Rwanda Plans To Start Building A $5B Climate-Resilient City

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

Rwanda continues to stand out as a tech pioneer in Africa with a new environmentally-friendly city project expected to break ground in the capital city of Kigali.

Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2020 on what is called the Green City Pilot project, embracing green technologies and innovations for climate-resilient urbanization, according to CNBCAfrica.

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The self-sustaining city will be a first of its kind in Africa, according to TheNewTimes.

It is expected to feature a system that prevents environmental degradation and air pollution, and will cost in the region of $5 billion, according to TheNerveAfrica.

Once completed, the city is expected to include electric vehicles, electric bicycle and motorcycle lanes, renewable energy, sustainable waste treatment, biogas plants, and urban forests.

Plans are in the works for mini-factories with clean technologies, affordable housing, and integrated craft production centers included within its design, allowing it to be considered a climate-resilient city, Face2faceAfrica reports.

A climate-resilient city is defined by Impakter as the ability of systems within a city to withstand and respond to changes in the earth’s climate.

climate-resilient city electronic world trade platform
Rwandan president Paul Kagame’s government is building a climate-resilient city in Kigali. Image – AP Photo – Seth Wenig

Germany’s KfW Development Bank is assisting with funding for the project. Sweco, a European engineering and architecture firm, is supporting Rwanda in implementing the city, TheNewTimes reports.

A climate-resilient city in the ‘cleanest city on the planet’

The Rwandan government has focused on making Kigali cleaner and more environmentally friendly.

Earlier this year, at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, U.N. Environment Program head Eric Solheim recognized Kigali as the “cleanest city on the planet”, according to Reuters.

He was referring to both a lack of rubbish on the streets and the focus on green initiatives such as this city.

The Green City Pilot is not the first ambitious project involving the construction of a purpose-built city in Rwanda.

In 2018, the government started the construction of the Kigali Innovation City, a $2 billion project aimed at creating a tech-focused area complete with universities, tech companies, biotech firms, and commercial and retail real estate, TechinAfrica reported.

The city construction is ongoing, with investors invited to come forward. Pan-African infrastructure investment firm Africa 50 is planning to invest $400 million in the project’s construction phase, PropertyMagRwanda reports.