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How Are Those Cities of the Future Coming Along? - Eric Jaffe - The Atlantic Cities

Stashed in: Awesome, The Future, Africa, History of Tech!, Middle East, Design, Cities!

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Here's a couple:

Masdar City (United Arab Emirates)

Courtesy of Masdar City.

The idea behind Masdar City was to create an eco-friendly oasis in the middle of the desert. Original plans were for the city near Abu Dhabi were about as ambitious as it gets. Masdar was supposed to be a carbon-neutral, zero-waste place with solar-paneled buildings, recycled water and waste, an energy-efficient wind system designed to keep the city cool.

Early critics questioned whether Masdar could achieve its vision, and indeed some of its goals haven't come to pass. (The city will be low carbon, not no carbon, according to Time.) American journalists who've visited have been encouraged, with a writer from Clean Technica saying that Masdar "most certainly is not greenwashing or a mirage." Caveat: some of the writers traveled on Masdar's dime.

Officials would like to see some 40-50,000 people settle in Masdar one day. Right now it's only a hundred or so students enrolled at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. Masdar City will cost a bit more than PlanIT Valley, on the order of $20 billion, but much of that has already been pledged in the form of government contributions. Completion has been pushed to 2020, at the earliest.

Konza Techno City (Kenya)

Courtesy of Konza Techno City.

Dubbed "Silicon Savannah," Konza Techno City hopes to develop some 5,000 acres of land into a new home for the technology industry. Konza wants to attract software developers, data centers, and business process outsourcing, among other sectors. The city, which will be situated about 40 miles from Nairobi, expects to have 30,000 residents by the time it complete phase one in 2017.

When all four phases are complete, by 2030, Konza Techno City plans to have a central business district, a college campus, and enough people to fill 200,000 jobs [PDF].

Development has already hit a few hurdles. Konza officials want to keep an undeveloped 10-mile buffer zone around the city out of fear that private construction could interfere with the plans for the city. Progress was halted in June to converse with regional land-owners, and last month the Kenyan news site Mwakilishi reported that two counties have laid competing ownership claims to the city.

The city's official website strikes a more optimistic tone. A recent press release said construction was "on course" to begin by the end of the year.

More here:

Wow. The future ain't what it used to be.

And it's taking so long to get here!

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