A unique state-of-the-art green city will be built in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The city will be free of carbon emissions, free of waste and free of cars. Solar panels, photovoltaic and windpower will provide the power needed for the city which will be home to about 50,000 people, its electric light-rail transportation system and desalination. All waste will be recycled and waste water will be purified to be used to grow plants for biofuels.
Short distances will make cycling and walking the quickest ways to get around next to the automated electric personal rapid transit system. The light-rail will connect Masdar City to the center of Abu Dhabi which is the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Intelligent design and construction will result in high energy efficiency. The solar collectors will provide shade and save energy for cooling.
And besides from energy and water conservation, research will play an important role. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology will be part of the academia and research concept. A lot of big and small businesses are expected to start or to open up subsidiaries in Masdar City.
A total of 22 billion dollars will be invested in the next 8 years to build this city which is likely to serve as a role model for future urban development.
There are a couple of reasons why the Masdar Initiative is of high importance to Abu Dhabi. On the one hand, the economy which is mainly based on oil exports should find other areas of business and on the other hand, Abu Dhabi has fallen behind Dubai which gets much more international attention for its superlative projects like the Burj Dubai – which will be the tallest building in the world soon – or the artificial islands in the sea. Now, it seems as if Abu Dhabi has found something to catch up with Dubai as regards international perception and to reduce its dependence on oil exports. Now there are two cities claiming to be the “City of the Future”: Dubai and Masdar City – with different approaches to achieve this goal. Dubai betting on tourism and service businesses to pour in money and in contrast Abu Dhabi’s bet on environmental technology and research. Eventually, both could succeed. Abu Dhabi is not anymore looking jealously at Dubai’s success and instead of the desperate try of copying Dubai, Abu Dhabi came up with a promising idea.