Welcome to Nestown


Ethiopia’s present population of more than 90 million people is growing rapidly. In spite of the outstanding economic growth the multi-ethnic state on the Horn of Africa seems to be reaching its limits. It is confronted with inefficient cultivation of land and harmful migration to city centres. It lacks the experience to respond to the growth of its population with a sustainable settlement development approach. In order to develop a model town, the authorities in the Amhara region are working closely since 2007 with NESTown Group, including experts from ETH Zurich. It has been officially decided to implement this urban development proposal.

The region aims to offer its mostly farming inhabitants a town and house type designed according to local conditions which they can build and manage themselves. The buildings are used to harvest rainwater and are built from local materials such as eucalyptus wood. The developed and tested construction is estimated to cost no more than the equivalent of 2000 - 3000 Swiss francs.

To realize a sustainable town, other capacities have to be developed: cooperative communal living serving both the public good and the individual households, efficient water management, a productive and ecologically diverse agriculture for food security, continuous education, including appropriate technology transfer.

By its nature, the implementation of a town is an open ended process emerging at various speeds and scales