THE NEXT EVOLUTION IN
NET ZERO CITIES

THE NEXT EVOLUTION IN NET ZERO CITIES

NEXGEN SUSTAINABLE CITY

Nexgen sustainable city by URB, will become the world’s first climate positive city producing more energy and food than it consumes. The city is designed to provide food, energy and water security whilst also creating a green economy.

Planned for the eastern district of Cairo in Egypt, the 580 hectare sustainable city will provide 9,000 residential units for a population of 35,000 residents. The project will create 10,000 jobs with majority focusing on green tech industries such as food-tech, energy-tech, water-tech and waste-tech, thus creating a circular green economy for the city.

Eco tourism, medical tourism, retail, edutainment and leisure facilities will transform the city into a unique destination for visitors. Hospitality facilities include a 5 star eco resort, glamping lodges, ecotourism visitor center and a nature reserve conservation hub. Medical facilities include an autism village, rehabilitation & wellness center as well as clinics.

URB are the mastermind behind the project, whose founder led designs of various sustainable cities including The Sustainable City Yiti Oman, The Sustainable City Yas Island, The Sustainable City Amman & Phase 2 of The Sustainable City Dubai and many more yet to be revealed.

Having gained and harnessed invaluable knowledge leading the designs of such projects, Baharash Bagherian, CEO of URB explains the significance of Nexgen in the evolution of sustainable cities.

“The creation of the next generation Net Zero cities that provide Food, Energy and Water as security is no longer a choice… it has become a necessity. Nexgen is the next evolution in Sustainable cities that provide innovative multi-functional solutions for social, economic, and environmental challenges whilst setting the highest sustainability standards for building resilient & liveable cities.”

Nexgen will be the first climate positive city producing more renewable energy & food than it consumes. Food security currently affects one in four of the world’s population. The project provides state-of-the-art agricultural solutions that address the critical food-energy-water nexus.

As an edge-less city, Nexgen will continuously restore carbon-rich habitats and climate-friendly agriculture, thus investing in nature for ecosystem resilience and regeneration. As such the city will become a positive climate action city.

The city was developed with a focus primarily on passive design techniques such as orientation, density and form which require the least financial investment yet provide the highest environmental gains.

The landscape is the heart & arteries to the entire development, providing a variation of community spaces and activities that promote social engagement to create a vibrant city. The planning & density was optimised to maximise green spaces to create a livable and resilient city by providing a high ratio of open space to development footprint. The landscape strategy will also help create a “cooler” environment where air temperature is lower than average.

All the sustainability elements within the city will become features and thus are more than functional. They will add educational and aesthetic value  and are integrated to promote a sustainable lifestyle experience.

URB have become a global leader in developing sustainable cities with several international projects currently in planning stages.

KEY FACTS

  • 580 hectares with total population of 35,000 residents
  • 9,000 residential units with variation of town houses and apartments for all levels of income.
  • Smart self-sufficient city providing food, energy, and water security.
  • Climate positive city producing more renewable energy & food than it consumes
  • Solar powered atmospheric water generators will produce clean drinking water from the air.
  • 100% walkable city with dedicated running, cycling & equestrian tracks.
  • Eco resorts, nature reserve & leisure facilities to promote ecotourism.
  • Medical hub with facilities such as an autism village & wellness center as well as clinics for medical tourism.
  • State-of-the art educational facilities including nursery, school, and an institute.
  • Waste recycling facilities and biogas plant for a zero-waste city.
  • The green spaces of the community will be productive as well as aesthetically pleasing.

SUSTAINABILITY DNA

The project was developed to follow the highest sustainability standards and a holistic approach to provide multifunctional solutions which address all the three key pillars of sustainability, social, economic and environmental, with an aim to create the world’s most sustainable city. As such an ambitious sustainability brief with clear targets and initiatives was created for the project  to help guide the design in the pursuit of the sustainability goals and to create the next generation of Net Zero city.

These targets and initiatives was divided into categories to create a unique sustainability DNA. Some of these categories included water, energy, food, waste, mobility, building materials, health & wellbeing, pollution, ecology, green & blue infrastructure etc..  The integration of all these sustainability elements into the design at the early stages helped to achieve the highest level of social, environmental and economic sustainability.

Key planning principles at the early stages was one of the key drivers of creating Nexgen sustainable city. Basic design decisions such as orientation, density and form provided the biggest environmental gains, yet these required the least financial investment. Thus at the early stages of the project we were able to reduce a large amount of energy demand with little cost.

