Masdar: Abu Dhabi's carbon-neutral city

Reading the reports of Masdar, a revolutionary city, if it works, you’re waiting for them to say this is just a concept, but they’re actually building it.

The city, in the desert of Abu Dhabi, is using some old technology, a lot of new technology and will continue to develop and experiment. It’s a fascinating concept, amongst the design features:

  • The city is powered by solar energy and burning waste. Plans to use geothermal and hydrogen power have also been proposed.
  • Water will provided by a solar-powered desalination plant and recycling processes.
  • It’s raised to allow airflow under as well as around and over buildings, apparently something done in old middle eastern cities.
  • The buildings are close together to provide shade for each other an the streets as with old middle eastern cities.
  • There will be no cars, aside from walking there will be a series of underground automated passenger carts to take you where you want to go.
  • Wind towers will funnel a breeze down into the city without using any power, something used in old middle eastern cities.

There’s some pretty exciting ideas, and they plan to continue to test and tweak new and existing technologies.

It’ll be interesting to see if it works, if it pans out and what it’ll be like when covered in rubbish and graffiti and half the transit pods are out of action.

It really is a bold idea though, these sort of grand projects are the sort of thing every nation should all be striving for.

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