BRADFORD, Utah (AP) Cities in South Africa have built some of the most spectacular urban neighborhoods in the world.
But how can a country of more than 11 million people afford them?
One of the biggest challenges facing South Africa’s new Mayor Jacob Zuma has been keeping the city of more then 20 million people from becoming a suburb of its capital Johannesburg.
Zuma is pushing ahead with a project that could bring the country’s first truly large-scale urban park to the South African capital and other cities that have struggled with the issue of population density.
He also has vowed to build the world’s largest high-rise city on a vast expanse of land that is less than a quarter of the size of Manhattan.
Zulu said the idea was to create a city that could accommodate an expected growth rate of around 2.5 million people, roughly double the current number of residents in South African cities.
Zuku said the park, dubbed the City of Tomorrow, would include new housing, shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities.
He said it would also include a large park that would create opportunities for recreational and cultural activities.
The South African Development Authority (SADA) has approved the project, which has been in the planning stages for years.
Its $1.4 billion price tag includes $600 million in federal funds, and the rest of the money comes from the government’s public-private partnership program, or PPP.
Zumans efforts to create the city are part of a broader effort to modernize the countrys transportation infrastructure.
He has pledged to build roads, bridges, power plants, tunnels and airports, among other infrastructure projects.
In his first major speech as mayor in November, Zuma said he would bring the world to the doorstep of his new city, the first to be built entirely on private property.
He said the plan would create the world class infrastructure that the country needs, including a network of high-speed rail, highways, power lines, water supply, telecommunications, airports, universities and museums.
The park will also create jobs, he said.
The plan is part of an ambitious plan that Zuma says will create jobs and revitalize the economy.
But critics say it is an ill-conceived and overreaching project that will hurt the economy by driving away potential residents.
Zuma is also trying to keep the economy afloat by promising a rapid rise in the cost of living.