Last updated: 10:23 AM ET, Fri April 24 2015

World's Most Remote Settlement Launches Competition to Improve Sustainability

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | April 24, 2015

World's Most Remote Settlement Launches Competition to Improve Sustainability

PHOTO via Wiki Images

Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic Ocean is as isolated as an inhabited island chain can get. Home to only 270 people with a combined seven family names and accessible by sea just 60 days a year, the settlement comprises just one town, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas on the island of Tristan.

Although lobster fishing is the island's leading industry, it generates additional revenue through souvenir sales and tourism. However, it's isolation limits its ability to accommodate a significant number of visitors. 

But with its bicentennial anniversary just a year away, the British overseas territory is enlisting the help of engineers and architects to help improve infrastructure and sustainability via an international competition, according to Eoghan Macguire of

"The competition is looking at enhancing the built environment on the island (and) making all structures more energy efficient," island administrator Alex Mitcham told CNN.

It's been decades since much of Tristan's infrastructure was put in place or restored and while the island's people tend to be self sufficient, a rising cost of living has led to an emphasis on bringing renewable and efficient energy to the island. 

"A new water system, electrical system and waste water system have just been completed," Mitcham told CNN. "And with the 200th Anniversary of the founding of Tristan (2016) almost upon us it is an appropriate time to look at new initiatives that may be able to help the future viability of the community."

Those looking to enter the competition will have until mid-June to submit their proposals. The top ideas will be narrowed down to 20 and then five by September, with the winner expected to be announced in June 2016.

Mitcham encourages participants to focus on "cost-effective" and "practical solutions" to improve energy efficiency and modernize some of the existing structures on the island.


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