New Cities Foundation and King Abdullah Economic City announce first global forum on world’s most important new city projects
Cityquest – KAEC Forum, New Models for the Urban Century to take place in King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia – November 25-26, 2013
King Abdullah Economic City, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – October 3, 2013. The New Cities Foundation and King Abdullah Economic City have announced the first-ever high level global event dedicated to the world’s largest new city projects: Cityquest – KAEC Forum, New Models for the Urban Century.
The invitation-only Forum will take place in King Abdullah Economic City, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, from November 25 – 26, 2013. It is co-organized by the New Cities Foundation, an international non-profit organization, and King Abdullah Economic City, one of the largest and most ambitious new city projects globally, encompassing a total area of 168 million sqm along the coast of the Red Sea, and with a capacity to host a population of two million people when is completed.
As the world enters the most rapid phase of urbanization in its history, new cities are being built to meet the soaring demand for urban lifestyles and to accelerate the growth of the global economy. Located primarily in the Middle East and Asia, these projects represent hundreds of billions of dollars of investments, and hundreds of thousands of potential employment opportunities. They are also laboratories for new innovations and technologies to be tested and scaled.
Cityquest – KAEC Forum gathers the largest, boldest new city projects from around the world. It is open exclusively to a select group of up to 150 senior government and business leaders involved in building these cities of the future. The primary aims of the event are to exchange practical knowledge and concrete learning, and to build a strong and lasting network between new city leaders.
The event will bring together the developers of large-scale new cities and city projects from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia. They will be joined by specialists from a wide range of industries, including government, finance, technology, architecture, construction, transport, tourism and education, which all play an important role in bringing these new cities from the architect’s table to reality.
King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), Saudi Arabia
King Abdullah Economic City is one of the largest and most significant economic projects run by the private sector in the Middle East. The city covers 168 million square meters of land and is being developed into a fully integrated city. The city consists of: the Seaport, the Industrial Valley, the Leisure and Commercial districts, the Haramain district, the Residential Coastal districts and the Resorts. KAEC represents one of the most innovator public private partnerships around the world and is the flagship of the Saudi government’s economic cities program.
Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), India
12km from the Ahmedabad International Airport, GIFT city is a global financial and IT services hub aimed at attracting finance and tech firms away from traditional centers such as Mumbai, Bangalore and Gurgaon where infrastructure is either inadequate or very expensive. GIFT’s multi speciality economic zone (SEZ) will provide a high quality of life and will implement measures to promote employment, attracting talent from across the world.
HafenCity Hamburg, Germany
Europe’s largest inner city development project, covering 157 hectares, HafenCity defines a new downtown - in both urban planning and architectural terms. HafenCity has reinforced Hamburg’s position as a maritime city, combining waterfront with integrated offices and housing, Its construction, which is well underway, has provided a new model for development for city centers across Europe.
Located in Johor, the Southern gateway to Peninsular Malaysia, Iskandar has easy access to leading Asian cities. Five flagship zones will be developed in Iskandar, incorporating technology parks, an international airport, a university park, a medical hub and a free trade zone.
Lavasa is one of India’s first planned hill cities aimed at creating a new standard of life, with all essential components of daily life within walking distance of each other. The plan is based on the principles of New Urbanism - an urban design movement promoting walkable and self-contained neighbourhoods. Located near the Mumbai-Pune economic corridor, this hill city host approximately 0.3 million permanent residents, 2 million tourists and 97,000 employees.
Putrajaya will be the new Federal Government Administrative Centre of Malaysia, acting both as a “City in a Garden” and an intelligent city. To meet this aim, about 38% of its area is being developed into parks, lakes and wetlands while the rest is reserved for government offices, commercial and residential development, public utilities and amenities. It will also implement multimedia technologies to facilitate communication and interaction between Government offices and communities.
Rawabi, the first planned Palestinian city, will integrate international planning principles, sustainable environmental practices, state of-the-art infrastructure and easy access for both residents and visitors. The Rawabi Foundation promotes sustainable development by fundraising for public facilities in the city and by working to create employment opportunities for Rawabi’s 40,000 residents.
