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Kuwait net zero city planned for 2034

Green utopia: XZERO City residents grow vegetables in community gardens
  • Gulf nation aims to provide sustainable lifestyle for 100,000 residents
  • XZERO City is planning 30,000 carbon-free homes on 1,600 hectares
  • Dubai-based URB chose Kuwait as housing demand outpacing supply 

Construction of the world’s largest sustainable community is scheduled to start in Kuwait in 2024. 

The new megacity, it is claimed, will provide a net zero carbon lifestyle for 100,000 residents, as the Gulf country aims to tackle rising demand for energy and water.

Dubai-based URB, the company behind XZERO City, is planning to build 30,000 homes in the 1,600-hectare development in the southern region of Kuwait.

CEO Baharash Bagherian, who has previously masterplanned other sustainable cities in the region, told AGBI that the ambitious project will be financed in a joint venture with private investors, and is expected to be completed by 2034.

He said Kuwait was chosen as the location partly because the growth in housing demand continues to outpace growth in the supply. 

“Coupled with the challenges of climate change and the need for a higher quality of life, Kuwait is a perfect location for such communities,” he said.

Aerial view of planned XZERO City

He added that the project will create 30,000 green jobs across medical, tourism, technology, educational, retail and entertainment hubs.

XZERO City aims to build on the success seen at The Sustainable City in Dubai, which has been hailed by the World Bank for its impact on CO2 emissions, water consumption and waste. 

The announcement comes as the construction sector is estimated to account for about 17 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the GCC region. The consumption of water and energy and the production of waste per capita in Kuwait are also currently among the highest in the world.

The Ministry of Electricity and Water estimates that water demand could increase by 50 percent between 2015 and 2030.

The Kuwait National Development Plan aims to bring the country’s ranking in climate and energy indicators to 63rd in the world by 2035, compared to 161st among 180 countries measured in 2018. 

For the rate of diversion for sending waste to landfill, it also aims to hit 80 percent in 2035, up from zero percent in 2018. The Greentech hub will promote an innovative environment in food, energy, water and waste tech. 

The city’s medical hub will feature an autism village, wellness centre and clinics. An educational hub will feature a nursery, school and institute and the commercial hub will include an indoor mall and flexible office spaces.

It will run entirely on renewable energy and will recycle all water and waste, while also aiming for 100 percent food security. The car-free city will feature an autonomous electric shuttle system, as well as 44km of dedicated running, cycling and equestrian tracks. 

Water, Nature, Outdoors
Community incorporates urban agtech methods such as bio domes and vertical farms

Green benchmark

According to URB, XZERO City will also promote sustainable tourism through hospitality assets including a five-star eco resort and eco lodges. Edutainment attractions such as a park and nature conservation centre also aim to transform the city into a visitor attraction. 

Bagherian added: “As a self-sufficient city, XZERO will provide all the residents’ caloric food intake on site through its productive landscape. 

“The city incorporates many different urban farming methods such as community gardens, biodomes, aquaponics, vertical farms and biosaline agriculture. 

“It will also harvest all the renewable energy needs locally, while also recycling its waste and water on site. The creation of cities that follow the highest standards of sustainability is no longer a choice. It has become a necessity.”

He added: “Ultimately the city will provide the highest quality of life whilst protecting the environment for future generations. 

“It will become a new benchmark for future cities to be planned in balance with nature, while promoting a greener circular economy.”

Person, Human, Housing
City aims to create 30,000 jobs across medicine, tourism, tech, education, retail and entertainment

Bagherian has been behind recently launched projects such as AlNama, a zero-carbon city in Saudi Arabia’s Asir province, with more in the pipeline.

Unveiled by URB last month, it will promote sustainable living in a 10 sq km community for 44,000 people. 

In January, Diamond Developers and Abu Dhabi-listed Aldar Properties entered into a joint venture agreement to develop the $490 million The Sustainable City Yas Island, with construction set to start by the end of this year.

In April, construction firm Galfar Engineering & Contracting was awarded a contract for The Sustainable City – Yiti project in Oman. Slated for completion by 2025, it will include 1,657 eco-friendly homes plus hospitality assets.

In 2021, The Sustainable City in Dubai avoided more than 8,000 tons of CO2 roughly equivalent to removing 853 cars from the roads for a year. 

Average daily water consumption stood at 162 litres per capita, compared to Dubai’s average of 278. More than 80 percent of household waste is sorted and recycled.

Ismail Radwan, lead economist for the GCC for the World Bank, which invests an average of $6 billion in urban development and resilience projects every year, described the figures as “remarkable.”

He said: “If the world is to reach its ambitious climate change commitments and avoid catastrophic global warming, green buildings and sustainable cities will be an important part of the solution. 

“It is estimated that the construction sector accounts for approximately 17 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the GCC. 

“Adopting best practice building techniques can have a tremendous impact on global warming.”

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