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Foster to create gigantic carbon-neutral regeneration zone in Libya

Foster & Partners' plan to transform Libya's Green Mountain region into one of the world's largest carbon-neutral regeneration zones has been unveiled by the son of Libyan president Colonel Gaddafi.

The ambitious 5,500km2 scheme is spearheaded by the newly formed Green Mountain Conservation and Development Authority (GMCDA), under the direct control of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

It is designed to protect the region's natural beauty and bio-diversity while creating a sustainable community for local inhabitants.

New 'sustainable' infrastructure intended to kick-start the economy includes hotels, restaurants, museums, performing-arts centres, modern schools and sports facilities. A higher-education institute dedicated to sustainable research and development is also planned.

Foster & Partners has been appointed to develop three sustainable pilot projects which will 'facilitate cultural and eco-tourism' in the Green Mountain, according to the GMCDA.

Norman Foster said: 'We've been give a unique challenge: to establish a sustainable blueprint for future development which will be sensitive to the history of the Green Mountain and to its conservation.'

The Green Mountain region covers an area the size of Wales and is rich in prehistoric, Greek, Roman and Islamic antiquity, including the ancient Greek city of Cyrene (pictured).

One of the first tasks for the GMCDA is to devise a masterplan for conserving the region's UNESCO World Heritage sites which have been damaged, in part, by unplanned urban sprawl.

by Clive Walker

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