These countries are all building brand-new cities

Cities UN 2018_

Gerardo Pesantez/World Bank High rises and hotel buildings in Punta Pacifica, Panama City, Panama.

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Johnny Wood, Writer, Formative Content

In the early years of this century, completely new cities began emerging across Asia and Africa, transforming previously unremarkable expanses of land or reclaimed ocean areas. Could some of these new urban creations become the economic powerhouses of the future?

The fervour for building cities from scratch seems inexhaustible, with construction starting on mega-projects in Malaysia, China, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Kenya, Oman and Saudi Arabia, among other countries. According to United Nation estimates, 66% of the world population will live in cities by 2050. Meeting the needs of these billions of people will provide huge challenges.

Degree of urbanization (% of urban population) by continent in 2017

Image: Statista

In North America, over 81% of the population are city dwellers, although only New York City ranks in the top 10 largest cities in the world. Latin America and the Caribbean almost equal the US with 80% urbanization and Europe is third with 74%. With rapidly growing populations, Asia (49%) and Africa (41%) are urbanizing fast.

Many traditional cities have dated infrastructure and old technology, which can hold back progress. But if developers start with a clean slate the cities of the future may look very different to our current cityscapes.

Green cities

Forest City, Malaysia

The city is being built on artificial islands.
Image: Forest City Country Garden

Just 2km from Singapore’s north-western tip, Malaysia’s Forest City is a controversial new development that sits on land reclaimed from the sea. Quite a lot of land, in fact. Designed to house 700,000 people the city will cover 14 square kilometres, an area four times the size of New York’s Central Park.

This smart city will have no cars and the residential and commercial eco-skyscrapers are set to be covered in plants to reduce noise and air pollution. Due for completion in 2035, it aims to create 220,000 jobs.

Forest City, China

Liuzhou Forest City’s plant-covered buildings.
Image: Stefano Boeri Architetti

A new green development near Liuzhou has a few things in common with its namesake in Malaysia. Designed by Italian Architect Stefano Boeri Architetti, the project will house 30,000 people when it is completed, and feature commercial and recreational spaces.

Featuring spaces and buildings covered in plants and trees, it provides the perfect environment for birds, insects and people to thrive. The project aims to combat air pollution by absorbing CO2 (around 10,000 tons each year) and producing oxygen (900 tons each year).

Smart cities

Belmont, US

Technology entrepreneur and Microsoft founder Bill Gates is creating a smart city in the Arizona desert. Covering 25,000 acres of land, Belmont will be designed and built with technology at its core.

Developers, Belmont Brothers, say the city will focus on liveability and feature high-speed internet connectivity embedded into the environment. The 182,000 projected inhabitants will be able to move around the city in self-driving cars, with smart traffic lights that minimize congestion.

Songdo, South Korea

Image: Gale International

The International Business District (IBD) of Songdo City in South Korea is designed to maximize public transport and make the daily car commute a thing of the past. The district was planned so that most offices, schools and non-residential buildings are close to apartment buildings and accessible within a short walk.

Approximately 40% of Songdo is dedicated to green space, which together with less road traffic and integrated public transport has helped the city reduce greenhouse gases. Instead of trash being collected by trucks, the city’s waste is sucked by pneumatic tube from chutes in residential buildings and collected centrally, where it is recycled or converted into energy.

Industrial cities

Colombo Port City, Sri Lanka

An artist’s impression of the city at night.
Image: Port City Colombo

Built on reclaimed land, Colombo Port City artificially extends Sri Lanka’s coastline more than 200 hectares into the Indian Ocean. The new city sits on the world’s busiest shipping route, with access to east Asia, Africa and the Middle east, adding to the strategic collection of newly acquired Chinese ports stretching from Asia to Europe.

Colombo Port City is strategically positioned to become one of the most prominent finance and trade centres in the region, boasting independent investment legislation and policies. The development could reset Sri Lanka’s economic and geopolitical position in the world.

Sino-Oman Industrial City, Oman

A design for the refurbished port area.
Image: Port of Duqm

Sino-Oman Industrial City is a US$ 10.7 billion city being built on the Arabian Sea south of Muscat, the Omani capital. Located in the Duqm Special Economic Zone, the 11-square-kilometre development aims to transform an underused port surrounded by sand into a transport-oriented desert supersite, with homes, infrastructure and recreational facilities for 25,000 residents.

The port operation also hosts an oil refinery and a methanol plant, with a manufacturing plant for solar energy equipment, an oil and gas equipment production facility, as well as a car assembly factory and a building supplies distribution operation. Port of Duqm predicts total cargo traffic will increase exponentially in the next few years, approaching 40 million tons by 2022.

