Until airlines began selling cheap tickets to the Azores islands, the region enjoyed relative peace and tranquility. Now that is all set to change as tourists flock to the pristine archipelago. John Shenton, an architect involved with TADA, Tourism and Agribusiness Development Company of The Azores, wants to avoid the kind of ecological and socio-economic decline that usually accompanies such a sudden, unplanned influx of tourism with a network of low-impact solar-powered EcoPods designed to uplift local landowners.
“We recognize a window of opportunity to develop a network of pop up eco-resorts using locally-sourced materials, skills and resources to provide high quality, environmentally and economically sustainable tourist accommodation,” Shenton told Inhabitat.
Fabricated with a sustainable soft wood, the tiny pods are comprised of solar-powered kits that can be flat-packed for easy shipping. Designed to be shipped anywhere in the world, they are easily erected by three people. Stenton said an entire off-grid eco resort can be constructed in a very short space of time. For now, he has teamed up with several landowners to develop a local network of these tiny resorts complete with electric transportation, bicycles, e-bikes for sustainable movement. Six resorts are in the planning stage, and the first pilot is expected to open in Spring, 2017.
“Our pods also lend themselves to any number of other uses, for leisure, hospitality, disaster relief,” said Shenton. “Our target legacy will be to create a viable export business for the Azores as we send our EcoPods to the many other geographical locations in need of fast, affordable and sustainable accommodation.”