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Oriental Eden

Feb. 22, 2021
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As early as 20 years ago, the world's first "Eden" project was completed in an abandoned clay mine in Cornwall, southwest England. Today it attracts more than 1 million tourists every year and generates 1.7 billion pounds in revenue for the local economy. In the face of successful precedents, is Oriental Eden "replicating" or "iterating"? Tim Smit, the founder of the Eden Concept, once expressed his expectations for the project. He said, “We don’t want to copy the Eden in Cornwall, but will combine Chinese traditions, the local environment and the educational significance of the Eden Project. The unique Oriental Garden of Eden."

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This is a person who constantly challenges his life. He was so poor that he could only live on relief funds. After graduating from university, he did not follow the rules of ordinary people, but chose to devote himself to music and became a well-known British rock star. At the age of 33, he gave up music and returned to his hometown. From scratch, he built a beautiful garden known as the eighth wonder of the world-the Eden Project. He was appointed as the commander of the British KBE Honorary Knight and was allowed to use the title of "Jazz". . At the age of 57, he was able to support his life, but he came to China not far away to build another "Eden Garden" in the east of the world. He is Tim Smit.

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Everything has to start from his birth. Tim was born in Scheveningen, Holland in 1954. His father was a pilot and his mother was British, just like many ordinary people. He majored in archeology and anthropology during college. He seemed to have a natural adventurous spirit. Soon after graduation, he quickly joined the music circle, and it lasted 10 years. As talented, he quickly gained a foothold in the British rock circle at that time and was well-known. Not only did he act as a composer and producer in rock music and opera, but the total sales of records he participated in the production reached a rare 7 million copies. Seven of them even became platinum and gold records. Like the Rolling Stones of the same era, they were all legends in the music scene. When he was only in his 30s, Tim reached the first peak of his life. However, on the way to an awards ceremony in Paris one day, he burst into tears. He said: Everything is like ashes. The problem is that once You climbed to the top, and you will find that there is nothing on the top. That day I made up my mind to leave the music industry, desperately, gambled, and followed my feelings.

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So he gave up music and put his life to zero. In 1987, 33-year-old Tim and his family moved to Cornwall. In 1990, a storm hit Cornwall. The storm destroyed many cultural relics, including plants collected and cultivated by the United Kingdom from all over the world in the past. Tim was in St Austell, Cornwall in 1994. An abandoned clay excavation site was found nearby. For the first time, he had this idea: to build a "Garden of Eden" that contains tens of thousands of plants from all over the world under different climatic conditions to the world of plants and people. This is a collection of A museum of science and entertainment. Through it, people can learn more biological information. It is an excellent example of environmental regeneration in the post-industrial era.

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The first thing to be solved is the funding problem. Tim first mortgaged almost all his personal assets and obtained a loan of 700,000 pounds. Later, it attracted many banks' development funds, and the United Nations Millennium Development Planning Commission finally agreed to invest in the project, which accounted for half of the total project cost at the time of 74 million pounds. More than that, Tim also successfully persuaded two major construction companies to volunteer for this great project for 18 months.

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However, the biggest challenge is not from financial resources or emotions, but from the environment. Tim recalled that from the winter of 1998 to 1999, rain continued for several weeks, and finally floods continued to pour into the mine pit on the construction site, and a cliff weighing half a ton was washed away in the pit. At that time, with no funds and two deadlines, removing this boulder was the worst thing I have ever encountered in my life. Fortunately, the site director from Ireland, he recruited 60 of the strongest men in the world to form a rescue team. Finally...

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From conception to construction, the Garden of Eden took a full 10 years and cost 130 million pounds. Since it was officially opened to the public in 2001, this originally worthless and heavily polluted abandoned area has been turned into the fourth largest eco-tourism attraction in the UK, attracting 1.2 million tourists every year, not only reviving the entire southwestern United Kingdom, but also And the contribution to the local economy is as high as 800 million pounds.

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In this "Garden of Eden" in the UK, more than 1 million plants and nearly 5,000 species of plants from different climate zones around the world are planted. This Garden of Eden built on discarded clay turns man and nature into an artistic partnership, demonstrating the determination of man and nature to live in harmony, and also outlines a bright future for man and nature. Whether it is from the construction materials of the Garden of Eden itself or its significance as an environmental education base, the Garden of Eden project occupies an irreplaceable position in the field of environmental protection.

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In 2006, the Queen of England visited the Garden of Eden and gave a speech, calling on people to cherish life and protect the environment. In January 2011, Tim was appointed as the Honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) in recognition of his service to public participation in science. May 2012 Tim is allowed to use the title of "Jazz". In this way, a young man from the Netherlands became a British nobleman by virtue of his efforts on the relationship between man and nature. What makes Tim proud is not only the environmental benefits brought by the Garden of Eden itself, but more importantly the green concept behind it. He said that while we adults are building the world, they have also brought huge disasters to the world. It is already difficult for people to find clean air, water, soil, and food. Maybe our children can improve it in the future, the most important of which is How to let children experience the beauty of green since childhood.

