City Shaped Like a Rhino Planned in Southern Sudan

City Shaped Like a Rhino Planned in Southern Sudan

You’re looking at a plan for a city-to-be outside Juba, in Southern Sudan. The new city is being designed in the form of a rhinoceros.

Alan Boswell writes on the Voice of America’s website:

“Southern Sudan’s government revealed this week a multi-billion dollar plan to build new urban centers in all ten of its state capitals. The price tag may make some gasp, but the real surprise? The cities would be animal and fruit-shaped.

“The $10.1 billion plan proposes remaking cities in Sudan’s south into shapes found on regional flags. Blueprints and maps illustrate Juba in the shape of a rhinoceros, Yambio fashioned after a pineapple and Wau as a giraffe.

“The Undersecretary for Housing and Physical Planning, Daniel Wani, says he hopes the plans will demonstrate the housing ministry’s desire to think creatively about how to remake Southern Sudan for the future.

“’This is very innovative. That is our thinking. It is unique,’ says Wani. ‘It is from the Ministry of Housing thinking innovation; that we have to be different, so that people can see what we are trying to tell them.'”

 Tim McKulka, United Nations Photo, noncommercial license)   BBC World Service, noncommercial license)

Juba today, above left, is impoverished and struggling to recover from war. The government hopes to find private financing to build a modern city, above right. Boswell reports that Southern Sudan’s total annual budget this year is less than $2 billion.

In the rhino-shaped plan, the “heart” would include ambassadors’ and ministers’ residences; the belly includes a cathedral; just in front of the hind legs is subsidized housing; the rhino’s spine would be designated for commercial and industrial uses; and so on. It’s even harder to imagine how this might work in the shape of a giraffe but, heck, I wouldn’t have thought of man-made islands shaped like palm trees near Dubai, or floating ice hotels and indoor ski slopes in the desert, either.

Kaid Benfield is director of Sustainable Communities & Smart Growth at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C. This post originally appeared on NRDC's Switchboard.

Top Image --
Voice of America Photo by Alan Boswell via NRDC.
Woman bearing water, UN Photo by Tim McCulka, CC licensed by Flickr user
United Nations Photo.
Model by BBC World Service, CC licensed by Flickr user