A Closer Look at Egypt’s New Capital City
by Admin on March 28, 2019
Egypt’s New Capital is a once‑in‑a‑generation enterprise which aims to boost and diversify the country’s economic growth whilst simultaneously accommodating its rapid growth in population. On completion, the city will be home to 6.5 million residents, and promises to deliver state-of-the-art smart city services and an exceptional quality of life.
There has been an exponential increase in the Greater Cairo population over the past two decades. This has resulted in many challenges relating to congestion and overcrowding as well as the urban infrastructure suffering as a result of the increased strain placed on it. To help deal with this growing problem, the Egyptian Government came up with a proposition which involves creating a New Capital city that is smart and innovative. The New Administrative Capital is designed to address the rapid growth in population while also helping the economy achieve significant and diversified growth.
The new city was born following the Egypt Economic Development Conference that took place in 2015 under the patronage of President Sisi. Mr Mostafa Madbouly, Egypt’s Housing Minister at the time and current Prime Minister, announced the concept with the main goal being to help reduce the problems associated with Cairo’s dense population while also developing a new hub that would underpin the growth and development of future generations. In the same year, a direct road was constructed to join Cairo to the New Capital site.
Ambition and imagination
The government’s decision to relocate to the New Administrative Capital along with parliament and civic institutions clearly indicated their solid commitment to this enterprise. This level of dedication along with significant investments made in laying road networks and new infrastructure has resulted in private investors expressing an interest in the project, further assisting with the growth of the economy.
Upon completion in 2050, an estimated 6 million people will reside in one of the New Capital’s 21 newly built residential districts. Each of these will offer a variety of property types, facilities and amenities that support communal living and aim to provide Egyptian families with a higher standard of living. Alongside this, it is expected that at least 2 million jobs will be created, providing Egypt’s young population with more opportunities. The government acknowledges that health, welfare and economic well being for the population are enhanced with a higher standard of living and accommodation. The New Capital will offer a range of housing options at different entry prices; ensuring accessibility to all income groups especially those who have been unable to afford property in Cairo such as young professionals and the middle-class.
The New Capital will be supported by hundreds of medical facilities as well as a large number of academic institutions along with a new airport, cultural hubs and commercial centres. All of this will create a fully-fledged community that can thrive and grow.
The New Capital is without doubt a very ambitious endeavour; although it is one that can come to fruition and be implemented in a way that meets the needs of Egypt’s people. Currently, the project is progressing very well on a daily basis. The New Administrative Capital aims to create a life for Egyptian families on a grand scale that was once not possible. It is a huge undertaking that has the potential to create sustainable and long term growth along with ensuring that Egypt continues to grow as a nation.
This colossal venture, with its extraordinarily nature and great purpose, has elicited a strong sense of national pride and support for the project. As a result of this, a number of Egyptian companies have already started investing in Egypt's New Capital. The national drive and support has consequently led to a growing international interest and investment. The New Administrative Capital encapsulates the very heart and soul of Egypt and its people, proving that a bright future is just around the corner for this great country.
Capital Park consists of three commercial zones, spanning an area of 16 km2 and with a final build up area of 16,000,000 sqm. The three zones, known as Gateway, Downtown and Central Business District (CBD) will be built around a world-class Central Park that is larger in size than that of the Central Park in New York. At one end of the park will be a brand new Grand Mosque while at the other end Africa’s tallest skyscraper will stand at approximately 400 metres high – the Iconic Tower.
Central Park will be nestled between major roads and rail networks, turning it into the commercial lifeline for the New Capital as well as the communities that surround it. There will be around 450,000 employment opportunities created once Central Park reaches its completion phase, and will be home to a population of 180,000 people. Central Park is expected to receive as many as 2 million visitors each year.
Capital Park will cement itself as a national icon in the way that it will symbolise the progress and rich culture of Egypt. With it will come urban districts that offer smart living as well as business environments that attract investments and create employment opportunities, helping the economy to thrive and grow. All residents will benefit from exceptional living standards where they can benefit from active urban lifestyles and a greater level of community living that seamlessly brings people together.
State-of-the-art infrastructure and transportation systems will enable rapid internal and external connectivity for the thousands of commuters visiting the New Administrative Capital, via inter-city monorail, light rail, tram, and electric bus networks.
The sheer size of Central Park is awe-inspiring, covering more than 10 km in length, turning it into one of the biggest parks in the world. Designers have incorporated the natural landscape where it will make use of water and topography to give it a natural feel and appeal. The park will attract visitors to make use of its leisure and recreational facilities including sports clubs, botanical gardens and event spaces as well as pedestrianised routes lined with trees, creating a free environment for all to explore and embrace.
