Diamniadio Lake City: Senegal’s vision for West Africa’s futuristic new city
Dakar, the capital city of Senegal in West Africa, is bursting at the seams – and suffering from all of the infrastructural problems that these circumstances entail, coupled with an acute shortage of housing. In an effort to relieve the pressure on the city, the Senegalese government has decided to relocate some sections of the capital to a futuristic new city. Construction work on Diamniadio Lake City (DLC), which is situated just 30 kilometres from Dakar, commenced in 2014. The city – planned by architects completely from scratch – will eventually accommodate 350,000 residents across 2000 hectares of land. With a conference centre, a university library, housing, shopping centres and a hospital all in the pipeline, the city will lessen the burden on the overstretched resources of Dakar and revitalise the African economy.
Diamniadio Lake City: Senegal’s most modern urban centre
By 2035, Diamniadio Lake City is set to become one of Senegal’s most modern urban centres – if the plans laid by president Macky Sall prove successful. The city, which is being constructed on a vast plot of uncultivated land, is viewed as an essential investment in the future of Senegal; the government is spending two billion dollars on the project, which is just one element in a nationwide strategy to promote economic growth in the country.
In the past, African governments have made numerous attempts to transfer entire capital cities to new locations in an effort to solve infrastructural problems and increase the stock of housing. Senegal is taking a different approach: The vision for Diamniadio Lake City is to decentralise activity that is currently concentrated in the capital and create a new industrial centre. However, there are no plans for Diamniadio to replace Dakar.
A new toll road connects Dakar to the new Blaise Diagne Airport and Diamniadio Lake City, reducing travel times to just 30 minutes. 2019 will also see the launch of the high-speed “Train Express Régional (TER)” rail link, providing another means of transport between these critical locations.
Diamniadio Lake City: Three districts – one lifestyle
Once complete, Diamniadio Lake City will span 17 square kilometres divided into three city districts, each of which will have a different but complementary architectural style designed to form a coherent whole: There will be a finance and business district with offices, services and business hotels, a residential district with housing options for a range of income levels, and a shopping and events district with a university, hotels and a luxury residential area situated around a natural lake. The city is planned so that everything will be accessible on foot, with green zones connecting the districts. The Dakar Abdou Diouf conference centre and a sports complex have already opened. The project planners have also ensured that the city is well-connected by rail: Construction work on a hyper-modern station is already underway, connecting the new economic centre to the rest of the country.
Architectural highlights in Diamniadio Lake City
Based on the marketing photos and the buildings that have already been constructed, it’s clear that Senegal is setting the bar high in terms of architectural design. All of the planned buildings feature a prominent façade that combines cutting-edge architecture and materials such as steel, glass and concrete to redefine the African city for the modern day.
Copper – a material that represents a connection to our planet – features heavily in the façade designs. The sweeping curves of the nature-inspired buildings conceal flexible and versatile interior spaces, flowing from a conscious decision by designers to provide ample scope for multiple uses. From the daylight-flooded buildings, residents can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
A city planned for sustainability
Although the city has clearly been designed to look impressive, there’s much more to it than meets the eye: It is being constructed entirely with sustainable, locally sourced materials to protect resources and the environment.
The project has already been certified by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) programme.
For the architects, open-plan design is an essential feature of the new city – which explains why the lake is central to the planning process. By integrating spacious, well-lit green zones and paths, the project aims to create a hub of communication and creativity that brings together nature, culture and architecture in a single location.
Diamniadio Lake City is an experimental architectural concept that will ultimately create a combined work, living and leisure space for 350,000 people. Looking at what has been achieved so far, the project in Senegal appears to be on track for success in achieving its vision: To transform the planned city into an interconnected, lively and desirable place to be.
Have you heard about any other futuristic city concepts? Let us know in the comments!