Energy City
of the Future

The master plan for Karamay transforms this “World Petroleum City” into the “Energy City of the Future,” one that employs renewable resources and intelligent planning.

Karamay, once a small town in northwest China, exploded in prosperity and population after oil was discovered there in the 1950s. To guide future growth, projected to exceed one million inhabitants by 2050, the city held an invited urban design competition under the theme “World Petroleum City.” In the competition, NBBJ challenged officials to think beyond a single non-renewable resource, instead proposing the “Energy City of the Future,” centered around sustainable design and conservation.

In addition to oil, solar and wind power provide green energy that harnesses the region’s climatic conditions. Because of the arid climate, effective stormwater management is essential to the city’s success. “Eco-corridors” woven through the city fabric serve as natural drainage channels, funneling water to residents and agriculture even as they provide open space and limit sprawl. Smart growth strategies create a central business district surrounded by livable urban neighborhoods that facilitate pedestrian activity and transit-oriented development.

Subsequent Projects

This vision of the “Energy City of the Future” won the design competition, and NBBJ was subsequently hired to design and implement additional pieces of the master plan. Many are currently underway.

Karamay Expo District Master Plan
Karamay Expo
Karamay South Town Master Plan
Karamay University Town Master Plan
KEEB Landscape Architecture
Karamay Hospital Campus Master Plan


Ohio Chapter ASLA, Honor Award