The objective of this report is to provide a general overview of the current state of urban planning, energy systems, water and waste management, transportation planning and raising general awareness. One objective is also to provide some general information about what the EcoCity concept means in the Egyptian context. Some case examples are given in order to give an idea of the practical conditions on the ground.
An EcoCity essentially has high ecological quality, but at the same time it is technologically sophisticated and modern. The attempts to build an EcoCity so far have been based on optimization of different sectors or technologies, and thus they are a compromise between the high-level targets and the present level of design. However, there is not just one EcoCity concept but a variety of possibilities that need to be adjusted to fit the local context, local culture and local economic realities. This is the way to achieve a possible solution with regard to the local resources, but at the same time to meet the high goals set for an EcoCity. High-tech solutions are one way to the EcoCity, but they are not the only goal of an EcoCity.
The main elements of an EcoCity are a dense city structure, clean energy production, minimal energy consumption, sustainable transport solutions, ecological water and waste solutions and the inclusion of social aspects.
In Egypt the biggest challenges in terms of EcoCities concern transportation. Bigger cities have big problems with too many private cars and the lack of functioning public transportation systems.
Water resources are scarce in Egypt, and they have therefore to be given special focus when planning sustainable city structures. There is a high level of know-how about water handling systems. The main challenges are in finding investments for the solutions.
As regards energy, there is a major saving potential in terms of electricity usage. Regarding renewable sources, the biggest potential is in solar energy.
To achieve sustainable cities, focus must also be put on awareness-raising activities and on developing governance structure.