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New technologies, such as improved electrification, connectivity and even autonomous solutions, are ways to create a sustainable city for mature compressed cities. But for the third city scenario, the developing city, the challenges are different.

A developing city is characterized by a fast-growing population, with vast areas outside the city. The transport infrastructure is poor, and the public transport limited. Rising incomes in many developing countries where these cities are found, have led to rapid motorization, while road safety management and regulations have not kept pace.

“These cities suffer the most from the lack of a well-functioning infrastructure. 90% of global road deaths occur in these countries. And as the cities grow, the problems grow as well. It’s important for these cities to find suitable solutions to develop in a sustainable way,” says Seiya Ohta.

In terms of GDP per capita, Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in South America. Here lies Santa Cruz, which falls under the category underdeveloped city, even though the per capita income is substantially higher than the national average. Doubling its size every 15 years, it is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. But the growth has not come without problems. The city has outgrown its infrastructure and municipal services are strained.

The city’s solution is quite bold. The Lafuente Group, the biggest real estate developer in Bolivia, is going to build a whole new city – Nueva Santa Cruz. When complete, the developer is looking at a population capacity of 370,000 people.

“The idea behind Nueva Santa Cruz follows a universal principle – it’s easier to build something new than to rebuild an old city. It’s difficult to change things in an existing city due to high costs, expropriation and opposition. In Nueva Santa Cruz, we have a great opportunity to create a competitive city in terms of modern technology, urban planning and sustainability,” says Julio Novillo, owner of the Lafuente Group.