The project was further optimised using various tools, methods and analysis such as energy modelling, microclimate analysis, solar radiation analysis, daylight simulations/ analysis and glare control, water efficiency, water recycling, life cycle costing analysis, waste management and waste recycling analysis, sustainable landscaping and urban drainage analysis.

Ultimately, the reduction in CO2 emissions will be holistically reduced to go beyond net zero goals through all the various initiatives which was used to develop the project such as green transport, renewable energy, highly efficient technologies, low-carbon design etc.

MASTERPLAN

Nexgen-Sustainable-City_masterplan_URB

KEY PLANNING PRINCIPLES

GREEN HEART

The multifunctional landscape is the heart & arteries of the city, connecting residents to all amenities within minutes whilst promoting biodiversity, health, wellbeing, to create a vibrant, resilient social neighborhood.

ORIENTATION

The orientation of the city was optimised to reduce energy demand whilst providing optimal shading for walkways within residential clusters as well as optimum wind flows.

DENSITY

Density is optimized to be at the highest along the heart of the project, thus reducing walking distances for majority of population and promoting a more inclusive and connected community.

PASSIVE DESIGN STRATEGIES SUCH AS
ORIENTATION, DENSITY AND FORM
REQUIRE THE LEAST FINANCIAL
INVESTMENT YET PROVIDE THE HIGHEST
ENVIRONMENTAL GAINS

GREEN & BLUE INFRASTRUCTURE

WATER SENSITIVE URBAN DESIGN

WSUD is integrated into the landscape design to create a resilient and liveable city. The wadi and arteries are an integrated system that work as a network for storm water management as both retention and infiltration.

GREEN SPINE

The city is wrapped by a green spine that features a green industrial hub and an integrated network of biophilic systems which allow nature to thrive whilst promoting resilience through various strategies.

FEW+W NEXUS

The project features the world’s first of it’s kind scalable farms with high tech agricultural, energy, water & waste solutions that address the critical Food-Energy-Water + Waste Nexus. Rooftop solar farms & shading are also integrated into the design.

THE WORLD’S FIRST SCALABLE & FULLY
INTEGRATED FOOD, ENERGY, WATER +
WASTE FARMS

WALKABLE CITY

CAR FREE ZONE

Various holistic landscape strategies have enabled a design that maximises the landscape ratio to create a truly walkable city. The design will promote social activities, biodiversity and microclimate optimisation which will also mitigate effects of rising temperatures and urban heat islands.

WALKABILITY

The city is designed and optimised in planning to be the most walkable city on earth. Primary and secondary networks are well shaded and connected with other modes of green transport to offer residents the safest, most convenient and enjoyable travel to every aspect of the city.

LIMITED VEHICULAR ACCESS

Vehicular access is limited to the ring road and solar car park farms which are optimised to further reduce the walking distances for residents to their homes. Electric charging stations and reduced energy costs will promote the use of electric vehicles.

THE MULTIFUNCTIONAL LANDSCAPE IS
THE HEART OF THE PROJECT, PROMOTING
A CARBON-FREE HEALTHY LIVING
ENVIRONMENT & ENABLING A WALKABLE
CITY FULLY INTEGRATED WITH
ALTERNATIVE MODES OF GREEN
TRANSPORT

ACTIVE MOBILITY

CYCLING + E-BUGGY

Alternative modes of transport such as cycling and electric buggies are integrated into the city, which is planned as primary and secondary hierarchy networks. These will give residents the most convenient, safe and carbon-emissions-free transport experience.

A-EV SHUTTLE

An autonomous E.V shuttle system will provide residents and visitors with convenient shuttle service and are well connected to all the hubs & facilities within the city. Each E.V shuttle stop is adjacent to a cycling and buggy station. The project also features an electric park & ride system for visitors.

DEDICATED TRACKS

The city provides 11.5 km of dedicated running and cycling tracks which are continuous and are integrated within the landscape design. A dedicated 2.4 km loop of equestrian track also connects with the equestrian center.

VARIOUS HUBS INCLUDING MEDICAL,
TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT, LEISURE &
RETAIL WILL CREATE A UNIQUE
SUSTAINABLE DESTINATION FOR VISITORS

LIVEABLE CITY

The landscape plays a key role in creating a livable city. As a biophlilic city, the landscape design will provide various environmental, social and economic benefits for its residents such as reducing air pollution, promoting biodiversity, managing storm water, increasing social interaction and connecting the community together. Nexgen uses nature as a multi-functional natural system complimented by green and blue infrastructure.

