Friday, March 02, 2007

DestiNY USA - Dream too Ambitious?

How often does it happen that people draw business plans and invest their time not just for material gains but for improving the world around them. Not very often. And that is because the road for common good is not as simple as the road for personal good. Sadly that's exactly what happened with the DestiNY USA project; the road was bumpier than expected.

DestiNY USA?
DestiNY USA? Yeah I know. I Had the same reaction the first time I heard of it. Name sounds like a philosophical offshoot out of a socio-economic research at some ivy league. Suprisingly, it is quite the opposite. It's a name that Robert Congel chose to name his 'monumental' gift to America. In concept, DestiNY is a huge theme park that will not only transform the local economy of the surrounding regions of Syracuse, NY but will also be a live example of eliminating dependence on fossil fuels and will drive innovation in areas of renewable energy, sustainable design, building systems, transportation, and lifestyle technologies.

Economic Transformation

  • 250,000 new jobs

  • $65 billion in new taxes generated over 30 years

Independence from Fossil Fuels

  • 100% fossil fuel free vehicles

  • 100% water reuse

Innovation Powerhouse

  • 3-D design and simulation for construction

  • R&D Park

Using these innovative techniques Bob Congel's dream is an 800 acre waterfront recreational theme park that has 6 million sq. ft. of glass covered paradise under it with 4000 hotel rooms.


Recently, the project has run into rough waters. On the one hand there are concerns about the genuinity of the intention behind the dream, while on the other there are doubts about the technical feasibility of the project. There is no such building in the world as of today and none of the mega-scale projects have dared to even claim being as green as DestiNY is promising. The kind of consumption pattern that this theme park will generate once it comes up is also a matter of concern to some. In particular, the gas people will burn to drive up to Syrasuse, NY from different parts of New England and eastern Canada and the upper mid-west including flying from different regions is not going well with the sceptics.

Meanwhile, it seems that Bob Congel has diverted his attention back to his original business - mall construction.

Feelings and Frustrations

It is sad to see such a good initiative, which had the potential to change the energy generation and consumption patterns of this country, come to a halt, which leaves me wondering how the people of Syracuse feel. What are there feelings and frustrations they have about this see-saw with a capitalist and the government?

The website of DestiNY USA is:

Images are from the DestiNY USA website above.