Silica City to cater for over 12,500 households – Housing Minister

– land earmarked for new city along Soesdyke/Linden highway
– designs for 1st phase to commence this year

With designs for the first phase of Silica City expected to commence this year, it is envisioned that over the next two decades this new city along the Linden-Soesdyke Highway will grow to hold more than 12,500 households.
The new city is intended to be one of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government’s climate change mitigation strategies. Giving an update on it during his Budget 2022 presentation on Friday was Housing Minister Collin Croal.
While the city will eventually grow to house more than 12,500 households, the Minister explained, it will initially cater to just over 3000 households in the first five years. Additionally, a whopping 3800 acres of land has been earmarked for the new city, and designs for the first phase of the project will begin this year.
“It is envisioned that over the next 20 years, the projected population for this new city will be approximately 50,000 occupants or over 12,500 households. Therefore, within this first five years, it is expected that this city will be developed to cater for at least 3125 households – approximately 625 units annually.
“Consultations are ongoing with the utility companies as I speak, to coordinate the development of the infrastructure, since it is anticipated that a shared utility corridor will cater for all utilities to be routed,” the Minister further said.
Nor will Silica City be any ordinary city. According to the Minister, the city will be a smart one, powered by renewable energy and developed with the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and goal 11 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which speaks to building sustainable cities and communities, in mind.

The Linden-Soesdyke Highway (photo by South America Discovered)

“The vision of Silica City is the creation of a vibrant, sustainable, resilient and modern city… the smart city is proposed for creating a new city that will compact and have a pedestrian-oriented, energy-efficient, interconnected and sustainable, comfortable, attractive and secure environment,” Minister Croal said.
Silica City is a development the PPP/C Government had initiated talks on prior to leaving office in 2015, but which was never continued under the succeeding A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government.
In his first year in office in 2020, President Dr Irfaan Ali had revealed that Government had begun discussions on Silica City as a secondary city. He had explained that the Government was looking at an area on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway that would be connected to the new four-lane bypass road.
“We have initiated discussions on having a new area – a secondary city – developed. We are exploring this opportunity along the new four-lane highway, because we are already seeing the pressure on the city itself,” the President had said at the time.
He had further noted that as development and expansion continued, there would be more occupation of the outskirts of Georgetown, and the country must be prepared for it. As a result, Government will be putting plans in place to ensure that such growth and development will be facilitated.
President Ali had also explained that the idea was not new, but was in the pipeline since he was Housing and Water Minister years ago, when the concept of Silica City was introduced at a Building Expo. In fact, talk of Silica City began as early as 2013, under the previous PPP/C Government.
“Now we have to think about the future, think about the floodplain, think about a natural expansion of the city, the industrialisation that will take place,” President Ali had said at the time, adding that in terms of funding, a mix of public-private partnerships would be used.