King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA.CARE), a city of hope and knowledge, nourished by sustainable lifecycles and powered by its own energy, will emerge from the desert to demonstrate a realistic approach to a balanced future for our cities.

Global Architecture & Design Awards 2018
Second Award | Category: Urban Design (Concept)

Architects: Gensler
Team Members: Gensler, RWDI, Moriyama & Teshima Planners, Buro Happold, Beyer Blinder Belle
Location – Country: Riyadh – Saudi Arabia

A royal initiative, led by the late His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, is to instigate a transition to a knowledge-based economic model to ensure a sustainable economic engine of growth for the future of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. KA.CARE site is located at the top of Tuwaiq Escarpment, 40 km west of Riyadh and is envisioned to be the global leader in renewable energy technology research, development and innovation initiatives, that will attract top talents in the field.

The concept master plan proposal for K.A.CARE is to create a City of Tomorrow: an innovative urban development that encourages interaction and innovation, that integrates new ideas and technologies into the planning, urban design, landscaping, building, transportation, infrastructure and social fabric of the community, while respecting and celebrating the delicate natural context where the city is placed. As a city that intends to attract talent, the proposal for K.A.CARE understands the specifics of its finite and vulnerable territory, and creates a place that can provide the emotional and sensory stimulation required to entice and stir creative thought and translate it into action.

K.A.CARE is structured in four different centers which intersect with the existing Wadi environment to allow for connections between natural and built environments. These centers are:

INNOVATION CITY: The 40,000 population Innovation City is the first phase and will be home to the frontier exploration of Saudi Arabia’s shift from a nation reliant on fossil fuels to a nation at the forefront of renewable energy research, development and use.

KNOWLEDGE CITY: Phase 2 is designed with flexibility as a priority to allow adaptability to future market conditions, rapid changes in technology, and lessons learned from the construction of Innovation City.

GARDEN CITY, at the eastern boundary of the site.  A center for the research, development and production of innovative and sustainable agricultural techniques for use in a desert environment, supplying fresh fruit, vegetables and fish for residents. It addresses energy, food production, and water in a sustainable whole-system approach.

ENERGY VALLEY, on the lower site is where energy production, test fields and some prototyping facilities will be placed.

By combining sound physical and landscaping principles, mobility concepts, energy generation schemes, and behavior change strategies, the proposed directions provide a sound basis to fulfill K.A.CARE’s vision. The set of Conceptual Master Planning principles is set to shape a new viable future life pattern – not only at K.A.CARE, but in Saudi Arabia, and in other parts of the globe. As the mission statement of K.A.CARE proclaims:… “This new city aims to not only contribute to the sustainable development in the Kingdom through the utilization of science, research, and industries, but to set an example for the worldwide reduction of fossil fuel dependence within our children’s lifetime”.

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