Airport “Forest” Being Created in Singapore

Singapore’s new structure for Changi Airport, the Jewel Changi, is currently under construction, expecting completion in early 2019.


Project Jewel will no doubt re-confirm the airport’s reputation as the world’s best airport. For the fifth consecutive year, Changi International has been named the best airport in the world by consumer aviation website Skytrax. The  hub has long been praised by travelers for its beautiful architecture, efficient operation, and luxurious amenities.

A winner of multiple best airport awards over the years, Changi served 54.1 million passengers in 2014.

When completed, the impressive steel-and-glass biosphere-style structures will be filled with plants and a gigantic waterfall.

More than simply a new terminal, Jewel Changi Airport will be constructed on the site of the old parking lot fronting the existing Changi Airport’s Terminal 1, and will be smoothly connected to the existing terminals.


The huge donut-like structure consists of 10 levels — five above ground and five underground — integrating airport facilities, with retail and leisure outlets.

This includes 130 hotel rooms — operated by international hotel brand YOTEL — along with more than 300 dining and shopping outlets.

The complex will house an integrated multi-modal transport lounge – so ticketing, boarding pass and baggage transfer service will be available for passengers. Early check-in facilities at the complex will allow passengers to check-in and drop off luggage ahead of regular check-in times. There will also be new subway links connecting all the airports terminals to the MRT network.



But the extraordinary feature of the new complex — and maintaining Singapore’s reputation as the “garden city,” — will be Jewel Changi’s centerpiece — Forest Valley.

Four different gateway gardens will feature unique landscape elements. The North Gateway Garden, for instance, will use the trunks of rain trees recycled from the airport’s old open-air parking lot.

On the top level is the Canopy Park — one of the Jewel’s three major attractions along with a indoor waterfall and a five-story-tall garden called Forest Valley.

Canopy Park will have gardens, walking trails, playgrounds and eateries spanning approximately 13,000 square meters. It will have 2500 trees and 100,000 ferns and shrubs

This is an area where visitors can simply relax and have fun with their families and friends.



Canopy Park is divided into several sections including

….a botanical garden,…

… A nature walk with animal-shaped topiary, and …

… A pair of hedge mazes.

The Discovery Slide is an art sculpture that doubles as a children’s’ slide. It is also a great viewing gallery to see the Rain Vortex and Forest Valley.

The glass-bottom Canopy Bridge sits 75 ft. in the air.

The Canopy Bridge and other sections of the park emit puffs of mist to give children the illusion of playing among the clouds.

lThe 131-foot-tall waterfall, dubbed the Rain Vortex , has been conceived by water design firm WET and Safdie Architects, will be the centerpiece of “Forest Valley,” a lush indoor garden nestled under a large glass dome.


It will be housed in a huge glass toroid, and will fall though the hole in the middle of the structure. At night, choreographed light shows will make the waterfall glow, illuminating the interior in an array of different colors.

The architects and engineers conducted a series of airflow studies on the glass dome in order to prevent the buildup of humid air that would naturally occur around this amount of falling water. The team came up with a solution that alters the way turbulence affects the surrounding air. Several built models helped determine the behavior of the design.



Further information about this extraordnary project is available at:






Mexico Creates Pacific Marine Sanctuary


Late in 2017, the Mexican government created a large marine reserve around a group of islands that is home to hundreds of species including rays, whales and sea turtles. With a protection zone of 57,000 square miles (150,000 km), it has become the largest ocean reserve in North America. The park was designated by a decree signed by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

The rich waters surrounding this area are a critical habitat for numerous species and had already been recognized in 2016 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The Revillagigedo Archipelago, part of a submerged volcanic mountain range, is located about 250 miles south of the Baja California peninsula. There, two ocean currents collide and draw up nutrients that help feed some 400 species of fish, sharks and rays. The area is also an important site for whales, dolphins and seabirds. The Revillagigedo Archipelago National Park spans more than 57,000 square miles — roughly the size of the state of Georgia in the United States.

The United Nations has established a goal of protecting 10 percent of the world’s oceans by 2020. Joining the growing global effort to safeguard the world’s oceans movement in recent years have been Chile, New Zealand and Tahiti.

