The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell's Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management has announced it will work with developers of the world's largest Ferris wheel to create a high-tech, state-of-the-art expo on innovation and sustainability. The goal is to ensure the tourist attraction becomes a mechanism to showcase innovative approaches to address the world's most pressing social and environmental problems.
The New York Wheel, which will be built on the northeastern side of Staten Island, will offer city residents and tourists views of the lower and midtown Manhattan skylines, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn and New York Harbor. At 630 feet, or 60 stories, it will be the world's tallest observation wheel.
The New York Wheel will feature a 100,000-square-foot terminal building, which will have a restaurant, cafe and theater, as well as interactive multimedia exhibitions about New York City history, alternative energy and environmental sustainability. The objective of the center, which works with firms to identify innovative, entrepreneurial and new business alternatives they can implement in the marketplace, is to make the entire complex a living exhibit to deepen the general public's understanding about a range of topics, including green building and design, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, next-generation green materials, low- and no-carbon energy technologies, geo-engineering and the green-collar economy.
"Given its knowledge and experience, the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Johnson is an ideal partner for us to ensure we successfully communicate the critical role the private sector can play in addressing society's sustainability concerns," said Rich Marin '75, MBA '76, president and CEO of New York Wheel LLC.
The site will also include significant open green space. Showcasing cutting-edge technologies in the built environment, the entire facility will be designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest rating of sustainable building today.
"This is a unique opportunity to influence and inspire how millions of people view the role of the private sector and sustainability," added Mark Milstein, director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise. "In particular, we will seek to highlight the growing influence that entrepreneurship, innovation and technology commercialization is having on efforts to solve some of our most pressing problems, including poverty, climate change and ecosystem degradation."
"This collaboration will further extend Cornell's growing presence in New York City in a way that is complementary to Cornell NYC Tech, where sustainability-related innovation and entrepreneurship will be a key element of the program," said Soumitra Dutta, the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean of Johnson. "We look forward to leveraging our involvement in ways that will continue to enhance Johnson's research, teaching and outreach capabilities in this critical area."
The New York Wheel is part of the city's urban waterfront renewal effort. Construction is expected to begin in early 2014, with a grand opening scheduled for New Year's Eve 2015.