Abu Dhabi starts constructing 'green city'

Monday, February 11, 2008

An artist's concept of the city. Notice the wind turbines and monorail-like tracks and 'pods'.
Image: Foster + Partners.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has started construction of its so called 'green city' which will be named Masdar City. It is a city which is designed to have no carbon emissions, cars, or waste. It will cost $22 billion (£11 billion) and take eight years to make. It will be able to hold a population of 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses. The city will cover 1,483 acres (6.00 km²).

The city was designed by Foster and Partners, a British company.

“No one has ever built a zero-carbon city before. Nor one producing zero waste or fully powered by renewable energy. Masdar City will accomplish all three,” said Sultan Al Jaber.

The city will have a personal electrical power supply mainly from two renewable energy sources: wind turbines and solar panels. Water will be provided through a solar-powered desalination plant and air conditioning will be provided naturally from wind towers.

It is planned to save more than $2 billion in oil over the next 25 years along with creating more than 70 000 jobs.

We are creating a city where residents and commuters will live the highest quality of life with the lowest environmental footprint.

—Al Jaber

The immense project will be supported by a company created for it called 'Masdar Initiative', which will develop and commercialise clean energy technologies. It will also be supported by the WWF, a global conservation charity, and it is hoped that international joint ventures will bring in more money.

Some people fear that Masdar will become a domain for the luxury development of the rich, because the city is located by Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Dr Al Jaber said, “We are often asked why we are setting our goal so high. Our answer is because someone must... Someone must push the envelope to create the solution that we, as a global community, so urgently require.”