DURBAN'S popular Blue Lagoon is undergoing a radical makeover.

The venue that popularised Durban's bunny chow, supped-up cars and drag racing will be "greened" ahead of the much-anticipated Fifa 2010 World Cup.

The move is being spearheaded by the eThekwini municipality.

"This programme, in conjunction with the municipality's city beautification programme, is an investment in improving public amenities in the area for both visitors and residents," Greening Durban 2010 programme manager Nicci Diederichs said.

The makeover will focus on the south bank of the estuary and includes a brand new R4million eco-tourism information and Green Technologies Demonstration Centre that will be built in Blue Lagoon Park.

The city wants the Green Hub to showcase innovative yet simple green building approaches, such as natural lighting and ventilation, harvesting of rainwater from the roof for flushing toilets, and solar powered lighting.

World Cup tourists will be able to enjoy canoe trips and nature walks from the Green Hub, as well as book nature-based activities and accommodation around Durban and KwaZulu-Natal.

The Green Hub includes a new public toilet facility, to replace the existing outdated and poorly designed toilets in the park.

"Durban has an incredible biodiversity and we want people to enjoy it," Diederichs said.

"This will help build people's sense of needing to protect nature.

"The Green Hub is going to be Durban's first public facility dedicated to promoting eco-tourism and more environmentally sustainable living."

Deputy mayor Logie Naidoo said: "Blue Lagoon has always been a community venue that attracts families who come to enjoy a day's outing together."

"The development of an interactive eco-centre will promote education about the environment and provide a wonderful setting for people to enjoy the precinct.

"The development is in keeping with the vision of the municipality to create a sporting precinct in the surrounding area."