Denmark’s artificial island for green energy to power 3M homes

February 8, 2021 by  
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The government of Denmark has approved plans for an artificial island in the North Sea to act as a clean energy hub for the country. The island, which will be built about 50 miles offshore, is expected to produce and store enough renewable energy to power 3 million homes along with multiple industries. The project is expected to cost about $34 billion, 51% of which will be funded by the Danish government. The other amount will be provided by the private sector. The project will happen in two phases. The initial phase will see the island producing 3 gigawatts of electricity. Upon completion, the facility is expected to produce 10 gigawatts. The island will be equipped with high walls on three sides, with one side remaining open for service docking. Related: 3XN unveils Denmark’s first climate-positive hotel for Bornholm island The proposed island will be the size of 18 football fields in its first phase and will link to offshore wind turbines. The facility will also generate green hydrogen , which will be used in the aviation, shipping and industrial sectors. Besides the proposed island, the Danish government is also exploring plans to build another artificial energy island in the Baltic Sea. “This is truly a great moment for Denmark and for the global green transition,” said Dan Jørgensen, Denmark’s Energy Minister. “(The island) will make a big contribution to the realization of the enormous potential for European offshore wind .” The news comes shortly after Denmark announced it would stop its search for gas and oil in the North Sea. Denmark has a legal target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 70% below 1990s levels by 2030. To meet its targets, Denmark will need to implement new energy policies and investments. The project will not only help cut down carbon emissions but will provide the energy needed to sustainably power the country’s industries. + Danish Energy Agency Via Reuters and Yale Environment 360 Image via Danish Energy Agency

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CleanAirZone debuts a bio-based air purifier at CES 2021

February 8, 2021 by  
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At the virtual CES 2021, air purification R&D company CleanAirZone showcased its Bio-Based Air Purifier, a new product that it claims can even eliminate coronaviruses, including COVID-19, with natural biotics and enzymes derived from nature. The green technology uses the company’s proprietary BioCAZ solution to capture and neutralize a variety of indoor air contaminants without the need for filters. According to the firm, the product has been tested against an extensive list of viruses and does not produce harmful wastes or byproducts in the process. Marketed as the “only biotechnology capable of capturing and digesting 99.99% of contamination in the air,” the CleanAirZone system uses the same types of bacteria that have been used to clean the atmosphere for billions of years. The filter-free system first captures and stores pollutants within a grounded area inside the device using an electrical charge that attracts ultrafine particles of 0.00006u, after which the contaminants are “digested” by natural enzymes in the BioCAZ solution dissolved in water. The process of oxidation neutralizes the compounds without any harmful byproducts.  Related: IKEA’s new air purifying curtain will decrease indoor pollutants Designed for home and office use, the CleanAirZone Air Purifier has a minimalist appearance. The base Model 85 provides healthy air in spaces up to 700 square feet, while a proposed Model 300 purifies spaces up to 2,000 square feet. The cylindrical machine measures nearly 30 inches in height and a diameter of 15 inches and plugs into a standard 110/220 outlet at a consumption rate of 0.6 kW per day. Preserving the right level of solution in the machine — 6 ounces of BioCAZ Solution every four months — is the only maintenance needed. According to the company, the “living bio-system” purification technology has been tested by Assured Bio Labs in Oak Ridge, Tennessee to be highly effective against coronaviruses , mold spores, smoke-derived VOCs and other tested viruses and bacteria. The company currently has 300 Model 85 prototypes for pilot customers and has not yet revealed an official launch date. + CleanAirZone Images via CleanAirZone

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CleanAirZone debuts a bio-based air purifier at CES 2021

