Growing a City for 1,000,000 : Master Plan for the City between the Forest and the Ocean, Senegal
Much of the world is currently witnessing urbanization of a hitherto unprecedented pace and scale. While the phenomenon of urbanization in the African context is much discussed, less attention has been paid to what kind of built environments are being produced. In many cases, the pressure to build entire cities very rapidly from scratch has resulted in unethical developments, often by foreign contractors, resulting in places without proper provisions for basic infrastructure such as water, sanitation, or electricity, and built without involving the local communities or proper consideration of the local context. Greater Dakar, the capital of Senegal in West Africa, is facing a boom in its urban population. This project investigates strategies to “grow” a new city for up to 1 million inhabitants, based on five design principles: the City for Everyone; the City of Sustainable Mobility; the 5-Minute City; the Blue, Green and Healthy City; and the City of Distinct Identity. The central research question that is being addressed by design is how a very large city can function in a highly sustainable manner, from ecological, social and economic perspectives. This includes the question of how such new settlements can grow and mature in a controlled way, while also maintaining and developing its own distinct identity, and how a new settlement for a population of 1 million can be provided with water.