Source: The Guardian (2/2/18)
Chinese Eden Project to feature world’s highest indoor waterfall
Qingdao counterpart of Cornish attraction will cost £150m and will be themed around water
By Steven Morris
The world’s highest indoor waterfall is to be the centrepiece of a Chinese outpost of the Cornish eco attraction the Eden Project.
Work on the £150m scheme at the coastal city of Qingdao, north-east China is due to begin this year and open to the public in 2020.
While the Cornish Eden is very much a landlocked project, with its iconic biomes set in a disused clay pit, its Chinese counterpart will be themed around water.
The site is a large area of reclaimed and damaged land originally used for salt production and then prawn breeding and is at the confluence of two rivers. The city itself is surrounded on three sides by the sea.
An artist’s impression features one large biome and a series of streams and lakes. The waterfall will plunge from 50m – the height of Niagara Falls.
Its spin-off, Eden Project International, is actively working on projects in China, Australia and New Zealand. Other overseas projects, including in the Middle East and North America, are due to be announced in the coming months.
Other Chinese projects include one at a former limestone mine near the city of Tianjin, also in the north-east. Eden has also been asked to help to turn the Sheng Lu Vineyard in Beijing into an oasis for citizens to reconnect with nature.
Details of Eden Qingdao were revealed during the UK prime minister Theresa May’s trade delegation to China.
The Eden Project in Cornwall is due to welcome its 20 millionth visitor during 2018 but its leaders are at pains to emphasise that they are not interested in building theme parks around the world but see the outposts as a chance to spread the word about environmental issues.
David Harland, chief executive of Eden Project International, said: “This is a huge development in the history of the Eden Project and the biggest step we have yet taken towards opening an Eden Project in China.”