Xin Wei Yi Technology Park reduces energy and water demands

February 4, 2021 by  
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Located along the Yangtze River about 6.5 kilometers from Nanjing’s downtown area, the Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island will serve as an ecological destination and sustainability resource for residents and tourists in China . The Xin Wei Yi Technology Park is the first plot to be developed from the design’s masterplan. The Xin Wei Yi Technology Park will be situated adjacent to the island’s main bridge and across from the city’s new central business district. Its campus features an exhibition hall and office research buildings for technology and environmental companies, with plans for residential buildings to come at a later phase. Related: Green-roofed theater in Shenzhen raises the bar for civic architecture Featuring a dramatic roof line, the exhibition hall is designed to inspire a lasting first impression for visitors and citizens as they approach the island from downtown. Eight rooftop peaks symbolize the area’s neighboring Zhong and Stone Mountains, each with an oculus or “light cannon” to drive natural light into the large floor plates. This concept of light cannons is magnified in the design of the eight pentagon-shaped office research buildings, complete with large interior courtyards. The plans for Xin Wei Yi Technology Park put it at 13.4 hectares, comparable to 20 city blocks of New York’s Central Park. Organized into clusters along a central spine, the campus promotes an open-park feeling while promoting visibility and interaction among building tenants. The design includes several green elements to touch on a critical conversation about design practice in China, where fast-moving development often focuses on utility and cost more so than environmental impact . The exhibition hall’s dual-layer roof helps to significantly reduce excess energy, while cantilevered eaves provide shading. A geothermal heat pump system keeps energy usage 30% lower than comparable conventional buildings. The office research buildings are lifted off of the ground by a few stories, and vertical fins are strategically placed to achieve passive cooling . Rooftop gardens on both office research buildings eliminate water runoff and provide refuge for local wildlife while also providing workers and visitors with a green oasis to take in the views. Rainwater harvesting strategies help reduce water use for irrigation by 50% compared to traditional systems, while local plants and trees cover more than 30% of the landscape. + NBBJ Via ArchDaily Images via NBBJ

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Xin Wei Yi Technology Park reduces energy and water demands

This green-roofed cabin is made from local cedar and glass

January 18, 2021 by  
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A year-round retreat for a young family in British Columbia, this contemporary cabin is found nestled along the north shore of stunning Bowen Island. Made from sustainable building materials such as cedar and glass, the Bowen Island House maintains deep connections to nature while minimizing environmental impact with a design that touches lightly on the ground. The Bowen Island House is set on a rugged, 8-acre site on a secluded side of the island, characterized by a lush, lichen-covered rainforest and some of the best views in the Canadian province. While the island itself is somewhat isolated and requires a ferry ride to access it from the closest city, the landscape here has become increasingly vulnerable to development over the years. In a place where over-scaled homes have become the norm, the Bowen Island House by the Office of McFarlane Biggar Architects + Designers (OMB) presents a sustainable alternative with a small environmental footprint. Related: Cedar Haven is a forest retreat made with reclaimed logs A simple, two-level volume is clad in locally sourced cedar and insulated glass , with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open-plan kitchen, a dining room and a living area. This modest scale, along with off-grid functionality and independent sources for heat and electricity, helps minimize the home’s footprint. Additionally, the project prioritized simple details in its design to ensure minimal disruption to the natural surroundings during construction. The home’s position perpendicular to the rocky coastline hides it within the landscape and captures the sun from east to west, while the cedar cladding is stained black to help it visually recede into the forest. There is also a green roof to reinstate the absorptive qualities of the forest floor below. Mediation between architecture and nature is achieved through cast-in-place concrete walls that connect the constructed elements to the natural elements as well as large areas of outdoor decks that look out over the water. + Office of McFarlane Biggar Architects + Designers Via Dwell Photography by Ema Peter via OMB

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Big in 2021: American jobs created by EV companies

