It sounds like a conceptual design or science-fiction fantasy, but it is already under construction. Rising in the desert outside of Abu Dhabi, Masdar City will be the world’s most sustainable metropolis with no cars (or skyscrapers) allowed.
Instead of private personal automobiles, the public rapid transit system represents a shift from ‘mass’ to ‘mini’ in the form of small programmable multi-person vehicles – but that is just the beginning.
Solar, wind and geothermal sources will fuel the city – sun-powered desalination plants will provide fresh water for inhabitants, which will in turn be carefully recycled (as will other biological waste).
Practicing what it embodies on multiple levels, this new urban area aims to be the definitive regional hotpot for developing green energy and researching clean technology.
The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology has already been built and more structures are on the way. By 2025, the target population should be up to 50,000 within the walkable 2.3 square-mile perimeter currently planned for development.
The United Arab Emirates have long recognized the need to diversify their regional sources of revenue and develop self sufficiency outside of oil and conventional business – this comprehensive, ground-up urban design is the latest step along a new long-term path. The development is a project of the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company and has been largely designed by Foster & Partners.