Dubai-based URB has just unveiled plans to create Africa’s largest sustainable city, THE PARKS. This city of 150,000 residents will provide the world’s highest standard for sustainable living, producing 100% of its own energy, water and food on-site to be a completely self-sufficient place to live.

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View of ponds in THE PARKS

THE PARKS is a planned smart city designed for the eastern region of South Africa. The idea is to promote a net-zero lifestyle in a mixed-use community that includes residential housing, medical and retail, education, tourism and entertainment services. Meanwhile, the 40,000 residential units are spread across 12 residential districts.

Related: Urban design of the world’s largest net-zero community

More waterway plans within the smart city

It’s an ambitious plan: the economy of the city will be based on automated services and a majority of jobs in green tech to support local services. The cool thing about a city like this is that it also creates jobs. In fact, more than 40,000 is the current estimate. This includes the jobs created during the planning and construction of the city as well as its operation.

Game courts and tracks for physical activity

In addition, the city will be car-free and zero carbon to promote an active lifestyle and social sustainability. There will be outdoor fitness stations, community farms, outdoor sports fields and courts, jogging and cycling tracks, a public art forum that uses waste for materials and outdoor concerts to enjoy.

Community gardens for residents

Plus, parks will link the community together as well as electric buggies for better mobility accessibility. Theoretically, the city of THE PARKS will cater to all income levels and include a diverse workforce.

But this is a large project, and we will have to see how it plays out. A smart grid, urban food production to reduce emissions from transport and many green energy systems are just a piece of what the designers hope will make THE PARKS a model for future sustainable cities worldwide.


Images via URB