Developing sustainable safe cities is a noble idea, but it may sound farfetched. If countries and the UN cannot do it, why can we? How do we break through the various barriers that prevent long-term sustainable economic development from happening and dreary camps and second tier citizens from being the inevitable end-state?
Here is what our roadmap looks like:
- The perspective of hosting countries in the regions of origin is leading for us to optimize that country’s business case and justification for our projects. Host countries benefit at least as much from our projects as the refugees do.
- After doing research locally, we kick-start campuses. These are living, learning and working places to enable labor productivity based on local needs and opportunities. We use a pop-up concept with high quality modular infrastructure and building components to realize a campus. In this campus, we team up with public institutions, universities, NGOs and private sector companies to create a place where up to a few thousand people can learn, live and work.
- Our commitment to all our projects is long-term. This means that we help develop, build and operate our projects for more than 50 years, allowing it to grow its own institutions, partnerships and urban systems. Long-term commitment is a key success factor that changes the entire picture from charity to productivity, value creation and global citizenship.
- Sustainability is in our DNA and key to our projects and we contribute to a large number of UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- As our organization and experience grows, we will replicate and scale up the campuses. We expect the campuses themselves to become strong centers for regional growth and stability.
- We have started hiring refugees that have already arrived in Europe and involve them into our team to develop the plans for our new cities.
- We make sure our local and refugee talents get high quality support from leading European institutions and companies with whom we close teaming agreements. This combination propels refugees in Europe into good networks, (jobs) and meanwhile it helps to create high-quality plans for their home region that fit the refugee’s own culture and expectations.
GreenfieldCities’ ideas may be groundbreaking, but our start is down-to-earth. With growing political commitment, some funding, creativity, solid planning, and making good use of the opportunities that emerge, we work on our first campus project in Mafraq, Jordan.