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Global Ideas Reporter | Green Initiatives

Eco-city in the desert – role model or image coup?

CC BY NC 2.0: Blaine O'Neill

CC BY NC 2.0: Blaine O’Neill

The world’s largest oil producer, the Arabic Emirate Abu Dhabi, is building an eco-city right into the desert: zero CO2-emission, energy only from renewables, electric cars moving in tunnels below surface.

Well-known architect Norman Foster is responsible for designing the one squaremile large green square. First complexes are already finished, the whole project should be finished in 2025. 40.000 people shall live there, working in the city with addional 50.000 commuters traveling to Masdar. The city is meant to become the epitome of renewable energy and sustainability – such as Silicon Valley is for computer and internet technology. To realize these visions the emirate of Abu Dhabi invests the stunning amount of $22 billion.

But there are more and more experts doubting over sustainability of Masdar City: some say, it would be more effective to spend the money in isolating the local Beduins’ houses for example.

What is you opinion on such model projects? A good idea to test researcher’s ideas in reality or a waste of money, that would have made more effort elsewhere?


December 29, 2012



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