January 6, 2021 by  
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Big in 2021: American jobs created by EV companies Katie Fehrenbacher Wed, 01/06/2021 – 00:30 One of the big things I’m thinking about to kick off 2021 is how electric vehicles will be entwined with a U.S. recovery. Even before Joe Biden has formalized any green stimulus plans, the EV industry in the U.S. is showing important indicators that it will see solid growth this year — and that means jobs. New industry jobs. Electric jobs. Climate jobs.  Recently I chatted with the CEO and founder of Lion Electric , an electric bus and truck maker based in Saint-Jerome, Quebec. Marc Bedard founded the company 12 years ago — after working at a diesel school bus company in the 1990’s — with the goals of eliminating diesel engines for school buses and diesel fumes from the air that school kids breathe.  Lion got its start making electric school buses and has delivered major orders to the Twin Rivers Unified School District in Sacramento, California, and White Plains School District in White Plains, New York. More recently it unveiled an electric delivery truck and scored orders with Amazon and Canadian logistics provider CN.  While Lion Electric already has a factory in Montreal that can make 2,500 e-buses and trucks a year, the company tells GreenBiz it plans to expand into the U.S. by buying and converting an American factory that could be large enough to make 20,000 vehicles a year. Lion will unveil more details about where exactly that factory could be in the coming weeks, although vehicle production there probably won’t start for a couple of years. The expected rise of EV jobs across new and established automakers offers a spark of good news amidst expected anemic job growth for the first half of the year. Lion isn’t the only EV truck maker eying expansion into the U.S. market. Arrival — a London-based EV truck maker with a 10,000-EV deal with UPS —  plans to invest $43 million into its first U.S. factory in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The factory is expected to produce 240 jobs, with operations to start in the second quarter of 2021. The company’s U.S. headquarters will be in nearby Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to Arrival and Lion, a handful of other independent U.S. EV makers have emerged in recent years to tap into the growing American electric truck market, including Lordstown Motors , Hyliion , XL Fleet , Rivian, Nikola and Lightning eMotors. All of these companies recently have raised hundreds of millions of dollars and gone public by merging with “blank check” companies, or Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (also called SPACs).  Although the financial tool is a bit speculative in nature — the SPAC process is far quicker and less rigorous than going public via a traditional initial public offering — it turns out that SPACs, strangely enough, could help create thousands, if not tens of thousands, American EV industry jobs. Hopefully, most of those will end up being long-term, stable jobs.  And those are just the latest jobs from the newest players. Ford is developing an all-electric cargo van at a Kansas City plant that will create 150 jobs this year. That’s on top of the hundreds of other new EV jobs created by Ford’s new electric vehicle lines, the electric F-150 and the Mustang Mach-E. Likewise, Daimler Trucks North America has been converting and expanding its factory to make electric trucks at its Swan Island headquarters in North Portland, Oregon. The new EV jobs couldn’t come at a better time. Thanks to the pandemic, 2020 saw historic American unemployment rates peaking in April and recovering to just 6.7 percent unemployment as of November. But with a slow vaccine rollout and surging infection rates, prolonged long-term high unemployment rates are expected. Clean energy jobs have been equally hit hard, with about a half-million clean energy workers left unemployed by the pandemic this year.  Despite not knowing what Biden’s green stimulus will look like, the administration already has signaled that the automakers could be a big part of a recovery. Biden selected former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as his energy department secretary. Granholm worked closely with the Obama administration and the auto industry throughout the green stimulus program following the 2008 financial crisis.  The expected rise of EV jobs across new and established automakers offers a spark of good news amidst expected anemic job growth for the first half of the year. And these are just jobs from the vehicle manufacturers.  Equally strong job growth is expected for EV infrastructure providers riding the same electric wave and could get even more of a boost from a green infrastructure stimulus. A federal government stimulus also could inject funding and jobs into a growing domestic EV battery production sector.  In what is expected to be another dark couple of quarters for employment in 2021, look to EV jobs to offer a bright spot.  Sign up for Katie Fehrenbacher’s newsletter, Transport Weekly, at this link . Follow her on Twitter. Pull Quote The expected rise of EV jobs across new and established automakers offers a spark of good news amidst expected anemic job growth for the first half of the year. Topics Transportation & Mobility Jobs & Careers Electric Vehicles Electric Bus Electric School Buses Electric Trucks Featured Column Driving Change Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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Bali’s beaches are covered in plastic waste

