Nature Middle East. A newly unveiled project to build a sustainable, low-carbon city in Algeria—Boughzoul—may serve as a prototype for urban development in other cities of the developing world without adding to greenhouse gas emissions.
The new city of Boughzoul will be located inland, 200km south of the capital Algiers. The project is being spearheaded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which will provide 8.5 million USD, along with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The city is designed to have low-carbon emissions from the early stages of construction to the everyday running of the city.
“Urbanization is a fact of life happening today in developing countries. Today roughly half of the world's population lives in urban areas. This share is projected to reach 60% by 2030,” said Monique Barbut, chief of the GEF. “This means that cities of the developing world will welcome in the next 20 years more people than those living today in Europe and the US,” she added.
The planners hope Boughzoul will be a city of 400,000 residents after it is completed in 2025. Besides Boughzoul, there are several other initiatives to develop low-carbon cities in other countries, such as Masdar in the United Arab Emirates. The first phase of Masdar will be habitable by 2015. Masdar is also home to Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which opened in 2009 and focuses on research on clean energy.