Human Interest


Abu Dhabi to Build Zero-Carbon 'Green' City

February 24, 2008 12:05 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Masdar City is to be the world's first zero-waste, zero-carbon development. But environmentalists cast doubt on the motives behind its construction.

30-Second Summary

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is investing $4 million in the desert project, which will be powered mainly by solar energy.

Traditional Emirati wind towers will act as natural air conditioners, channeling cool breezes into the buildings. Instead of driving fossil-fuel-burning automobiles, Masdar City’s estimated 50,000 residents will travel in transport pods that run on magnetic tracks.

The project has a price tag of $22 billion. Masdar Chief Executive Sultan al-Jaber said that any costs beyond the emirate’s funding would come from “an array of financial vehicles.”

The United Arab Emirates may have been motivated by the fact it produces a disproportionate amount of waste, considering its size. MSNBC describes the desert lifestyle of the population as “one of the world's most environmentally unfriendly with its ubiquitous air conditioning, swimming pools and SUVs.”

British biologist Jonathan Loh said, “It would be best if the UAE reduced energy consumption throughout the country not just in one location.” The project has, however, won the support of the World Wildlife Fund.

Masdar City’s chief architect, Lord Norman Foster, argues the project will have positive economic and environmental outcomes. "If I was a developer, I would say that this has to be good business. It may have a longer payback period, but 10 years in the life of a city is nothing," Foster told the Dubai-based Khaleej Times.

Headline Link: ‘Work Starts on Gulf “Green” City’

Background: Big investments from the UAE

Key Players: The UAE’s rulers

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan

Opinion & Analysis: Covering the tracks

Reference: The UAE’s mega-projects

Related Topic: ‘Dubai’s Mile-Long Super Bridge Set for March Construction’


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