The area where Bulgaria hugs the Black Sea is a mass of cheap, crappy resorts punctuated by a few luxury hotels. Still, areas with untouched forest remain — at least, they will until next year, when an eco-community will turn nature into "nature" by creating a carbon-neutral city in a place where there are currently no humans at all. Apparently replacing real forest with a development that "may contain nature" isn't a popular idea.
According to the UK Guardian, a local Bulgarian group called For the Nature is organizing protests against what architect Norman Foster is calling the Black Sea Gardens. Says the Guardian's Kate Connolly:
[The protesters] say it will destroy the Black Sea coast's last remaining virgin stretches of beach and will have a devastating effect on the rich biodiversity of an area which has environmental protection status under the EU's Natura 2000 programme, which aims to protect endangered species and habitats.
But the Bulgarian government's failure to enact regulations outlawing extensive developments in such areas has allowed coastal constructions to go ahead almost unhindered. Now there is hardly a stretch of the country's 220-mile coastline untouched by overdeveloped resorts. Locals are often restricted from accessing beaches whose entrances are flanked by security guards.
Why doesn't Norman Foster work on making the existing resorts in Bulgaria carbon-neutral instead? Image via Bulgaria4UK.