Thursday, January 17, 2008

Russia in Miniature to Rise from the Black Sea

Dubai's artificial islands are about to get a little competition: a miniature "Russia" in the Black Sea off Sochi, Russia, that will house athletes for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

With the 2014 Winter Olympic Games at Sochi, Russia still over 6 years away, the city's planning committee isn't wasting any time... they've asked a consortium of Japanese companies to help build a massive 350-hectare island complex - shaped like Russia - in the Black Sea to house Olympic athletes.

Since Sochi won the right to host the 22nd Winter Olympics, property prices have risen as much as 40 percent, making the estimated $6.2 billion cost of "Federation Island" seem like a very good investment. Post-games plans for the group of 10 artificial islands include apartments and villas for up to 25,000 residents.

The project is seen by both Russia and Japan as a unique way of improving relations between the two nations. "Japan's participation and their technology is particularly interesting to Russia," stated Aslan Atabiyev, head of the Russian-Japanese business council in Tokyo recently. Japanese construction firms have earned an international reputation for building in earthquake prone areas, and the Sochi region in southern Russia does indeed have a "shaky" history.

The project will also provide much-needed work for Japanese builders hurt by the country's lingering economic doldrums and reduced government spending on public works projects. (via Trendhunter and

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