Establishing this reserve means that all fishing activity will be banned, and the area will be patrolled by the navy. This will help populations hit by commercial fishing operations in the area to recover. It will also forbid natural resources being extracted from the land or the building of new hotel infrastructure.

Matt Rand, director of the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project, in an article by HuffPost, noted that “It wasn’t an easy decision because they had significant opposition from the commercial fishing industry, which I think is unfortunate. I would love to see a commercial industry embrace this notion that certain areas should be protected.”

During the 2015 Our Ocean conference in Valparaiso, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced the creation of both the Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park, located some 550 miles off the coast of Chile — giving that country claim to the largest marine reserve in the Americas — and the Easter Island Marine Park, which will be the third-largest fully protected marine area in the world. The Easter Island reserve bumped New Zealand’s Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary to the No. 4 spot.

Unfortunately in the United States, President Donald Trump is considering shrinking two marine national monuments in the Pacific — Rose Atoll and the Pacific Remote Islands — as well as opening those and a third — Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, off the coast of New England — to commercial fishing.

Recycling: Island Created from Plastic Bottles

British artist Richart Sowa has created a man-made island from over 100,000 plastic bottles, where he lives with his wife and dog in a three-story house.

Joyxee Island sits 30 yards off the coast of Isla Mujeres, a Mexican island in the Caribbean.

In an extraordinary example of recycling, Sowa began building Joyxee Island in late 2007. He finished it by the end of 2008, and has now opened the 8,000-square-foot island for tours.

The base of the man-made island is made up of nets filled with plastic bottles. The extraordinary home is solar-powered, and even has a washing machine powered by waves, two swimming ponds, a waterfall, and internet connection. His goal is for the island to be entirely self sufficient; he is already growing vegetables and herbs.

Beginning with Spiral Island

Joyxee Island is actually the second bottle island built by Sowa.  The first — Spiral Island —  was located in a lagoon near Puerto Aventuras, on the Caribbean coast of Mexico south of Cancún; Sowa began constructing it in 1998.

He filled nets with empty discarded plastic bottles to support a structure of plywood and bamboo, on which he poured sand and planted numerous plants, including mangroves. The island featured a two-story house, a solar oven, a self-composting toilet, and three beaches. He used some 250,000 bottles for the 66-by-54-foot (20 m × 16 m) structure. The mangroves were planted to help keep the island cool, and some of them rose up to 15 feet (4.6 m) high.


Almost all of the sand Sowa used for Spiral Island I was taken from the end of the beach, where it came up against the man-made rock pier on the edge of the canal system where the Island was tied.

The island was destroyed by Hurricane Emily in 2005. The island was washed completely onto the beach in one piece, and a small proportion of the bags of bottles washed up on the beach away from where it landed. The roots of the 7-year old, 7-metre (23 ft) tall mangroves were intertwined through the island’s base and the strong net that was wrapped totally under the whole island helped to keep it together.

Joyxee Island

Sowa started to rebuild his floating environment island in the waters of Isla Mujeres, located near Cancun. Joyxee Island contains about 100,000 PET bottles and measures a size of 82 feet in diameter. Rishi’s new floating green island has also three beaches, a beautiful house, even a solar-powered waterfall and a small river, a wave-powered washing machine and solar panels.   It opened for tours in August, 2008.

Plants like Mangroves actually provide stability to the island. Their growing roots wind through the mesh bags – tying everything together. Sowa continuously adds more bags of plastic bottles – growing and expanding the island.  He grows numerous plants on the island including; palm trees, sea grapes, mangroves, cactus, spinach, tomatoes, melons, lemons, herbs and flowering shrubs. Sowa keeps building day by day, so Joyxee will always be a work of art in progress.

Richart firmly believes we can reverse the adverse effects our modern lifestyle is having on the Earth’s ecological balance. By creating islands, which become self-sustainable as corals – marine life grows on the underside, and mangroves, fruit and vegetables are grown on the topside.

This gives oxygen back to an otherwise ever decreasing atmosphere. And creates a root integrated, flexible and resilient habitable Island – which can grow big enough to be able to eventually survive, and flourish on the ocean.


For futher information: 

An in-depth article is available at:

Also see “Plastic Bottle Floating Island – The Richart Sowa Story” that includes a description of a tour to the island.