January 5, 2021 by  
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People come from all over the world to see Bali’s famous white sand beaches. But lately, you can’t see the sand underneath the tons of plastic waste washing ashore. And it’s getting worse. Coastlines around the world are groaning under the weight of plastic trash. “It’s not new and it’s not surprising and it happens every year, and it’s been growing over the last decade,” said Denise Hardesty , plastic pollution expert and principal research scientist at Australia’s CSIRO science agency. “But in monsoonal countries we do find a much stronger seasonal affect.” Related: Surfing trip leads to 4Ocean cleaning coastlines around the world When monsoons blow west to east each year, plastic waste especially piles up on southwestern Bali , which is right where Kuta and Legian are. Kuta Beach has long been known as party central to sun-loving visitors. Legian is a renowned beach and popular surf spot. Together, the two beaches receive up to 60 tons of incoming plastic trash per day. Every day, crews of workers go out and rake the beaches. However, the trash still has to go somewhere. “The biggest problem is actually the trash handling hasn’t been effective in Indonesia,” said Gede Hendrawan of Bali’s Udayana University. “Bali has just started to reorganize it, also Java has just started.” Java is the island directly to the west of Bali and is one of the more than 17,500 islands that compose the archipelago of Indonesia. Wayan Koster, governor of Bali, has emphasized how important it is to keep the island’s beaches clean. “The Badung administration should have a trash handling system at Kuta Beach that is complete with adequate equipment and human resources so they can work quickly to clean up the trash washed onto the beach,” Koster said. “Moreover, in the rainy season when there are tourists visiting, the trash handling systems should be working 24 hours a day. Don’t wait for tomorrow.” CSIRO is planning to use remote cameras and artificial intelligence to get a better grip on littering hotspots in Bali. But as Hardesty pointed out, the real culprit in the problem of plastic washing up on Bali’s shores is the continuing increase in global plastic production. Via The Guardian Image via Ocean Cleanup Group

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Bali’s beaches are covered in plastic waste

Capris new electric power station replaces the islands diesel plant

December 31, 2020 by  
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On the island of Capri in Italy , the new Terna electric power station is an innovative example of sustainable architecture that merges into the unique landscape of the Italian island. Designed by Italian studio Frigerio Design Group, the new station replaces the island’s original diesel-run power plant in an effort to highlight the importance of renewable energy all while making the island a safer place to live. The project is built on a 2,700-square-meter site, and the overall design is based on a combination of geometry, greenery and light to integrate the structure with the steep Mediterranean landscape. The power station achieves an electrical connection between the island and the mainland, made possible through an investment of 150 million euros by Terna in order to provide Capri with renewable energy and reduce emissions to zero. Related: Renewable energy is the cheapest source of electricity A new power line lies completely underwater and underground, delivering more reliability, efficiency and quality to the local electrical service. Connecting Capri to the rest of Italy’s electric grid will save the island an estimated 20 million euros per year and reduce the carbon emissions by 130,000 tons. The building itself shares the same colors as the island’s landscape, while the materials take into account the aggressive environmental conditions of the area such as salty air, humidity and UV rays. The architectural finishing of the complex consists of geometric elements to create variable and vibrant compositions. The landscaping uses only native and local scrubs and plants that will achieve autonomous growth once the roots have had time to set, completely removing the need for landscape maintenance. In order to respect the natural surroundings, the building’s lighting design minimizes any light pollution . Lighting devices have cut-off parabolas and are positioned to hide their lighting sources, while LED technology is adopted to reduce consumption and waste. Between the building’s railings and walls, a stunning lighting design illuminates the perforated sheets upward and walls downward at night. + Frigerio Design Group Photography by Enrico Cano via Frigerio Design Group

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Capris new electric power station replaces the islands diesel plant