The Central Business District is designed to offer an exciting working environment while also operating as a business and finance centre. Upon completion, it will be known as an iconic development and will be recognised on an international level, consisting of impressive high-rise buildings, turning it into a symbol that underpins the strides made both culturally and economically in Egypt.
The Downtown District will become the beating heart of the New Administrative Capital, a cultural and recreational hub offering retail and hospitality opportunities. It will be home to theatres, galleries, shops, arcades, museums and more.
The Gateway District has been designed to become a centre of excellence where innovation and research take place incorporating high-tech businesses and medical university departments. Its proximity to the major highway network also makes it the appropriate location for logistics, retail and light industry.
The entire vision of this project has taken an impressive amount of planning as well as project management. The construction alone is on a grand scale and it all leads to a clear indication as to where Egypt and its government want the country to go. Capital Park will become the backbone of the new city and through this, it will enhance the way in which the economy will grow.
Central Business District East is the first stage of construction and this will set the standard for the entire development whereby sustainability and intelligent infrastructure will become apparent as a result of eco-friendly building designs, innovative resource management as well as renewable energy.
Central Business District East
The Central Business District East is set to become an icon in its own right and as it becomes recognised internationally, it will underpin the future of the New Administrative Capital. This new district has taken intricate planning and design in order to create an urban environment that incorporates intelligence and connectivity where residents can benefit from safety, high levels of security and an enhanced standard of living.
Each building and its design will link seamlessly through architectural design, smart aesthetics and materials that work cohesively, all of which will be delivered by recognised firms Dar Group and Perkins+ Will. Nonetheless, each building will have its own character and personality, creating a unique living environment.
The whole project will be identified by a notable landmark in the form of a sculptural tower that will become an icon for this development. The sculpture will have a crown full of lights with inspiration taken from the Obelisk of Luxor. Standing at almost 400 meters tall, it certainly captures the imagination and the eye and is set to be the highest building in Africa. It will provide businesses with access to 100,000 sqm of category A office space along with a plush and luxurious 5-star hotel. This structure will portray a feeling of power, stability and strength with an understated appearance yet refined details that capture the imagination.
Taking inspiration from the Nile Valley, a pedestrian area will run from east to west and directly through the heart of the Central Business District. This will bring together all areas, helping to create one single space that works cohesively. This main pedestrian area will link to the tower at the east end of the site, where water features and plants will help to create a feeling that replicates that seen in the Nile Valley. Within the plaza, the walkway itself divides and merges, again referencing the Key of Life. A sunken garden oasis provides optimum shading and retail opportunities for a variety of food and beverage venues.
CBD East will be easily identified to the surrounding area with six expansive office towers that are distinctively designed to flank the expressway on the northern perimeter and give this area a sense of character. The varying heights create an astounding appearance that will dominate the skyline in an impressive way. Five residential towers located to the south are given a unique design while providing residents with the chance to soak up the amazing views of the central park.
A mesmerising streetscape environment is created through the installation of exposed arcaded podiums that face the roads, bring together the offices, housing and retails aspects of the development. They will also offer residents and office workers the chance to explore eateries, retail shops as well as the opportunity to socialise on a whole new level. To further enhance commitment that this development has made to the environment, each roof will be covered in succulents that consume low amounts of water while helping to insulate the spaces that sit below, creating a charming environment within.
Nestled in between the high-rise buildings, world-class spaces can be found with the aim of helping the flow of pedestrians, creating an urban experience that has never been seen before. Each space will be landscaped with natural grasses and plants that can only be found in Egypt, creating an authentic feeling and setting.
On display throughout this project are architectural designs that are innovative and forward thinking while there will be infrastructure systems that are advanced beyond anything seen before. Once completed, the self-sufficient and independent district is poised to set a new international standard in ‘smart city’ design.
Ministerial and Financial Districts
Bringing together the past, present and the future of Egypt, the new Ministerial District showcases a real reflection of true culture and heritage seen throughout Egypt. However, contemporary designs and smart work spaces have been created to deliver a suitable working environment for an expansive and forward-thinking workforce.
Over 100,000 employees will reside at the Ministerial District once it is completed and here they will be able to move around the district using the tram systems, light rail, and monorail that make it possible to transverse this sprawling landscape. A linear park is at the heart of the district, offering exceptional levels of design and will also be home to civic buildings such as a gallery, museum and an exhibition centre.
The Financial District will sit alongside the Ministerial District, where it will become the home to many of the most highly regarded banks in Egypt as well as many financial institutions, in addition to a wide variety of shopping centres, hotels, cafes and restaurants. A new Central Station District will provide access to transport, where people will be able to access other areas of the city as well as further afield. The Ministerial District, Financial District and the Central Station District will showcase the future standards expected of urban developments as well as the way in which they provide a high-level of living for users.
Adapted from a Special Feature on Egypt's New Administrative Capital in darmagazine i16 (January 2019).
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