A challenging future

A few decades ago urbanization was seen as a problem. Now it is viewed by some as an opportunity to reshape the global economy.

Traditional cities grow over time, spreading and sprawling as the population expands, but these new cities are purpose-built. Strategically located, they are designed to become tomorrow’s trade, finance, logistics, technology or commercial centres, directed at long-term economic growth that could challenge existing global networks.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

As rural communities age, their public transport is shrinking. It’s time to fix this

Russia to cut gas supplies again: can the EU get back to growth without a solid energy market?

Women vital for ‘new paradigm’ in Africa’s Sahel region, Security Council hears

Transition between education and employment: how the internship culture is threatening the foundations of our education

Talent is worldwide. Opportunity is not. How can we redistribute it?

From Russia with love: Brussels and Moscow close to an agreement on Ukraine’s gas supplies

Confronting neo-mercantilism: why regulation is critical to global trade

A Sting Exclusive: “Digital and mobile technologies are helping to achieve an economic success in Spain”, the Spanish Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Society Víctor Calvo-Sotelo reveals to the Sting at Mobile World Congress 2015

Charges against Baha’i in Yemen must be dropped: UN experts urge release of detainees

Towards a European Republic

OECD household income up 0.7% in first quarter of 2018, outpacing GDP growth

EU leaders agree on 2030 Climate and Energy Package: is “flexible” brave enough?

Food safety: more transparency, better risk prevention

Is euro to repeat its past highs with the dollar?

Solutions for cultural understanding: medical students’ perspective

This is why Dutch teenagers are among the happiest in the world

As monsoon rains pound Rohingya refugee camps, UN food relief agency steps up aid

EU’s social crisis and unemployment to deteriorate

This is the world’s biggest mental health problem – and you might not have heard of it

A Sting Exclusive: “Doing ourselves a favour”, Vice President Dombrovskis underscores that this time growth has to come from within the EU

Ebola: EU provides an additional €30 million to tackle the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Interview with ourselves: the mental health of health professionals

Doctors are humans too: the benefits of embracing your mental status

Women-Friendly Spaces for Rohingya refugees: A place for protection and care

Commission: Do it like the Americans in the food sector

President Juncker temporarily transfers portfolio responsibilities following departure of two Members of the European Commission

Latest tragedy in the Mediterranean claims over 100 lives – UN refugee agency

rescEU assets mobilised to help Greece fight devastating forest fires

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Venezuela-Colombia baby breakthrough, Italy piles on rescue boat pressure, States must combat hate, Kashmir rights latest and a musical plea to combat CAR hunger

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

More than four in 10 women, live in fear of refusing partner’s sexual demands, new UN global study finds

Conflict prevention, mediation: among ‘most important tools’ to reduce human suffering, Guterres tells Security Council

3 reasons why most Africans aren’t on the internet – and how to connect them

Further reforms needed for a stronger and more integrated Europe

25 years after population conference, women still face challenges to ‘well-being and human rights’, says UN chief

70 years on, landmark UN human rights document as important as ever

‘Huge’ stakes, ‘daunting’ job to tackle gender-based violence, UNICEF chief tells ground-breaking conference

South Africa still hasn’t won LGBTQ+ equality. Here are 5 reasons why

Commission launches two projects to support cooperation and innovation in Romanian regions and cities

3 ways to fight stress at work

EU Top Jobs summit ended with no agreement: welcome to Europe’s quicksand!

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

The good news on pensions: sustainable equals profitable

Women must be at ‘centre of peacekeeping decision-making’, UN chief tells Security Council

Leading Palestinian legislator calls for ‘new international engagement’ in two-state solution

The Ukrainian crisis to destabilize Europe and the world for a long time

Millennials aren’t voting – but these young leaders have a plan to change that

The role of students in a migration crisis in Roraima, Brazil

IPCC reports devastating climate consequences; US in denial while EU does not fully support the 2050 net zero emissions target

Spotlight Initiative – EU and UN fight against domestic violence in the Pacific region

Healing of ozone layer gives hope for climate action: UN report

End ‘shame, isolation and segregation’ of fistula sufferers, urges UN reproductive health chief

The European Union and Central Asia: New opportunities for a stronger partnership

The health of the human being in coexistence with a transformative biosphere

‘Rare but devastating’ tsunamis underscore need for better preparation, UN chief urges on World Day

Service and Sacrifice: Guinean peacekeepers make their mark in Mali

EU–US: What is the real exchange in a Free Trade Agreement?

€5 billion of EU energy efficiency project money spent on “comfort”

To flourish in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we need to rethink these 3 things

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s