In the perspective of URB, the Dubai-based company that is in charge of its development, THE PARKS could set a new standard for ecological urban living, becoming Africa's largest sustainable and self-sufficient city.
To address environmental challenges (such as pollution, water scarcity, energy production and food security) the developers have imagined a completely self-sufficient, zero-net city.
THE PARKS will be an example, they say, of how cities can be designed to be in balance with theenvironment, ensuring a sustainable future for future generations.
An interesting project in the global context
The growth of the urban population represents a significant challenge for our future. Currently 60% of the world's population lives in cities, but estimates say that this percentage will increase up to 85% by 2100.
Cities are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, mainly due to transport based on polluting energy sources.
To avoid all the problems related to overcrowding (which will also affect much of Africa, which will be a real urban and demographic revelation in this century), it is important that urban planners find innovative solutions. THE PARKS can be an extraordinary experiment in this direction, that of a more self-sufficient future.
Water, food, greenery, energy
Water scarcity will be a bigger and bigger problem for many cities in the future. According to forecasts, by 2050 the number of large cities facing this challenge will increase from 193 to 284.
Same thing for the food supply chain, or for the energy supply chain, or for green spaces: all key factors threatened by overcrowding and climate changes. And these are precisely the "critical" starting points around which the creation of a self-sufficient (or nearly so) city was conceived.
The self-sufficient city of the future
"THE PARKS" promises to be a sustainable oasis for 150.000 residents. On an area of 1700 hectares (4.200 acres) 40.000 housing units will be built, designed to produce by themselves all their energy, food and water that its inhabitants need.
It will be a car-free, carbon-free city that can only be traveled on foot or with small electric shuttles to connect the various neighborhoods together.
Urban food production will replace imports, with cutting-edge methods such as indoor vertical farming, beehives, sustainable poultry farming and biosaline agriculture. Renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, will power the city with an intelligent grid that will manage energy distribution. Solar power will also produce the city's water through the air-water technology.
The planning, construction and maintenance of the city will create more than 40.000 jobs, predominantly in the sustainable technology sector.
Is this the right way?
I couldn't tell you. This will be an era of many attempts at sustainable building and urban planning. Especially in the Middle East, where projects like The Line they will also explore radical (and potentially catastrophic) avenues.