As the heart and arteries to the entire project, the landscape will help create a carbon sink and minimise the carbon footprint whilst promoting a healthy living environment and enhancing local air quality. The car-free strategy and alternative modes of transport will further help reduce carbon emission.

The design was optimised to increase the portion of greenspace through optimisation of urban planning strategies such as density, land use distribution, mobility & building typologies. More than 60% of the land area is dedicated to open spaces, such as productive landscapes, non-productive landscapes, permeable pavements, sports fields, courtyards etc.

Nexgen retains and enhances biodiversity, resilience & liveability  through its unique terrestrial environment. Rain gardens & bioretention areas are low-maintenance and require no irrigation, yet reduce the volume of runoff whilst creating habitat for birds, butterflies and beneficial insects. Low-maintenance landscape, xeriscape and drought-tolerant planting will offer significantly less water consumption.

The landscape will also create a “cooler” community by lowering peak temperature within the city and mitigating the Urban Heat Islands. Trees and plants are chosen on their ability to be drought tolerant, provide shade, fix nitrogen in the soil, produce food and create habitat.

Ultimately the landscape has multiple uses. It connects residents with the various hubs within the city whilst serving as an educational tool by integrating and highlighting all the sustainability elements within the city.

Ultimately the landscape has multiple uses. It connects residents with the various hubs within the city whilst serving as an educational tool by integrating and highlighting all the sustainability elements within the city.

BLUE & GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE &
WATER SENSITIVE URBAN DESIGN ARE
INTEGRATED TO PROMOTE BIODIVERSITY,
RESILIENCE & LIVEABILITY THROUGH A
UNIQUE TERRESTRIAL ENVIRONMENT

RESILIENT CITY

Nexgen Sustainable City has the capacity to maintain the same level of quality of life, should there be any future shocks or stresses to its environment. The project integrates blue and green infrastructure to create a resilient and liveable city.

The landscape is designed with large collection of engineered natural areas to provide variation of habitats for wildlife, rain water harvesting, mitigating flooding, better air quality and cleaner water.

To create a resilient urban environment, Nexgen adopts holistic water sensitive urban design [WSUD] strategies which brings many benefits to its residents as well as the environment such as Minimising discharge of stormwater, protecting and enhancing ecological assets and providing high quality of life to residents in any event. Constructed wadis, site topography, rainwater gardens, bioswales & permeable paving are just a few examples.

As a sponge city, Nexgen makes the most use of any rainwater, reusing this free natural resource by storing, cleaning and harvesting this overlooked commodity.

The landscape focuses on water-sensitive urban design, through careful selection of plants and trees as well as the employing of smart irrigation systems and water retention strategies.

The Wadi plays a crucial role in stormwater management as both retention and infilteration system. This open channel is planned at the heart of the project with the topography engineered to allow for runoff to be collected by the arteries which also feature WSUD. The topography allows for the runoff to be directed naturally to the wadi. This holistic integrated natural systems provide for flow conveyance, sedimentation, infilteration and evapo-transpiration.

The mobility strategy, land use densification and landscape design strategy have created a cooler city though the generation of a micro climate within the development. The green spine that wraps around the city as well as the stabilization of soil with vegetation will ensure minimal dust concentrations inside the city.

Scalable food, energy and water farms, bioswales, planter boxes, rain gardens, permeable pavements, green roofs, efficient zero-waste management system are all fully integrated and are just some of the multifaceted solutions that are working together as a complete network to create one of the most resilient cities on earth.

THE MULTI-FUNCTIONAL WADI WILL
ENHANCE RESILIENCE & LIVEABILITY TO
CREATE A SPONGE CITY THAT PROMOTES
SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT IN WATER
MANAGEMENT WHILST ALSO CREATING
VARIATION OF HABITATS FOR WILDLIFE

PRODUCTIVE CITY

Nexgen is a productive city incorporating many different urban farming methods such as community gardens, bio domes, aquaponics, vertical farms, biosaline agriculture and world’s first scalable FEW+W Nexus farms.

The landscape is productive and features community gardens to promote social engagement and are great educational tools for children. Beyond creating an abundance of food for people, urban farming promotes healthy eating and healthy lifestyles, it inspires and educates youth, whilst bringing the community together. Urban farming is thus the social glue, increasing community cohesion and social interaction.

Nexgen will also feature the world’s first scalable food-energy-water & waste farms which are linked to one another. The city also recycles reject brine water from desalination to farm fish and halophytic plants like Quinoa and Salicornia. The city will produce healthy and nutritious food without a negative impact for the environment to promote sustainability, nutrition and food security.

