Reconsidering Masdar

Nicolai Oursoussoff says Masdar, the eco-city being developed near Abu Dhabi, is "something more daring and more noxious" than we think.

While Oursoussoff says the design is an interesting combination of futuristic and medieval, he also claims it reflects a "gated-community mentality":

"...its isolation from the life of the real city next door, are grounded in the belief - accepted by most people today, it seems - that the only way to create a truly harmonious community, green or otherwise, is to cut it off from the world at large."

The piece is accompanied by a slideshow and an infographic detailing features of Masdar.


Full Story: In Arabian Desert, a Sustainable City Rises



Scaling Masdar

"Mr. Foster’s inspired synthesis of ancient and new technologies could well have applications elsewhere; it should be looked at closely by other architects. But no one would argue that a city of a few million or more can be organized with such precision, and his fantasy world is only possible as a meticulously planned community, built from the ground up and of modest size."

I don't see why it couldn't scale. It seems perfectly possible to build a city of one or two million that has traditional-urban-scale buildings, that is car-free, and that has public transportation underground.

I also don't see why it has to be built from the ground up. You could just as well build the infrastructure and then let developers build the city in a piecemeal way.

Charles Siegel

Masdar as a ghetto for elites?


My information is that Masdar's resident population is expected to be 50,000 at buildout, while its daytime population is forecast to be 90,000. Who are these commuters? Is the "ghetto for elites" a tag that fits?
The comments by the Times author have been endlessly repeated by people who don't seem to be well informed.

Who Is The Elitist?

Ouroussoff is looking for something to sneer at. If he wants to see the real elitists, he should look in the mirror at himself and at the clique of starchitects he most admires.

Charles Siegel

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