Havana City: The Quest For a Contemporary African City
“Most African cities are poorly planned, both in terms of infrastructural development and work-life setting. If you look at a city like Paris, or let’s use one closer to us here in Africa, Dubia in the UAE, their cities are detailed in planning.” – Ken Chukwuka, CEO Havana Developments
In terms of infrastructure, from their buildings to their transportation system, and everything in-between, are well structured to accommodate a huge population without overwhelming the city.
In terms of work-life setting, you can easily find sidewalks and sitting areas scattered across the city, where someone can easily take a break in their work, either to eat, meet with someone, or even relax to take a glass of wine. You often see in-city metro stations that make movement from one part of the city to the other a breeze.
Access roads within these cities are often not only dualized, but each lane can also contain three to four vehicles driving side by side. This makes it easy to navigate the city without having to deal with excessive traffic gridlocks.
Compare this to our cities here in Africa, seeing a setup as this in any city makes it a luxury of sorts. It shouldn’t be so. Ideally, it should be the barest minimum standard for a well planned city. This is what gave birth to the Havana City Development Project.
Ken Chukwuka, the CEO of the Havana Developments, says “it’s important for people to live in a city, enjoy working in it, and still not feel cramped up in the city.”
The only way he believes this is possible is by building a futuristic city, where resources, especially land, are fully utilized to create good space, a clean environment and a work-friendly, enjoyable city. This is the entire essence of the Havana City.
The biggest problem plaguing Africa as a continent is our inefficiency in the management of our massive available resources, both human and natural resources. Havana Developments’ primary aim is to empower Africa to fully utilize its resources, making Africa one of the leaders in the coming new world civilization.
Saving the Environment, Building a City
According to a report, about 12 million metric tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year. The report says that globally, we have about 200 million tonnes of plastic waste in the ocean.
In a recent 2022 report by the World Population Review, Nigeria alone, produced about 1.9 million tonnes of plastic in 2022. The current 5th highest in the world as at the time of this writing.
What this means is that we need to find a way to reduce the devastating effects of plastic waste on our environment, and we need to do that fast. We are already struggling as a species with the devastating effects of burning of fuel. We can not afford to add the damaging effects of plastics to the damage we as humans have caused the planet.
The proposed Havana City will aid in the reduction of plastic waste by utilizing plastics in its building and development projects. To reduce plastic in the environment, Havana City proposes to use plastic, especially PEP (PolyEthylene Terephthalate), mixed with sand to manufacture building blocks. These building blocks are then put together by skilled masons to construct Havana City’s plastic houses.
Building blocks will be made from at least 25% plastic, alongside other building materials such as tiles, pavement blocks etc.
The process of building these houses allows heat to be emitted through small holes in the pillars of the buildings. The emission of heat maintains a cool temperature in the house, even in hot weather. Apart from building international houses with plastics, the collection and processing of plastics will create tons of jobs for the teeming unemployed youths, therefore, reducing unemployment.
Additionally, the buildings and developmental changes brought by Havana City, will keep our environment cleaner of plastic wastes and may bring these wastes to zero level in Nigeria.
Doing this will dramatically cut down the amount of plastic wastes building up in the environment. We look forward to seeing what Havana City will look like.
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