A brand new city is being built in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates which, when finished, will be the world’s first zero carbon, zero waste city.
Masdar City, a completely self sustaining city, will be powered by renewable energy and all waste will be recycled or reused.
The city will be built in the most energy efficient way possible. Because of this, its power requirements will be about a quarter of that of a similar sized city.
A solar-powered desalination plant will provide the city’s water. As with its power, Masdar will be extremely water efficient. Masdar’s water requirements will be 60 percent lower than other similar sized cities.
The city will cover an area of roughly 6 square kilometers and will eventually be home to around 1,500 businesses and 50,000 residents. As many as 60,000 people will commute to the city on a daily basis via a light rail line.
The name Masdar translates into “the source” in Arabic.
Designed by Foster + Partners, Masdar City is due for completion in around 8 or 9 years. The first stage of development will be complete in 2009.
A World First
This is the first time a city has ever been built with the aim of producing zero carbon and zero waste.
“The environmental ambitions of the Masdar Initiative – zero carbon and waste free – are a world first.” said Norman Foster Chairman of Foster + Partners.
“They have provided us with a challenging design brief that promises to question conventional urban wisdom at a fundamental level. Masdar promises to set new benchmarks for the sustainable city of the future.”
Masdar city will be completely car-free.
Instead of cars, residents will be able to use travel pods running on magnetic tracks. To use a travel pod, a passenger will simply locate a pod station, get into the pod, and program where they want to go.
And the stations will be plentiful. With around 1,500 stations, no point in the city will be more than 200 meters from a transport link.
But, due to the city’s layout, it is anticipated that many residents will cycle or walk to most destinations. Walkways will be shaded to make walking more bearable in the region’s extreme heat.
A solar-powered light rail system will connect Masdar city with other nearby cities.
Because of the ambitious goals of the Masdar initiative, the project includes a number of supporting initiatives to assist in acheiving the ultimate outcome. In particular, the Masdar initiative will include the following:
- substantial investment in innovative and renewable energy technologies
- the fostering of talent, expertise, and knowledge sharing in renewable energy disciplines
- the construction of local and regional green power production facilities that complement and balance fossil fuel production
- the reduction of carbon emissions through active participation in carbon markets
- the creation of a model, zero carbon, zero waste city that demonstrates the practical viability and appeal of living in alternative energy environments
The Masdar Initiative is currently seeking suitable partners from around the world to help achieve its ambitious goal.
For more on the initiative, see the official Masdar Initiative website.