Senegalese leaders have long dreamed of building a new urban center amid mounting
After securing approval in 2013, developers are set to finish construction of Diamniadio, a futuristic city less than 20 miles outside Dakar, by 2035. At the end of last year, the minister in charge of the project, Cheikh Kanté, said it was around 80% complete.
In addition to reducing congestion, the development is part of a national strategy to promote economic growth. Although Senegal's economy is growing at around 6% annually, its public debt has risen to nearly 61% of its GDP.
DLC's design was inspired by the Senegalese culture and landscape.
Its sharp curves and sloping lines mimic the amorphous patterns of algae in a nearby lake, as well as the silhouettes of traditional female sculptures.
To stay connected to the natural landscape, each structure is made with copper — an element found in the earth's crust.
Other materials used during construction include glass, steel, and concrete panels, which coalesce to form a shimmering mosaic of buildings.
Senegal's most famous tree, the baobab, was a key source of inspiration for the project.
Although they can live for 2,500 years, baobabs have been victims of climate change and rising global temperatures. DLC works to combat these forces by installing green roofs and implementing renewable energy technology. It's also one of the first LEED certified projects in the country.
In addition to being highly accessible for pedestrians and those with disabilities, DLC is located just 15 minutes from the country's new Blaise Diagne international airport. When completed, it will house its own train station.
DLC's entertainment district features a mall (shown below), national library, and high-end residential housing.
It also includes a five-star hotel.
The city's "fashion walk" offers yet another space for pedestrians to shop, eat, and convene.
At night, the buildings bear a striking resemblance to the fictional city of Wakanda.
Earlier this year, DLC buildings were mistakenly used in promotional material for Akon's Crypto City, a theoretical community modeled after the Black Panther metropolis.