[Sust-mar] Using passion & imagination to transform ruined landscapes: The Green Interview

Laura Landon laura.landon at bellaliant.net
Mon Mar 25 19:35:25 EDT 2013

	Text Box: www.thegreeninterview.com	 

March 26, 2013

Creating luck: Using Passion and Imagination to Transform a Ruined Landscape


If you fix it, they will come. 
So says Sir Tim Smit in a new Green Interview
<http://www.thegreeninterview.com/>  conversation. Sir Tim is the creator of
Britain's Eden Project, which transformed a monstrous, devastated clay
quarry in rural Cornwall into an enormous educational theme park dedicated
to exploring people's complete dependence on plants. Eden is home to the
world's largest indoor rainforest and a massive Mediterranean garden, both
containing thousands of plant species. The Eden Project is now Britain's top
eco-tourism destination, judged "the Best UK Leisure Attraction" by the
British Travel Awards in 2012. 
Sir Tim is not surprised. When one restores and rejuvenates a derelict, sad
place, he says, "people will like it and they will come." Even better,
"people who had hope and ambition that had been cowed because they thought,
'Bad luck haunts this land,' will suddenly say, 'Bad luck doesn't haunt this
place. Look at that beauty. We will invest in it!'" Hotels and restaurants
appear, visitors come, and the "bad luck"-which was never real to begin

"The Eden Project is a spectacular demonstration of how a wasted and ravaged
industrial landscape can be converted into a site of great beauty, bursting
with life and endlessly alluring," says Green Interview host Silver Donald
Cameron, who travelled to Cornwall to interview Smit. Since Eden draws
hundreds of thousands of visitors, the project is also a powerful
demonstration of social entrepreneurship, showing the capacity of art,
entertainment and education to rejuvenate the economies in thoroughly
depressed areas, says Cameron. 

Inspired by bio-mimicry and the challenge of working with others to create
something seemingly impossible, Smit says the Eden Project aimed "to develop
the notion that there is a great new renaissance to be had in terms of
working with the grain of nature in a different way." Plants bring more than
optimism, hope and beauty: they show us a way to evolve in a creative,
efficient way that can help people deal with collapse and climate change.
And "without plants, there is no life on earth," Smit says.

Tim Smit came to horticulture late in life, after successful careers as an
archaeologist and then a composer and producer of music who earned seven
platinum and gold discs. His visit to an overgrown Victorian garden on a
200-acre estate in Cornwall changed his life and career again. He set to
work reviving the Lost Gardens of Heligan, today a successful botanical
garden that shows "how people can live with the grain of nature." Next, he
tackled the larger Eden Project, which took 15 years and several million
dollars to restore.


The Green Interview is a subscription website of extended interviews
produced and directed by Chris Beckett in partnership with Silver Donald
Cameron. The programs feature some of the world's greatest thinkers, writers
and observers-people whose ideas and perceptions are leading the way to a
new era of sustainability. Visitors to the site can watch one interview free
of charge. In addition, the interviews are available in thousands of
libraries worldwide through GreenR, the environmental database service of
Gale Cengage Learning.

For further information about this interview or others at
www.thegreeninterview.com, please contact: Silver Donald Cameron, host and
executive producer, at sdc at silverdonaldcameron.ca or 902-446-5577.




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