The Masdar Initiative is an environmental urban ambition by Foster + Partners to develop a sustainable city. They recently released these beautiful images of their conceptual walled city where residents would enjoy a carbon and waste-free environment. The 6 million square metre project is based on the principles of an ancient walled city, combined with modern alternative energy technologies. The mixed-use, high density city will include a University, Innovation Center, Company Headquarters and several economic zones. The company plans to launch the project at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2007. The initiative is being driven by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company.
There are critics who say that the city appears cold and uninviting, like a computer microchip. However, the fact remains that this project will be a world first, and that it “promises to question conventional urban wisdom at a fundamental level. Masdar promises to set new benchmarks for the sustainable city of the future.” The city will be entirely self-sustaining!
Masdar CEO, Sultan Al Jaber explained, “There is nothing like this in the world. We are creating a synergetic environment; it is a true alternative energy cluster. Here you will find researchers, students, scientists, business investment professionals, and policy makers all within the same community. It will be a living example of sustainable development that will position Abu Dhabi and Masdar at the forefront of intelligent resource utilization. It will combine the talent, expertise and resources to enable the technological breakthroughs necessary for truly sustainable development.”
Construction of this large-scale project will occur in two well-planned phases. In phase one of the project a large solar photovoltaic power plant will be built as a central energy source. In phase two urban growth will occur. The site is located in close proximity to Abu Dhabi’s transportion infrastructure, which will allow for easy access to and from surrounding communities. An efficient network of rail, road and public transit will link the city to central Abu Dhabi and the international airport.
From Foster + Partners:
“Rooted in a zero carbon ambition, the city itself is car free. With a maximum distance of 200m to the nearest transport link and amenities, the compact network of streets encourages walking and is complemented by a personalized rapid transport system. The shaded walkways and narrow streets will create a pedestrian-friendly environment in the context of Abu Dhabi’s extreme climate. It also articulates the tightly planned, compact nature of traditional walled cities. With expansion carefully planned, the surrounding land will contain wind, photovoltaic farms, research fields and plantations, so that the city will be entirely self-sustaining.”
- Masdar Initiative Homepage
- Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2007
- Foster + Partners: World’s first zero carbon, zero waste city
- dezeen: Zero-carbon city by Foster + Partners
- Inhabitat: Green Desert Utopia