The Masdar Model For New Cities

Masdar City, the elaborate and ambitious planned green development in Abu Dhabi, is slowing coming into shape. This piece from Technology Review looks at how the city's development could inform the future of citybuilding.

"The construction is the start of a vast experiment, an attempt to create the world's first car-free, zero-carbon-dioxide-emissions, zero-waste city. Due to be completed in 2016, the city is the centerpiece of the Masdar Initiative, a $15 billion investment by the government of Abu Dhabi, which is part of the United Arab Emirates. The new development, being built on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi city, will run almost entirely on energy from the sun and will use just 20 percent as much power as a conventional city of similar size. Garbage will be sorted and recycled or used for compost; sewage will be processed into fuel. Concrete columns will lift the city seven meters off the ground, creating space underneath for a network of automated electric transports that will replace cars. Planners predict that the development will attract 1,500 clean-tech businesses, ranging from large international corporations to startups, and--eventually--some 50,000 residents."

"Yet many experts are optimistic that the city can become a test bed for new approaches to the engineering and architectural problems involved in creating environmentally sustainable cities. Although architects have already designed and builders constructed many small zero-emissions residences and commercial buildings, projects involving large, multi-use commercial buildings have fallen short of expectations, using too much energy or failing to generate enough."

"But Masdar City, itself developed with the help of extensive modeling, will be wired from the beginning to collect data that could prove valuable for developing better models. That information could make future zero-emissions cities cheaper and easier to build."

Thanks to ArchNewsNow

Full Story: A Zero-Emissions City in the Desert

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