Short Bytes: Masdar City is the world’s first zero-carbon city project which is being developed in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The city will completely rely on solar energy and other renewable sources for its power needs. It is expected to be completed by 2025.
In today’s world, it is almost impossible to think of a place, which is free from pollution. Masdar City has the determination and courage to stop this unwanted guest.
Masdar City is a planned Zero-Carbon city project in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It is being constructed by Masdar, which is a subservient to Mubadala Development Company. The city is being designed by British architectural firm Foster and Partners. The project began its footsteps in 2006, with a goal to complete the first phase by 2009, but got delayed until 2015 due to global financial crisis.
The city is planned with a proposed budget of around US$ 20 million. It is designed to house around 50,000 people and 1500 business centres in 6 km. sq. of area, and is located near the metropolitan district of Abu Dhabi. The architects have designed the city, keeping in mind, the comfort and ease of pedestrians and cyclists. The city’s Wayfinding system, in laymen terms it can be understood as, how the flow of commuters progresses in a city, is developed by End Point and City ID.
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Masdar’s developers have done a wonderful act of engineering, keeping the city cool even in the desert area. They’ve built a 148ft high wind tower, which sucks cool air from the top and releases it into the streets of the city, thus, maintaining the temperature at around 15 to 20 °C even in the hot deserts of Abu Dhabi. The city is made slightly above the ground in order to keep the temperature low. Also, the buildings are made very close to each other decreasing the amount of sunlight entering the streets.
Masdar City has terracotta walls around it, that isolate the city from hot winds and sand of the surrounding dessert.
Commuting around the City:
Masdar City’s main commuting will be facilitated by Public Rapid Transit (PRT) systems, as there was no room for personal vehicles in the initial design. However, due to high costs of deploying underground PRTs, the revised plan has accumulated the need for personal vehicles. The mass transit inside the city will be carried out by electric and clean-energy vehicles, keeping in mind, the Zero-Carbon motto of Masdar City.
Powering it up:
Masdar City is fully dependent on solar and other renewable energy resources for its energy needs. For that purpose, it has a 54-acre field with 87,777 solar panels currently installed in addition to the rooftop solar panels installed all around the city. Another amazing thing, the city will have no electric switches or water taps, motion sensors will be there to do the task for you, thus, saving around 50% power and resources as assumed by the city planners.
The lead architect, Gerard Evenden said, “When we started this project, nobody had really looked at doing projects of this scale. Then you realise it’s much more efficient to build your solar field on the ground in the middle of the desert. You can send a man to brush them off every day, rather than having to access everyone’s buildings individually, and you can make sure that they are running at their absolute peak. It’s much better than putting them on every building in the city.”
Apart from the energy saving plans they have, Masdar will be committed to recycle and reuse around 80% of the water used in the city, “as many times as possible”.
Honour and Reception:
The Zero-carbon, zero waste commitment of Masdar City has led to enormous support by various World Wide organisations like WWF, BioRegional. They’ve promoted the city as the official “One Planet Living Community”.
Masdar City is awarded 2012 EE Visionary Award by Alliance to Save Energy. The US government has also come up in support for Masdar City. Greenpeace foundation, though it praises the efforts made to form Masdar City, believes that instead of creating new Zero-carbon cities, we should centralize our efforts into transforming the existing cities making them pollution free.
Final Words: Masdar City is a great attempt towards the upliftment of our mother earth from the deep well of pollution and other harmful chemicals that we’ve created to satisfy our unending thirst for luxury and comfort. Projects like these will prove to be of great benefit in extricating the human life from the unilluminated effects of pollution which may lead to the extinction of human life.
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