Cities with Strong Potential for Fog:

from “tapping into fog” (

This technology is best suited to areas where fog is consistently available and can be intercepted on land. Fog should occur during the season when water is most needed. Five other conditions are also important: 1) a mountain range with an average altitude of 500 metres or higher; 2) the principal axis of the range should be perpendicular to the prevailing wind (this increases the amount of water collected); 3) the site for water collection should be as close as possible to the user community; 4) a broad basin on the other side of the mountains where high daytime temperatures help to draw the ocean air through the mountains is desirable; 5) prevailing winds of constant direction throughout the year.

Potential users
Communities around the world (generally in coastal areas or on islands, but sometimes inland) with little rainfall and similar atmospheric conditions to the prerequisites above. In addition to Chile, Peru, and Ecuador, areas with the most potential to benefit include the Atlantic coast of southern Africa (Angola, Namibia), South Africa, Cape Verde, China, Eastern Yeman, Oman, Mexico, Kenya, and Sri Lanka.

quite small
quite dry

Walvis Bay,14.502983&spn=0.214972,0.439453&t=h&z=12
population: 65,000
quite dry


quite interesting geographically.
Fairly small, roughly 100,000.  Definitely has mountains running right up to the sea.

Projected pop 4 million in 2007, up to 8.2 million in 2025.  This is essentially equivalent to the population curve seen in Lagos, going from 4.5 million in 1990 to 8.5 million in 2005, or 4 million in 15 years.

google maps

Angola was also projected to have the world’s fastest growing economy in 2008.

Angola’s property market thrives despite crisis.

Could Luanda be the world’s next Lagos?
Of particular interest to us is that Luanda combines unusually low precipitation and unusually high airborne moisture, resulting in a great deal of fog over the city.  This is due to an oceanic condition known as the Benguela Current (

Oil Price drop threatens Angola spending programme (confirmation of planned government investment into the infrastructure of Luanda)

Cape Verde

Eastern Yemen

Masqat (Muscat),_Oman,43.154297&sspn=7.243988,7.800293&ie=UTF8&ll=23.551399,58.596268&spn=0.428025,0.487518&t=p&z=11
Population approximately 1 million; UNWUP doesn’t have a growth estimate.
study of three types of fog nets in Oman
article on “fog desert” of Yeman and Oman



Sri Lanka

Emerging Cities

“Another important difference between the more developed regions and the less developed regions concerns trends in the growth of the rural population. Whereas the rural population of the more developed regions has been declining steadily during the second half of the twentieth century, that of the less developed regions has continued to increase. In 2000-2005, the annual growth rate of the rural population in the more developed regions was -0.4 per cent whereas that in the less developed regions was 0.5 per cent. During 2005-2030, the rural population in the more developed regions is projected to decline further. In comparison, the rural population in the less developed regions will continue to rise until 2019 when a slow decline will start. As a consequence of the contrasting trends in rural population growth in the more and the less developed regions, 91 per cent of the rural population in the world (3.3 billion) resided in the less developed regions in 2005. The nine countries with more than 50 million rural residents in 2005 (Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Viet Nam and the United States of America) are all located in the less developed regions with the sole exception of the United States.”

from UN Population Report (2005); suggest those eight countries are likely locations for an emerging mega city.

1. Nouakchott, Mauritania


“The place of the winds” in Berber; capital of Mauritania, population .8 million (wikipedia):

“Located on the Atlantic coast of the Sahara, it lies on the west coast, on the Atlantic Ocean, although with the exception of Nouakchott Wharf and a deep water port, the coastal strip is mostly left empty and allowed to flood.

Due to the rapid build-up, the city is quite spread out, with few tall buildings. It also often acts as an interface between urban Mauritanians and their nomadic fellow citizens.”

Demographic projections, via UN WUR:

Mauritania is currently 40% urban, projected 65% urban by 2050 — as Nouakchott is the only notable city in Mauritania, this basically means that a full quarter of the country’s population will move into Nouakchott in the next 40 years.  (approx .8 million to 1.2 million)

Also did I mention that the coastal strip is left empty and allowed to flood?

Google Maps link

Average annual rainfall 130 m/5 in.

Another problem in Mauritania that may be important: dune encroachment.

2. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Expected to balloon from 3 million to 6 million by 2025.

Annual precipitation 48 in/1230 mm.  This may be too much.  [edit: yes.  average annual precipitation in Washington, DC = 40 in.  I’d say anything over 10 is probably more than we want]

3. Yazd, Iran


google maps link
wikipedia link

Definitely a desert city.  Not so much a huge city (around half a million).  So a bit smaller than Nouakchott.

Existing Cities

1. Dubai, UAE

Annual precipitation average = 4 in (source: World Climate).

Between 2005 and 2025, Dubai is expected to double in size (1 milllion to 2 million) — so its not exactly a static or finished assemblage.

Personally I think the idea of infecting Dubai with an infrastructure that at once buttresses the city and undermines the more extreme effects of capitalism-gone-wild is fascinating.  And appropriate.

Also in Dubai’s favor: pollution as a significant issue.

2. Phoenix, Arizona

3. Cairo, Egypt

4. Karachi, Pakistan

Definitely huge.  11 million currently to 19 million by 2025.  Dry, except in monsoon season (Jul-Aug).  Average precip. about 9 in/year.

Smaller City, emerging or existing

“Small cities, that is, those with a population of fewer than 500,000 people, were the place of
residence of about 51 per cent of all urban dwellers in the world in 2005. Thus, the majority of
urban dwellers lived in fairly small urban settlements.”

also UN Population Report;

1. Arica, Chile

wikipedia: driest city on earth.  0.03 in average annual rainfall.  Of course, they already use fog nets in the Atacama desert.