Masdar City: The World’s First Zero Carbon, Zero Waste City

Masdar citys compact and shaded design will encourage walking and cycling. Photo: Foster + Partners.

Masdar city's compact and shaded design will encourage walking and cycling. Photo: Foster + Partners.

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.

Artists impression of Masdar city, the worlds first zero carbon, zero waste city. Photo: Foster + Partners.

Artist's impression of Masdar city, the world's first zero carbon, zero waste city. Photo: Foster + Partners.

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.”

No Cars

Instead of using cars, Masdar residents can use these eco-friendly travel pods that run on magnetic tracks.

Instead of using cars, Masdar residents can use eco-friendly travel pods, like the one above, that run on magnetic tracks.

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.

Masdar’s Initiatives

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.

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8 Responses to “Masdar City: The World’s First Zero Carbon, Zero Waste City”

  1. aaron miranda Says:

    how do es this cityies sewer systems work

  2. Carz Says:

    Masdar City should be a model to all city management development programs around the world. No lesser than this should their ideal city should be.

  3. Laurel Towndsen Says:

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  4. Anusha Says:

    hii it is really good to hear,that city with zero carbon

  5. Grazyna Rieske Says:

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  6. 4x4 pickup Says:

    The idea behind zero carbon and zero waste city is good to hear. But it is really difficult to see any such cities in the world. This city is a real boon to the environment. Kudos to such ideas.

  7. AMA Nation Says:

    Great idea with the great minds, I thought a zero carbon city would be impossible to appear. But what makes the city a zero carbon?

  8. Joey Williams Says:

    I never would of thought a “zero” carbon city would be possible espically with money from oil how ironic. A solar power city by solar farms is such a great step in the right direction and hopefully other countries follow suit and develop renewable energy sources. Awesome read and great story I cant wait to see what these countries come up with next.