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Old Posted Feb 5, 2008, 7:15 PM
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MASDAR CITY - Car Free, Solar City in Gulf Could Set a New Standard for Green Design

I apologize if there is already a thread for this...



Sketch by Foster + Partners

CARLESS Masdar is next to the Abu Dhabi international airport.



Car-Free, Solar City in Gulf Could Set a New Standard for Green Design

February 5, 2008
By ANDREW C. REVKIN


In an ever more crowded world facing environmental limits, the push is on to create entire communities with reduced needs for energy, water, land and other resources.

The latest effort comes not in some green hub like Portland, Ore., but in the Persian Gulf, fueled as much by oil wealth — and the need to find postpetroleum business models — as environmental zeal.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for Saturday for Masdar City, a nearly self-contained mini-municipality designed for up to 50,000 people rising from the desert next to Abu Dhabi’s international airport and intended as a hub for academic and corporate research on nonpolluting energy technologies.

The 2.3-square-mile community, set behind walls to divert hot desert winds and airport noise, will be car free, according to the design by Foster + Partners, the London firm that has become a leading practitioner of energy-saving architecture.

The community, slightly smaller than the historic district of Venice, will have similar narrow pedestrian streets, but shaded by canopies made of photovoltaic panels. It will produce all of its own energy from sunlight.

Water will flow from a solar-powered seawater-desalinization plant. Produce will come from nearby greenhouses, and all waste will be composted or otherwise recycled, said Khaled Awad, property manager for the project.

The first phase, to be completed over the next two years, will be construction of the Masdar Institute, a graduate-level academic research center associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Readers can see a simulated video tour of the city and post comments on the Dot Earth blog.

Attempts at such green communities have had mixed results. Arcosanti, the ecotopian town in the Arizona desert, was started three decades ago. Still a work in progress, it is now being encroached on by Phoenix’s suburban expansion.

China, with help from American partners, has embarked on building instant rural communities and cities designed to limit environmental impacts, but recent reports have disclosed many problems.

Still, environmental campaigners appear enthusiastic about Masdar City, which is part of a planned $15 billion investment in new energy technologies by Abu Dhabi.

At an international energy conference in that city last month, Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud, director of the One Planet Living initiative of the environmental group WWF International (known in North America as the World Wildlife Fund), said independent monitoring would help ensure that the project lived up to its billing.


Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company


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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 7, 2008, 2:33 AM
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I would go visit if it gets built.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2008, 12:55 AM
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That's a very food idea if it sets a precedent for greener development. But the bug I have with Persian gulf countries announcing these kinds of projects is that so much recent development has occurred there, yet precious little has been done to ensure that it had a minimal environmental impact.
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2008, 3:25 AM
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Solar city in the desert, very good idea. If only the rest of Dubai could had been built like this..
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Old Posted Feb 21, 2008, 4:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian_b View Post
I would go visit if it gets built.
^ Yup. Same here
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Old Posted Mar 4, 2008, 4:03 PM
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It is an interesting example of what can be done. But it is a little easier when you have mountains of cash like them seem to have in Abu Dhabi to do whatever project you want.
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Old Posted Mar 5, 2008, 9:56 PM
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Ironic that the mountains of cash came from petroleum, and the proposed development would be car-free.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2008, 2:36 AM
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Isn't that just very strange... The good thing it appears their government recognizes the oil wealth will run out one day and they better be ready for it... To bad some other governments haven't figured that out.
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Old Posted Mar 25, 2008, 7:51 PM
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Is there more information about this project besides this article? Are there drawings, renderings, press releases, etc? I would greatly be interested in any details, so any informaiton would really be appreciated.
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Old Posted Mar 25, 2008, 8:28 PM
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Foster and Partners also have a little blurb on it.
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  #11  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2008, 6:46 PM
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There's even a video of it

Video Link
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  #12  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2008, 9:20 PM
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"One day, all cities will be built like this"

I certainly hope so!
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Old Posted Mar 28, 2008, 5:13 AM
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Yeah, me too. It's really interesting how the design of the city is so borg like.
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Old Posted Mar 28, 2008, 5:44 PM
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wow, just wow. That video gave me the chills. If that is how cities will be developed in the future, there might just be hope for humanity yet!!
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Old Posted Mar 29, 2008, 12:49 AM
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This is a great idea and all but I'm kind of skeptic.
Even if it works as planned I'd say this project will cater for the rich as opposed to the masses.
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Old Posted May 15, 2008, 1:55 AM
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Tons of photos from Imre of a model of this. The pictures are in there somewhere with some other examples of buildings within the city, etc
http://www.flickr.com/photos/imresol...999593/?page=2
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  #17  
Old Posted May 17, 2008, 1:06 AM
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a more informative video and a article go to http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=90042092
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Old Posted May 17, 2008, 2:51 AM
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They need to hurry up and build all cities like this. Imagine all the energy consumption people wouldnt have to worry about paying (electricity, gas, cars, car maintnance. Maybe taxes would go up a bit to maintain and repair the wind turbines and what not, but it would be a lot less than what I mentioned. Everyone would have a higher quality of life. Hopefully Dallas is next.
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Old Posted May 17, 2008, 4:02 AM
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Any idea where the funding is coming from for this? I would think that this type of community would be incredibly expensive to build, and accordingly it would not be possible in many countries. It is great, though, that Abu Dhabi is building this. They are setting a great example of what is possible with today's technology and resources.
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Old Posted Jan 16, 2009, 10:00 AM
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http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009...us-no-more.php

Apparently construction of this visionary development has already started.
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