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Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

May 09

Zero Carbon City

Posted in Energy Economy | Energy Inventions | Future Technology | Transportation

Zero Carbon City 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.

Sustainable City

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.”

Future City Plan

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.”

External Sources:

  • mehul patel

    This is a new concept in the planning process of the future cities. I would be glad if i can get some more information regarding the whole thing.

    ar. mehul patel

  • renton

    Umm… so do they know that people are made of carbon atoms?

  • Noah

    I am a student at Beveridge Middle School in Omaha, NE, USA. I have chosen to do a project on this city. If anyone can give me more information about this city it would be very helpful. Thank you.

    Noah Aldrich

  • Bob Wallace

    A Google will give you several sites that discuss this place.

    NPR radio did a piece a few days ago. One issue they brought up was the difficulty of deciding where the city stopped and the rest of the world began.

    For example, for PR reasons a number of reporters had been flown in for a tour. Do you count the carbon released by that plane?

  • Noah

    Thank you very much. And I’m sure they that in the future they won’t fly the planes into the city, they will probably fly them to a nearby city and drive them to the gates.

  • Barry Johnston

    The Emirates are a great place to use solar energy to run zero carbon projects and fortunately there are now some new solar technologies around called “zero carbon solar water heating systems” which do not even need mains electricity to pump the solar hot water to the solar panels. I have been involved in developing such a solar thermal system (solartwin) along with a Scottish University. Their clever innovation reduces the 20% carbon clawback (which conventional solar installations incur by having mains powered pumps and controllers) to 0%. In this way, pumped solar hot water systems can now be viewed as genuinely zero carbon in their operation and not just low carbon.

  • Martin Brook

    The European Technology Centre – Gulf is negotiating to be built within the walls of Masdar. We are working hard to promote the zero carbon footprint philosophy and so are searching Europe for the finest innovative green technologies to promote for the first time to the world from the city of Masdar.

  • elliott

    Is anyone else thinking Biodome? “The city will be entirely self-sustaining!”? Does that mean they’re going to produce their own clothes, food, household goods? and what about “The site is located in close proximity to Abu Dhabi’s transportation infrastructure, which will allow for easy access to and from surrounding communities.”? Why would they need access to surrounding communities if they’re completely self-sustaining? Do you count the carbon of all forms of transportation used by those who visit the surrounding communities?

  • Justin Gellman

    So here’s my question,

    How exactly do they plan on building this supposed zero-carbon city? I’m fairly certain they won’t be using electric front-loaders and hybrid dump trucks. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the idea of a zero carbon city is amazing, but they still have to build the thing, which is going to output tons of carbon. I know, I’m just playing devil’s advocate, but still, it’s not exactly “zero.”

  • mickster

    The zero carbon fully sustainable city is a brilliant idea and hopefully works well, well done norman foster, who did the gherkin. My main thoughts is that if the water runs out in the area then its a ghost town. If it was possible to build in the U.K. then go ahead this is the sustainable way forward that may save the planet and our future existence.

  • John De Reggi

    Funny, as much talk as there is these days about going green, I can’t get the local Government to leave me alone to create my own off grid power and vertical green house. let alone my own little family community. The neighbors don’t like my junk. Can’t have a trailer (for noise abatement and weatherization for the power) or seemingly anything except for cash cows in a residential zones. Permits cost money yet the inspectors don’t know or realize what they are looking at. Having problems with my 2MW gasification, CHP with algae and vertical greenhouse system forward progress. While you’re rebuilding the world, how do I make them leave me alone?

    John De Reggi

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