New York is building the world's tallest Ferris wheel

Can a Ferris wheel be a tool for economic development? New York thinks so.

Much like the London Eye, New York is looking to a Ferris wheel to become an iconic structure and an economic development tool.

The New York Wheel, as it's called, will also be the tallest observation wheel in the world. It will be 625 feet with 36 capsules and will be able to hold about 1,440 people at a time. It will take 38 minutes for one full rotation.

Today, the city announced that the Ferris wheel will be built along the Staten Island waterfront.

“This historic project promises to have an enormous positive impact on Staten Island and New York City overall – creating jobs, increasing tourism, and encouraging small business growth,” said Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro.

The project was originally proposed during a New York City Economic Development Corp request for bids on ways to improve economic development and attract more visitors to the Staten Island borough. And the city is betting on the promise of good views of the city to attract people.

But the project won't just be a fun carnival ride. A terminal building at the Ferris wheel will have an exhibition on New York City history along with exhibits on worldwide sustainability efforts.

“Visitors to the New York Wheel will see green building and design, next-generation green materials, low- and no-carbon energy technologies, and the green collar economy at work. We will highlight the growing influence that entrepreneurship, innovation and technology commercialization is having on solving some of our most pressing problems,” said Mark Milstein, Director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, a collaborator on the sustainability project.

It's not immediately clear what the connection is between a Ferris wheel ride and sustainability. But the more sustainability education the better, I suppose.

Construction on the Ferris wheel will begin in 2014 with plans for the grand opening early on in 2016.

Photo: Business Wire

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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