When I posted a video of Fully Charged's visit to Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, some commenters seemed skeptical about the cost of this initiative. Yet from large-scale solar power to extreme energy efficiency measures, you'd think that ambitious , forward thinking projects like this would be welcomed, not ridiculed.
In the second video from Robert Llewellyn's visit, he showcases some more details on the city's passive cooling strategies—which include a 45 meter high "wind tower" that funnels breezes down into the street below. (Fellow TreeHugger Brian wrote about the wind towers of Masdar as part of his coverage of this project.)
But passive cooling is just one part of what makes Masdar different. From a solar-powered driverless pod car system to aggressive recycling of building materials, it really does seem like the architects, engineers and designers behind Masdar have thought through almost every aspect of how to build and run a city more efficiently. Yes, this effort has been expensive. (When Brian reported on the project in 2011, he noted that $2bn had already gone into Masdar's design and construction.) But when we build our interstate highway systems, flew the first aeroplanes or got man on the moon, I'm pretty sure there were plenty of people decrying the cost and the folly of such civilization-changing achievements.
I, for one, am glad to see people still dreaming big. Especially in the Middle East.