Urban farming will strengthen the resilience of the city whilst providing youth with a sense of stewardship and better understanding of the food system.

Residents will receive their caloric intake from variation of locally grown produce including fruits, vegetables, leafy and micro-greens, mushrooms, poultry, fish, dairy etc. The city will feature innovative solutions of advancing the global transition to sustainable food systems.

Ultimately vertical farming and the latest agri-tech will provide higher yields and reductions in groundwater contamination from agriculture runoffs. Exponential water savings and increased nutritional density are also some additional benefits of vertical farming.

COMMUNITY GARDENS GIVE RESIDENTS A
SENSE OF “STEWARDSHIP” IN THE
COMMUNITY, THUS INCREASING SOCIAL
RESPONSIBILITY, AND REDUCING ANTI-
SOCIAL BEHAVIOR, ISOLATION AND
STRESS

SMART CITY

The city has integrated technology such as Information Communication Technologies [ICT] and the Internet of Things [IoTs] into its hard and soft infrastructures. These technologies will transform the cities networks and services into a more efficient, intelligent and collborative ecosystem.

At a city level, Nexgen has a smart grid strategy in various layers such as energy, water, food, waste, air quality, health & wellbeing to provide resources more efficiently and equitably to residents. E.V charging stations, self driving cars & solar farms are just some of the components that will improve connectivity, sustainability, and livability.

Nexgen will import yet export more renewable energy through a two-way grid system, thus creating a green economy for the city. Home energy-management solutions are enabled with transmission and distribution by the city’s smart solar grid systems. Homes are equipped with smart meters, network and security architectures, switching products and routing to create a renewable solar distributed generation grid.

Nexgen also embeds sensors within its infrastructure which are connected to the IoTs and can communicate in real time to various components within the city. For example, waste can be collected upon receiving automatic notification that they are full. Real-time user data can be analysed to provide an estimate of the day and time of future waste collections.

Smart water systems will reduce resident water consumption. All bathrooms, kitchens, water features, irrigation systems and facilities will integrate highly efficient water saving technologies. Drinking water is also produced on-site through solar powered air-to-water generators.

At a building level, sensors play a key role. Indoor lighting and temperature can automatically be adjusted based on various variables. These variables include the number of occupants in a room, the time of day as well as exterior weather and light conditions. All buildings will have embedded sensors to detect motion, temperature, noise, moisture, fire, smoke etc… to provide real-time data and help improve operational efficiency, safety and security.

The city also adopts the world’s first high-tech scalable FEW+W smart urban farms which use saline water. In addition to biosaline agriculture, the city provides vertical farms, aquaponics, fish and dairy farms which will be enabled by data science, IoT, AI, and automation and are able to produce higher quality foods that are locally grown.

As a smart city, Nexgen uses various technologies and will support start-ups and businesses in its green-tech hub to close the loop between food, water, energy, and waste. The Nexgen Institute will become the brain of the city and the educational tool for educating business on sustainable practices and to promote a bottom-up entrepreneurship. With conference and training facilities Nexgen institute will promote sustainability within the region to accelerate the transition towards sustainable development.

Ultimately Nexgen will become a living lab, constantly monitoring the services & resources, using Artificial Intelligence for predictive analysis, piloting new innovations as well analysing user feedback in the city to evolve into the smartest city on earth.

THE NEXT GENERATION OF NET ZERO
CITY TO OFFER THE HIGHEST
SUSTAINABILITY STANDARDS & A UNIQUE
DESTINATION FOR PEOPLE TO LIVE, WORK
& VISIT

ECOTOURISM CITY

Nexgen sustainable city will promote ecotourism to bring many benefits to the community whilst also enhancing travelers experience. As an edge-less city surrounded by a buffer of nature reserve and with hospitality components such as a 5star Eco resort and eco lodges as well as a nature conversation centre and an ecotourism visitor centre, Nexgen will become a unique destination for travellers.

Sustainable tourism will increase employment and provide long-term income-earning opportunities for the community. The conservation centre will conserve natural heritage, biodiversity and local ecosystems with an aim to provide the same level of benefits to future generations. Nexgen Institute will empower local businesses towards green practices to enable the growth of a sustainable travel & tourism sector which is growing faster than the global economy and most other major industries.

The ecotourism visitor centre will monitor the impacts associated with tourism activities within the city, as well as providing preventive measures without compromising traveler’s satisfaction. The centre will also educate travellers as well as school children on minimsing their impact on the environment, thus will become an edutainment attraction.