The top 7 amazing tiny homes weve seen this year

December 24, 2020 by  
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2020 was certainly one for the history books. But among all of the negativity in the news throughout this past year, there were also plenty of innovative and creative design solutions to the world’s problems shining through. While a large portion of Americans adjusted to life working remotely and others faced economic struggles due to the pandemic, tiny homes and inventive office spaces have never been so relevant. True to form, tiny luxury also flourished, with some of the best designs of the year combining space-saving minimalism with luxurious creature comforts despite small square footage. Read on to learn more about the top seven tiny homes we’ve seen this year here at Inhabitat. Canada Goose Brought to us by Mint Tiny Homes, the Canada Goose is a gorgeous, rustic tiny home on wheels that will make you feel like you’ve walked into a minimalist’s sustainable farmhouse . With a spacious kitchen and bathroom, an entire area dedicated to a living room, and a full-sized bedroom on the gooseneck hitch, it is clear that the designers at Mint put a lot of thought into space utilization. Plus, we can’t get enough of the reclaimed barn doors and the dark wood accents to complement the bright white interior. Available in 38 and 41 feet, the Canada Goose fits three beds and can house six to eight people comfortably. Related: Tiny House Sustainable Living blog documents life in an off-grid tiny home LaLa’s Seaesta This quirky tiny house located only blocks from the beach has a design that’s just as clever as its name. Texas-based Plum Construction uses every inch of the property’s small square footage with a cute dining nook that converts into a sleeping area and a secret, hidden patio underneath. Just 410 square feet of space with an additional 80-square-foot loft inside, the home’s gable decoration is constructed from reclaimed cypress wood from a local house dating back 120 years. We think the best part of this property is the hidden patio, which takes advantage of the space left clear from the home’s stilts and features a hammock, a bar and an outdoor shower. The patio’s ventilated, slatted walls allows the ocean breeze to flow in. The Natura It might be enough for some sustainable design companies that the Natura tiny house is powered by 1000W-2000W rooftop solar panels, but not for U.K.-based The Tiny Housing Company. The firm goes several steps further by using natural materials such as cork and wood for the construction, as well as adding a wood-burning stove connected to underfloor heating, clean water filtration from an under-sink system, energy-efficient appliances and rockwool insulation (a rock-based mineral fiber composed of volcanic basalt rock and recycled steel or copper byproduct). The Kirimoko Looking at the interior of the Kirimoko in New Zealand, one would never guess that Condon Scott Architects would be able to fit all those amenities into a 322-square-foot footprint. This passive house boasts high-efficiency structural insulated panels paired with larch weatherboards to help keep out moisture as well as asphalt shingles and natural ventilation. This means the tiny home requires virtually no additional energy to keep temperatures comfortable in an unforgiving Central Otago climate. Characterized by a gable form, a black rain screen and massive windows, there is an abundance of natural light that makes this home look exceptionally bright and airy. Denali XL Denali XL, which is a larger version of Alabama-based Timbercraft Tiny Homes’ popular Denali model, features 399 square feet of floor space and a 65-square-foot loft. This tiny home may look like a rustic cabin from the outside, but once you cross the threshold, you’ll find a king-sized loft bedroom with powered skylights that open automatically on a timer or rain sensor, a large walk in closet, a luxurious steam shower and quartz countertops. Additional sustainable elements such as a trash compactor, high efficiency insulation and an incinerating toilet help earn this tiny home a spot on the list. Oasis Tiny House It’s easy to see how the Oasis Tiny House got its name. This 260-square-foot tiny home is located on the Big Island of Hawaii and features several luxurious touches that highlight the tropical ambiance of the space. An outdoor bar, for example, can be found directly below the curly mango wood kitchen window, designed to allow food and drinks to be passed through with ease. There is also a skylight in the bathroom to give the feel of an outdoor shower thanks to the home’s verdant jungle surroundings. The Oasis Tiny House is the creation of the sister-brother duo at Paradise Tiny Homes. The Culp A spa-like, walk-in hot tub is not something you’d expect to see inside of a 500-square-foot tiny home, but that didn’t stop Florida-based Movable Roots tiny home design company. When the client requested room for a soaking tub, the designers rose to the occasion and even added an incinerating toilet for good measure. The tiny home also has a galley kitchen and a primary bedroom with storage stairs leading up to dual loft spaces, which are naturally lit and spacious enough to be used as guest rooms, offices or storage. Another feature we love inside The Culp is its low-maintenance, two-tone metal exterior and the cork plank flooring.

