There's no dearth of good city models in the world, and for the governments or leaders wanting to replicate, there's inspiration galore. On Sunday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the first non-profit city in the world, to be established in the Iqrah neighbourhood of Riyadh. More than 44% of the total area of the city will be allocated to green open spaces aimed at promoting sustainable development.
With several initiatives, the city aims at being the hub for the development of the non-profit sector globally by attracting youth and volunteer groups, local and international non-profit institutions and organisations.
While furnishing the details of the project, the crown prince said, "This will the first non-profit city of its kind, which will contribute to achieving the goals of Misk Foundation in supporting innovation, entrepreneurship and qualifying future leaders by defining non-profit work in its internal operational concept and in terms of opportunities and youth training programs it will provide. In addition, the project will provide services that contribute to creating an attractive environment for all beneficiaries of the city's offerings."
He further added, "Prince Mohammed bin Salman Nonprofit City, which implements the digital twin model, will host academies, colleges, Misk Schools, a conference centre, a science museum and a creative centre offering space to support the ambitions of innovators in sciences and new generation technology such as AI, loT and robotics."
City with its 'art' at the right place
With an emphasis on arts, the city will also house an arts academy, art gallery, a performing arts theatre, a play area, a cooking academy and an integrated residential complex. The city will be located in the Iqrah neighbourhood, adjacent to Wadi Hanifa and spread over an area of 3.4 square kilometres. Being a sustainable city, it will also be pedestrian-friendly.
"Learn about Mohammed bin Salman City which will redefine non-profit work, create an attractive environment for beneficiaries and drive global community contributions," Misk Foundation posted on its official Twitter handle, much to the approval of netizens. Some, however, were sceptical of the idea taking off.
Talking of technologically-advanced cities
Coming up and in the news for a while now, is also Toyota's Smart City. To be located near Mt Fuji in Japan, 62 miles from Tokyo, Toyota's smart city aims at making self-driving cars and AI homes a street reality. Dubbed as the Woven City, it will be home to 2,000 residents but will initially test waters with 360 residents spread across demographics.
It was in the offing
In January of this year, in a rare televised appearance, Prince Mohammed bin Salman had also revealed plans of an eco-city to be known as The Line. The city will be able to house nearly a million people in, "carbon positive urban developments powered by 100 per cent clean energy with zero cars and no streets." The proposed smart city will be located in Neom, Tabuk and is part of the Saudi Vision 2030 project.