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.