Oman has unveiled ambitious plans for a new 100,000-person “smart” city outside its capital, Muscat.
Set across 14.8 square kilometers (5.7 square miles), Sultan Haitham City will be roughly equivalent in size to Beverly Hills — but with almost three times as many residents.
The plan, which was shared exclusively with CNN by the US architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), includes 20,000 homes, as well as a university, schools, health facilities and mosques. It is due to be built on a largely undeveloped site in Al-Seeb, several kilometers west of Muscat.
Work on the project is set to begin next year and will be completed in four stages. The first phase, which runs until 2030, will develop the 5-square-kilometer (1.9-square-mile) city center and six of the development’s 19 planned neighborhoods. The final phase is not scheduled to be completed until 2045.
In a press release, SOM said that the project will offer “vibrant public space, high-quality and affordable housing and smart urban
‘Biophilic’ skyscraper bursting with 80,000 plants opens in Singapore
While there is no universally accepted definition of a “smart city,” the term usually describes the use of sensors, cameras, and internet-enabled devices — the so-called “internet of things” — to gather and use data from the built environment.
While critics have raised privacy concerns, many urban planners believe big data can help cities deliver more effective and efficient public services, from traffic management to environmental monitoring.