Silica City master plan expected by mid-2024

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Silica City along the Soesdyke/Linden Highway

The master plan draft for Silica City, Guyana’s inaugural modern and sustainable city project, is expected to be available by mid-2024.

This was disclosed by the Minister within the Housing and Water Ministry, Susan Rodrigues during a discussion on the Guyana Dialogue.

Silica City will be established along the Soesdyke/Linden Highway in the vicinity of Laluni.

The project aims to address the impacts of climate change and sea level rise, as well as the issues associated with the growth of non-coastal urban settlements.

Rodrigues said the project will further be advanced when the master plan arrives.

“You would have seen last year that there was a delegation here from the University of Miami, and we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Miami for them to deploy all of their exports in architecture and design so that they can do the master plan for silica city… They have about six months to get back to us on a draft…About mid-this year, we should be in possession of a draft of this master plan,” Rodrigues posited.

The project has set aside some 3,800 acres of land, and work on the infrastructure is already underway.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues

This includes creating 100 residential homes in addition to shopping centres, apartment complexes, condos, hotels, restaurants, and other facilities.

Rodrigues explained that the project is still in the first phase and Guyana is seeking to develop approximately 10,000 acres of land.

“We want to do this properly. We want to deploy the use of experts and people who have done this in other countries like Latin America, the Caribbean Europe, and around the world…So that it can achieve all of the objectives that we would like to achieve,” the minister added.

She emphasised that access to the new city will be easy, as Guyana is already constructing a highway from Mandela to Eccles to provide enhanced access for persons to traverse.

“This highway will go all the way to Timehri and will give people access to the Linden/Soesdyke Highway…. It is very accessible. There is a road built there already to take you to Silica City,” Minister Rodrigues stated.

With its potential to become the nation’s most sought-after location for contemporary, environmentally eco-friendly living, Silica City is a significant advancement in Guyana’s developmental approach toward a sustainable and climate-smart future.

In addition to green areas and other facilities, the state-of-the-art development will include smart homes outfitted with the newest energy-saving technologies.

In February 2023, some $2.1 billion worth of contracts were signed to expedite these efforts.

Minister Rodrigues explained that the government will continue to execute its mandate to provide affordable and sustainable housing solutions to Guyanese.

Over the last three years, over 30,000 house lots have been allocated to Guyanese throughout the country. Of this number, 35 per cent or 13,834 of the beneficiaries are single women, and 54 percent were young adults ranging from ages 21 to 35 years.

Meanwhile, 92 per cent of the allocation went to low, moderate, and middle-income earners.

“The objective was to give low-income earners access to affordable housing. We have stayed true to that ideology…The 30,000 is just a number. When you break it down and look at the impact that the housing programme has had on the lives of all of these people, you really appreciate the bigger picture,” she emphasised.