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:
"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
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