The most talked about project in the past period has been the new designated urbanisation zones on the southwestern edge of Damascus referred to as "Marota" and "Basilia" cities.
The infrastructure works for Marota city is being finalised by the governorate and the building regulations have been issued with a defined timetable for completion for all the buildings inside the urbanisation zone.
Once completed, Marota will consist of:
- 186 residential buildings with floor heights ranging from 11 to 22 floors.
- 33 commercial building with some reaching 50 floors height.
- A shopping mall with a buildable area of 120,000 square meters.
- Various other service, education, sports and governmental buildings.
What is different about this urbanisation project, however, are the new considerations that the planning authorities have accounted for. These include:
- Allowing unprecedented flexibility in the architectural design of the buildings both externally and internally.
- Enforcing certain green building standards on both the architectural and electromechanical design of the buildings.
- Smart building management systems in all buildings.
- The provision for 75 hectares of green open spaces accounting for 35% of the total zone area.
- The urbanised zone will have a comprehensive solid waste management system in place.
- The first centralised household gas distribution network in Syria.
- Strict design considerations for the disabled and special needs people.
- Cycle lanes.