Skolkovo Innovation Center, Russia
Skolkovo Innovation Center is a high technology business area close to Moscow. With an aim to be a self-sustaining and self-contained center catering for business development and research., this 400-hectare site already incubates nearly 1,000 Russian startups. Skolkovo will eventually house 25,000 residents governed by a unique set of laws.
Songdo, South Korea
Officially opened in August 2009 as a free economic zone, Songdo IBD was the first new sustainable city in the world designed as an international business district. It has been developed on 1,500 acres of reclaimed land in South Korea along Incheon's waterfront, 40 miles from Seoul and 7 miles from Incheon International Airport. This planned metropolis is a model of sustainable, city-scale development and includes commercial office space, residences, retail shops, hotels and a wealth of civic facilities.
Mr. John Rossant, Founder and Chairman of the New Cities Foundation, said: “The phenomenon of new cities will have a major impact on all our lives. Billions of dollars are being invested into these urban mega projects, and if we don’t plan them right, the consequences will be dramatic and far-reaching. We designed Cityquest – KAEC Forum as a vital moment to promote frank exchange and pragmatic discussion about the biggest challenges city leaders and builders need to tackle, right now, in order for these very diverse metropolises to flourish, attract people and business, and impact positively on the world economy. It’s time to talk about our urban future.”
Mr. Fahd Al-Rasheed, Managing Director and CEO of King Abdullah Economic City, said: “We are committed to making Cityquest - KAEC Forum a rewarding and memorable experience for participants, where business and thought leaders have access to great stores of knowledge and experience. We expect participants to engage in transparent discussions that raise real opportunities, challenges, and solutions. We have learned a great deal in developing King Abdullah Economic City, and are keen to share and learn from other urban development leaders around the world.”
The event program will blend keynote speeches, panel discussions on key issues such as the role of government, finance and technology in new cities, and short presentations from the participating new city projects.
To find out more about sessions and speakers, visit www.cityquest.net. A full list of speakers will be announced shortly.
International press contact:
Communications & Media Relations Manager
New Cities Foundation
+33 6 17 79 17 72
Local press contact:
Dania Y. Beidas
King Abdullah Economic City
+966 (02) 615 9734
About the New Cities Foundation
The New Cities Foundation is a leading global non-profit organization, with a vision to build more inclusive, dynamic and creative cities benefiting people and society. Its mission is to incubate, promote and scale urban innovations through collaborative partnerships between government, business, academia and civil society.
The New Cities Foundation hosts a number of leadership events on cities including its flagship event, the New Cities Summit, and other leadership events worldwide. The next New Cities Summit will happen in Dallas, Texas from June 17 - 19, 2013, following successful editions in São Paulo (2013) and Paris (2012).
The Foundation’s applied research wing, the Urban (co)LAB, manages a number of projects including Task Forces, thought leadership activities and competitions. Two major Task Forces include a pilot project on Urban E-health in Rio de Janeiro and on Connected Commuting in San Jose, California. The Urban (co)LAB also manages the annual AppMyCity! Prize for the world’s best urban mobile app, and seeks out the most talented urban innovators for the What Works series of talks hosted at the New Cities Summit.
An independent, non-profit organization, the New Cities Foundation was created in 2010 and is financed by its corporate members. Overall, its members include some of the most forward-thinking companies, universities, cities and city organizations around the world. The New Cities Foundation’s Founding Members are Cisco, Ericsson and GE. The Foundation is based in Geneva and its head office is in Paris.
About King Abdullah Economic City
King Abdullah Economic City is one of the largest and most important private sector initiatives in the Middle East, encompassing a total area of 168 million sqm along the coast of the Red Sea. Through its Industrial Valley, KAEC has succeeded in attracting more than 50 national and international industrial companies. Strategically located and with its own seaport, KAEC offers a wide range of housing solutions that are suitably priced for different income levels. The KAEC residential districts are supported by a high quality infrastructure and a complete range of services and facilities such as The World Academy School, which is already open with a future total capacity of 2,250 students, and a medical center for primary care and emergency operated by Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital Company. In addition, retail stores have been fully leased and restaurants, cafes, sales outlets and pharmacies are already open.