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The top 7 amazing tiny homes weve seen this year

Organic and conventional meat production cause equal amounts of emissions

December 24, 2020 by  
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Research published in the journal Nature Communications  has revealed that the environmental impact caused by organically farmed meat is equal to that caused by conventionally farmed meat. The research was carried out to determine the exact cost of foods if their climate costs were accounted for. According to the researchers, the analyzed data should be used to set food prices and taxes that reflect the true costs of food. The research shows that the emissions caused by organically produced meat is similar to those from conventionally farmed meat. This is especially true for cattle and sheep. The researchers found the climate-related damage of raising organic chicken to be slightly worse than raising conventional chicken. On the other hand, organic pork was found to be slightly better in terms of emissions as compared to conventional pork. Related: Will gene editing and cloning create super cows that resist global warming? The research further revealed that if all climate-related costs were considered per food item produced, there would be a 40% increase in shop prices for conventional meat. At the same time, there would be a 25% increase in organic meat . This is not because organic meat causes less pollution but because it is already more expensive than conventional meat. The prices of conventional milk would rise by about 33% while that of organic milk would increase by at least 20%. The study, led by Maximilian Pieper of the Technical University of Munich, analyzed German food production alone. But researchers say that the results would likely be replicated in many other European countries. “We expected organic farming to score better for animal-based products but, for greenhouse gas emissions, it actually doesn’t make much difference,” Pieper said. “But in certain other aspects, organic is certainly better than conventional farming.” Meat produced either organically or conventionally pollutes the environment in many ways. Overuse of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and mishandling of manure are some of the ways in which food production is problematic. Meat consumption can also lead to health complications. Research carried out in 2018 revealed that a  20% tax increase  on red meat would be necessary to cover its associated health effects. + Nature Communications Via The Guardian Image via Pen Ash

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Organic and conventional meat production cause equal amounts of emissions

Indonesian eco village features rammed earth domes and ocean views

November 20, 2020 by  
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Located in the southeastern part of Lombok, Indonesia, the Dome Lombok eco resort enjoys stunning views of the ocean, permaculture gardens, a farm-to-table restaurant, an organic juice bar, an outdoor cinema and a swimming pool. Each luxurious, rammed earth dome is made using the adobe earthbag building technique, in which stacks of bags containing sustainably sourced earth are finished in natural plaster to create the structure. While there are currently nine self-contained rammed earth domes in the initial stages of production on property, future development plans include adding another nine domes, a yoga shala, an artist studio and expansion of the coworking space. They also plan to install bio-septic tanks, solar power and recycle graywater for use on the permaculture gardens that will supply the onsite restaurant, promoting off-grid living. Related: Natural materials make up this energy-saving Jakarta home According to the project’s creative director, Lombok has seen a boom in eco tourism , and the dome village has become the most advanced sustainable project in the area in response to the green development movement. Dome Lombok also offers sustainably minded investors to purchase a dome to use as an eco-friendly rental home that doesn’t sacrifice design, quality or comfort. At the time of writing, all but one of the initial nine domes is already sold. The floor area for each dome ranges from 15 square meters to 100 square meters and prices start at 49,000 euros (about $58,000). The white sand beach of Tanjun Aan is just within walking distance from the domes , which also overlook a 6,000-square-meter lush hillside only 30 minutes from the Zainuddin Abdul Madjid International Airport. The island boasts clean coral coastlines, making it a popular destination for diving and surfing. The project is also located within the island’s Mandalika Special Economic Zone, a designation of a local program identifying the government’s five super-priority destinations aimed at driving Indonesia’s economic growth through tourism. + Dome Lombok Images via Dome Lombok

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