Giant ‘green heart’ harbour plan

2014-11-05 00:00

AN ambitious plan to create an iconic green energy symbol at the entrance Durban harbour was unveiled at a global ports conference.

The Green Heart Movement proposed that two massive heart sculptures — at least 15 metres high and 16 metres wide — be erected at the entrance of the port and at the Umgeni River where they will pulsate a “heart beat” and illuminate the city’s night sky using only green energy.

Speaking the 14th World Conference of Cities and Ports or AiVP at the city’s Elangeni Hotel, retired Durban journalist lecturer Mikhail Peppas — who founded Green Heart with his daughter Gabriella-Sofia Peppas and University of KZN masters student Sanabelle Ebrahim — said while the plan was ambitious it would position the city as a leader in the green energy movement.

“We want Durban to be a thriving city once again.

“The hearts will for example give 12 heart-beats at midday through speakers built into the structure and 12 green flashes at midnight. They will be a symbol of Durban’s aspiration of being a clean, green energy city.

Even if they don’t become a reality we hope this will influence the city on what direction it should take,” he said.

The conference’s theme has specific focus on what is termed a “Smart Port City” that is more accessible to its citizens and drives enterprise.

The movement called for a “revitalisation of a semi-utilised” Margaret Mncadi Avenue (formerly Victoria Embankment) to realise an “attractive feature integrated into the expanding Smart Port of Durban”.

“The envisaged Green Heart Boulevard offers an ideal public space.The socially refreshed Embankment would follow the curve of the yacht basin and evoke an infectious carnival or mardi gras atmosphere,” he said.

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.

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