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Imagine a futuristic landscape where gleaming silver spires lined with effervescent lights rise like fabricated flowers from a green, expansive plain, stretching up toward the sun...

Probably not what comes to mind when you think about Africa, huh?

You might be surprised to learn that the second largest continent on the planet is also home to some of the world's most futuristic cities — and there are plans to build even more.


In fact, an estimated 70% of the African population is expected to live in one of these remarkable urban developments within the next decade.

Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself.

Here are five futuristic African cities that already exist, plus six more that are being built.

1. Luanda, Angola

The Angolan capital city of Luanda is already being called the World's Most Expensive City — but as the city grows and grows, people there are also using an expansive mobile phone network to provide quick and easy access to clean water for all citizens, regardless of their income.

Photo via ben sedin/YouTube.

2. Durban, South Africa

That crazy lookin' spaceship below is actually a multi-use sports stadium, and it's only one of the many stunning buildings popping up in the area. The buildings are designed with technology and infrastructure that actively address issues of poverty, crime, and environmental sustainability.

Photo by South African Tourism/Flickr.

3. Ebène Cyber City, Mauritius

The island nation of Mauritius is more than just the basis of a really expensive stamp. The self-contained "smart city" also hosts the internet registry platform for the entire continent, and it boasted high-speed access for all of its citizens well before most other cities in the world did.

Living in Ebène Cyber City is basically like living in a spaceship in the middle of the Indian Ocean that you never have to leave unless you want to.

Photo by Starts/Wikimedia Commons.

4. Kigali, Rwanda

The Rwandan capital is the cleanest city on the entire African continent, which probably contributes to its shimmering, space-like qualities.

And with a population that's expected to triple in the next five years or so, Kigali's ambitious plans for expansion include some impressive sustainability efforts that are both affordable and accessible for people of all incomes and abilities.

Photo by Alex Niragira/Flickr.

5. Nairobi's Financial Centre, Kenya

The Kenyan capital is already being heralded as Africa's Most Intelligent City thanks to its vested interest in creating an integrated, tech-friendly community that connects living and working through and with the convenience of a smartphone.

Recent renovations are turning the downtown financial center into an international destination business hub as well, helping this ecologically sustainable city become economically sustainable as well.

Photo by Msamaria190/Wikimedia Commons.

6. Konza Technology City, Kenya

While we're still years away from seeing the full realization of Kenya's new "technolopolis" — ground was broken on the project in March 2016 — this multibillion-dollar "silicon savannah" aims to be the next big tech industry epicenter of tomorrow.


Rendering via ICT Authority Kenya/YouTube.

7. Safari City, Tanzania

Safari City is just one of several "satellite cities" planned for Tanzania's Arusha region, with a plan to mix affordable and luxury properties in each self-contained urban environment. This will hopefully enable people at every income level to live, work, and play without having to leave their cutting-edge homes.

Rendering via Nhc Tanzania/YouTube.

8. La Cite du Fleuve, Democratic Republic of Congo

This magnificent metropolitan mecca is actually being built on a reclaimed swampland adjacent to the DRC capital of Kinshasa — which might sound weird, until you realize that people are already calling it "the New Manhattan."

But with floating villages already popping up around the country as citizens flee from armed conflicts, building sustainable infrastructures is the obvious next step.

Rendering via Christian Mutombo/YouTube.

9. Eko Atlantic City in Lagos, Nigeria

Another landfill development, the up-and-coming Eko Atlantic City on Lagos' Victoria Island, is being built with plans to house 250,000 people and create 150,000 new jobs as "the new gateway to Africa."

This ambitious housing project will be powered entirely through self-sustaining green energy sources.

Rendering via Urban Lab McGill/YouTube.

10. Hope City, Ghana

In this case, "Hope" is actually an acronym for home, office, people, and environment. With its movie theaters, restaurants, sports centers, university, and hospital, this high-tech hub will actually create twice as many jobs as there is room to live there.

On top of all that, one of those rocket-ship-esque buildings will potentially become the new tallest building in Africa.

Rendering via OBR/Vimeo.

11. Centenary City in Abuja, Nigeria

Though it's still in its earliest stages, the Centenary City project is expected to revolutionize the entire Nigerian economy by creating a world-class urban destination integrated with biometric technologies and optimized for pedestrian, bicycle, and mass public transit.

Rendering via Centenary City Official/YouTube.

While some of these stunning urban centers are still years from completion, it's pretty remarkable to see these futuristic cityscapes take form on the African horizon.

It can be all too easy for us to reduce the African continent to a singular entity of rural poverty, but it's important to remember that there are many distinct, rich cultures spread throughout the more than 50 countries and 12 million square miles of land that make up the continent, and each has its own ideas to offer to the world.

So sure, there are some things to look out for when it comes to any kind of major urbanization projects. But even those are different problems than the ones that we tend to associate with Africa.

That's why these amazing new cities are so remarkable: They represent a chance for these countries to make their mark on the global maps of tomorrow and remind us that the brightest innovations are just around the savanna corner.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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