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In this way, a musician who does not understand architecture or plants has created a huge "greenhouse garden" for the world. The dome technology used also provided inspiration for the Beijing Water Cube. After the great success of the British Garden of Eden, Tim did not satisfy himself with living a leisurely aristocratic life in Britain. Instead, he set his sights on the whole world and wanted to build a larger Garden of Eden in the world.

In this way, he saw China, which is a country that is changing their environmental policies, and to some extent they are eager to embrace sustainability. At the beginning of 2011, Tim expressed his longing for China, including many well-known domestic developers, he has communicated with him many times. But after going to Qingdao for the field experience, Tim was immediately moved by Qingdao's urban charm and market conditions, and immediately decided to land the second Eden in the world and the first Eden in Asia.

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In Tim's vision, Qingdao Oriental Eden will become an ecological leisure destination with plants and water as the core theme. The Oriental Garden of Eden will be constructed in strict accordance with the British Eden Standards. At the same time, according to the characteristics of Qingdao, many new types of ecological, environmental protection and technological projects will be added. There will be 17 themed restaurants here to provide high-quality food, and there will be more festivals and cultural activities. In addition, the Oriental Garden of Eden truly implements the humanistic concept, and China's 83 million disabled people can also have unimpeded vacations here. After its completion, it will be 4 times the size of the Garden of Eden in the UK. It will be the only comprehensive, world-class eco-cultural tourism in northern China that covers ecological and environmental protection, marine civilization, culture and entertainment, scientific research and education, forums and other topics. destination.

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In the near future, this world-class theme park integrating ecology and leisure will bloom in the north of Jiaozhou Bay. After completion, Oriental Eden will open up space for citizens to build many interesting leisure and entertainment projects. By then, the owners of China Europe International City and residents around the high-tech zone will first enjoy the shocking experience brought by this world’s largest theme park, and this world’s third largest theme park, which is as famous as Disney and Universal Studios, will also become The city hall of Qingdao.

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Before the Spring Festival of 2021, after finishing the video conference with the experts of the British Eden team, the person in charge of the Oriental Eden project looked at the project construction site not far away through the window of the office-the leveling construction of the 1,200 mu project site was all over. The main venue buildings have "breached out of the ground." In the past few months, this piece of saline-alkali land on the banks of Jiaozhou Bay has presented a scene of fiery construction, "Don't look at the vegetation now barren, in two years, here will be a vibrant'tropical rain forest."

According to the person in charge of the Oriental Eden project, the buildings in the project have different shapes and complex shapes. The most difficult thing is the hoisting and splicing of the large-span steel structure of the Storm Forest Stadium. The shape of the entire stadium looks like a racer’s helmet. The circular dome is about 195 meters long, 135 meters wide, and 55 meters high. The single-piece steel structure has the largest weight. It reaches 76 tons.

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In order to meet the lighting conditions of indoor plants, the dome of the pavilion is covered with light ETFE film. The "three-membrane and two-cavity" membrane structure is inflated like a huge bubble. The indoor temperature is adjusted by the amount of inflation, thus creating An energy-saving, environmentally friendly and sustainable tropical plant "growth paradise".

The land auction was completed in October 2019, and the foundation was laid in May 2020. As an international project, even if the epidemic is affected, the team has been maintaining close video communication with foreign experts and continuously improving product positioning planning. Combining the natural heritage of Qingdao and the local market, the theme of "water" is finally determined to deepen tourists' understanding and resonance of water resources in the process of immersive play.

The core park of the project includes four themed areas: entrance area, quality area, storm forest area, and extreme area. Among them, the quality zone shows people the rich state of water resources, and displays various scientific knowledge related to water through interesting story performances; the storm forest zone is the iconic image of the entire project, and the total construction area will exceed 34,000. The square meter tropical rainforest greenhouse takes the waterfall falling from the source of the mountain as the visual center. Visitors can view the entire rainforest through the high-altitude trail; the extreme zone shows a world with exhausted resources, allowing people to feel the scarcity and preciousness of water. It is worth mentioning that the entire park will present over a thousand species of tropical plants from all over the world, creating an ecological theme park that integrates education, scientific research, industry and tourism values.

Compared with the difficulty of construction, the most difficult problem of the project is how to cultivate tropical vegetation on saline-alkali land. To this end, the project team cooperated with top domestic and foreign experts and scholars to solve the adverse effects of salinity on organisms and increase vegetation diversity through the method of "physical measures + ecological measures + chemical measures". The Oriental Eden Project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, and will open in 2023.

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As a tourist city, the development of Qingdao's tourism industry must not only rely on mountain and sea resources, but also build on the huge consumption brought by cultural and entertainment projects. Looking at the country, Datang Everbright City, Xitang Ancient Town, Shanghai Oil Tank...a batch of new cultural tourism projects have become models of urban renewal, driving regional consumption upgrades. Nowadays, Qingdao also has many new cultural and tourism projects, including the Oriental Eden and Zangma Mountain Resort, which are accelerating the implementation and start-up. I believe that their participation will drive the transformation and upgrading of the city's cultural and tourism industry and give new momentum to the development of Qingdao. .

This article is reproduced from: "Qingdao Daily"

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