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Nexgen: Net Zero City, Egypt

🇪🇬 Egypt.



Net zero cities, also known as carbon-neutral cities, refer to urban areas that aim to achieve a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions they produce and the amount they remove from the atmosphere. The primary goal of a net zero city is to reduce its carbon footprint and environmental impact to a minimum level, striving for a state of carbon neutrality.


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 the 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, an ecotourism visitor center, and a nature reserve conservation hub. Medical facilities include an autism village, rehabilitation & wellness center as well as clinics.

The project was developed to follow the highest sustainability standards and a holistic approach to provide multifunctional solutions which address all 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.


The project was further optimized using various tools, methods, and analyses such as energy modeling, 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 were used to develop the project such as green transport, renewable energy, highly efficient technologies, low-carbon design, etc.



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

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

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

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 livable city. The landscape is designed with a large collection of engineered natural areas to provide a variation of habitats for wildlife, rainwater harvesting, mitigating flooding, better air quality, and cleaner water. To create a resilient urban environment, Nexgen adopts holistic water-sensitive urban design [WSUD] strategies that bring many benefits to its residents as well as the environment such as Minimizing the discharge of stormwater, protecting and enhancing ecological assets, and providing high-quality life to residents in any event. Constructed wadis, site topography, rainwater gardens, bioswales & permeable paving are just a few examples.

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

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