come to mind. From an industry view point an emphasis is made on the structures, huge engineering feats that leave many wondering at their possibility. Whether fans of the noise, crowds and frivolity or otherwise, energy efficient is not stereotypically the first adjective that appear in relation to theme parks.
Breaking tradition is King Abdullah of Jordan in his creation of the Red Sea Astrarium in the country’s port of Aqaba. The news has come to the delight of Star Trek fans (or “Trekkies”) as well as environmentalists, as the $1.5 billion theme park will be both Star Trek themed, as well as completely powered by alternative energy systems.
King Abdullah has a long history as a Trekkie, once going as far as to appear in the series. The theme park will be a testament to his love of the television show, hiring construction team Rubicon Holding in association with international architecture and design firm Callison to complete this personal endeavour.
Strangely enough, this is not the only example of energy efficient theme parks. Copenhagen Denmark, arguably one of the world’s sustainability founders, is home to the world’s first renewable energy theme park.
Following in this stain, the Red Sea Astrarium will incorporate extensive green energy technologies into its design, including grey water facilities, as well as wind and solar energy systems.
Logistics of the park include 17 entertainment zones and a luxury 4 star hotel over 74 hectares of land. With the billion dollar price tag, the development is set to include state of the art rides and equipment, as well as world class shopping and performance venues.
As well as promoting alternative energy generation, the generation of approximately 500 new jobs will also become apparent to cater to the needs of the park and hotel.
This new development is a complete turn around for Middle Eastern theme park developments, with the Global Warming Theme Park sitting in stark comparison. The world’s largest ice-themed park uses the context of global warming as a gimmick to engage almost 10,000 a day crowds into a park that doesn’t employ sustainable energy systems. In fact, to add insult to injury, one aspect alone, the artificial waterfall Penguin Falls, is cascaded by 100,000 gallons of water every minute.
This is certainly not the case for the “23rd Century” Red Sea Astrarium, which will offer to create a benchmark in an area of the world that would be incredibly effective in employing green energy solutions.
The development brings a whole new meaning to Bjarke Ingels’ catch cry of hedonistic sustainability, showing industry members as well as the world, that sustainability can be fun.