In an exclusive story, CNN Style – CNN’s home for art, architecture and design – profiles SOM’s design of Sultan Haitham City, Oman’s first-ever smart city. Designed to foster an inclusive future for the country’s growing population of locals, expatriates and visitors, the city provides a new model for sustainable development with a mix of housing types within walking distance of public amenities, parks and vibrant open space.
Located in Al-Seeb, a district of Muscat, the new city will comprise over 2.9 million square meters of public space, 20,000 new homes of different scales and types, and smart urban mobility spanning 14.8 million square meters.
SOM’s vision also transforms an existing 7.5-kilometer-long dry river – a wadi – that runs through the site. Harnessing natural water from flooding, the wadi is reinvented into a spectacular public green park that provides an interconnected network of open spaces and shaded plazas to encourage outdoor activity and social exchange.