Construction Begins on Kenyan Smart City

By Gordon Feller

Gordon Feller is the Co-Founder of Meeting of the Minds, a global thought leadership network and knowledge-sharing platform focused on the future of sustainable cities, innovation and technology.

The development of Konza Technology City – dubbed “Africa’s Silicon Savannah” – is finally underway, following a ground breaking ceremony by Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on January 23, 2013.

Konza Technology City is a US$7-10.0 billion Greenfield project to be developed at a 5000 acre site at Konza, 60 kilometers south of Nairobi. This 20-year, four-phase development is a flagship project of Vision 2030, Kenya’s economic blueprint for attaining middle-income status by year 2030.

[map width=”300″ height=”310″ zoom=”6″]
[marker address=”konza, kenya”]Konza, Kenya[/marker]
[/map]

Konza will be a planned smart city, complete with ICT parks focused on what the founders are calling “IT-Enabled Services (ITES)”. By this they mean to include “Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Software Development, Data Centers, Disaster Recovery Centers, and Call Centers”; light assembly manufacturing industries, residential, financial “and social amenities to provide a high quality of life”.

The first phase of development will take up 150 acres and lead to the construction of the “Business Pavilion”, which will host the Konza Master Plan Exhibition Hall and administrative offices.

Konza City will be managed by the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KOTDA).

To enable the implementation of the Konza City project, the Kenyan Government contracted the services of HR&A Advisors of New York in July 2012 . HR&A is serving as a Master Delivery Partner for six months, with the goal being to come up with a business development strategy detailing the vision of the proposed technology city. HR&A is also creating an implementation plan which includes these elements: Anchor Tenant Strategy, Physical Master Plan, Infrastructure Financing Plan, Business and Cash-Flow Plan and a Governance Plan for KOTDA. HR&A are set to finalize their contractual mandate in a few days.

Discussion

Leave your comment below, or reply to others.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read more from the CityMinded.org Blog

Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology

Smart Cities and the Weather

A study by the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in 2008 found that the impact of routine weather events on the US economy equates annually to about 3.4% of the country’s GDP (about $485 billion). This excludes the impact of extreme weather events that cause damage and disruption – after all, even “ordinary” weather affects supply of and demand for many items, and the propensity of businesses and consumers to buy them. NCAR found that mining and agriculture are particularly sensitive to weather influences, with utilities and retail not far behind.

Many of these, disaster management included, are the focus of smart city innovations. Not surprisingly, therefore, as they seek to improve and optimize these systems, smart cities are beginning to understand the connection between weather and many of their goals.  A number of vendors (for example, IBM, Schneider Electric, and others) now offer weather data-driven services focused specifically on smart city interests.

Invest in Resilience Before Disaster Strikes

Investing in at-risk communities before disaster strikes is one of the most cost-effective ways to protect residents and property while increasing their ability to weather the severe storms ahead. At Enterprise Community Partners, our Resilient Communities Initiative works nationwide to strengthen communities and equip residents so they are better prepared for, and able to respond to extreme weather events and other emergencies. We provide technical assistance, grant funding, research and analysis, and build innovative tools to support this goal.

Meeting of the Minds is made possible by the generous support of these organizations.