Masdar, Abu Dhabi: Dubious No More

masdar under construction photo

Daryl Visscher for The New York Times

We have shown so many awful projects in Dubai and Abu Dhabi that it was hard to take projects like Masdar seriously; are they real or greenwashing? Now it appears that Lord Foster's Masdar is under construction and they are getting serious. Elisabeth Rosenthal quotes Khaled Awad, a director of Masdar, in the New York Times:

masdar aerial view image

"Abu Dhabi is an oil-exporting country, and we want to become an energy-exporting country, and to do that we need to excel at the newer forms of energy. He continued: You see what the gulf states have achieved in terms of modern infrastructure and beautiful architecture, but this has come at a very high environmental price. We know we can't continue with this carbon footprint," he said. "We have to change. This is why Abu Dhabi must develop new models — for the planet, of course, but also so as not to jeopardize Abu Dhabi."

Rosenthal continues with a description of Masdar as "a new model for urban life."

"When people think about sustainability, they think about devices," said Gerard Evenden, a partner at Foster and Partners, the British architectural firm that is designing the site. "But here you're taking it to a city scale, which has much more of an impact — connecting the devices to the structure to the transportation to the people."

The city will have no cars; people will move around using driverless electric vehicles that move on a subterranean level. The air-conditioning will be solar powered.

And why not go solar? As Mr. Awad notes, "The sun shines 365 days a year."

New York Times

masdar city image

More Masdar in TreeHugger:

Model Ecopolis Called Masdar
Ecocities of Tomorrow: Can Foster + Partners' Masdar City in U.A.E be Truly Sustainable?
EcoEDGE2 : Building Sustainable Cities

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