The Akanda New Town

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A market-centered neighborhood in the Akanda Master Plan, rendering courtesy if Opticos
A school-centered neighborhood in the Akanda Master Plan, rendering courtesy if Opticos
A commercial center in the Akanda Master Plan, rendering courtesy if O
The Akanda Master Plan, Gabon, designed 2014 by the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community with Steve Coyle

Sustainable developments provide economic, social, and environmental benefits over the long-term, in contrast to conventional developments which often reap short-term financial profits at the expense of long-term value, and a healthy environment and social context.

The Akanda Master Plan, to the north of the capital Libreville, Gabon, integrates sustainability as a new green town that enables development of the capital and showcases Gabonese nature, culture and commerce.  In support, L’Agence Nationale des Grands Travaux (ANGT) invited the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community (PFBC) with Steve Coyle/Town Green as Country Project Manager to lead a collaborative Masterplanning and neighbourhood development exercise for Akanda. The Masterplan sits alongside the Akanda SmartCode – an adaptation of the adopted Gabon SmartCode led by Opticos with PFBC, and Steve Coyle, calibrated to demonstrate the principals set out in the Masterplan vision.

While there is general awareness and support for more sustainable planning and development methods, in practice, achieving sustainability goals and objectives are difficult. A significant challenge in creating sustainable communities: successful implementation is dependent on achieving community support of both the development process and the proposed outcomes, such as the types of businesses attracted. Sustainable development requires comprehensiveness, patience, public/private partnerships, flexibility, adaptability, and leadership.

Akanda Master Plan area forms the northern edge of the Libreville urban area and bounded by a buffer zone that provides a transition between the city and Parc National d’Akanda. The National Park covers 54,000 hectares and includes most of the bay of Mondah. Akanda is a Ramsar site, and one of the most important sites in Central Africa for migratory birds from Europe.  It contains mangroves, mudflats, coastal water and patches of moist coastal forest. The areas outside the Parks are unprotected, including wetlands and the coastal edge.
The Akanda Sector Plan was created to establish a regional scale map for determining where to build and where and what to preserve and protect.