“Just as the decisions made by us now impact the future of the capital, the effect of your decisions in Eco Future will be recorded on your own Eco Tag and will be revealed in your unique Future City at the end of the exhibition,” write the organizers of the year-long exhibit on Al Saadiyat island.
Children aged between 8-12 years are given a card with an embedded microchip at the start of the exhibit. They then visit each of the games which encourage them to make decisions, such as what kind of materials to use for building and what kind of meals to choose based on their sustainability.
Then at the end of the exhibit, which takes about 45 minutes to complete, participants receive a green scorecard, at which point the kids often learn that what seems healthy or sustainable might not actually be so.
The National reports that one boy chose french fries as part of his meal because he thought potatoes are healthy. Which they can be in moderation and if they aren’t drenched in gallons of oil.
“Presented by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Eco Future was developed in close collaboration with expertise from Abu Dhabi entities including Masdar, Abu Dhabi Education Council, Urban Planning Council, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, Emirates Wildlife Society and Tourism Development & Investment Company.”
Reached by a bridge from the mainland, Al Saadiyat Island is one of Abu Dhabi’s pilot sustainability projects that has drawn a lot of attention to climate and resource issues; so much so that one student designed a site-specific eco-mosque (with no dome or minaret) for the island, which received mixed responses.
The exhibit is a great way to get kids involved, but we can think of a few adults who might benefit as well!