Work has begun on a city of the future. We’ve heard that one before, but this plan has serious money behind it.
The Abu Dhabi trust building Masdar City says it will have zero emissions and zero waste. Within 10 years it is to be a city of nearly 50,000 residents who will work in clean-tech startups. It will be a walled community of 2.3 square . are winds and the noise of Abu Dhabi’s airport next door. Rather laudably for an oil-rich nation, there will be no cars. Transportation will be by electric light rail. Stores will sell only organic and fair-trade products. And the whole city is to be built out of recycled and sustainable products. Bamboo was mentioned.
Masdar is intended to be a lab for tackling the issues of energy security, climate change and sustainable development, all very commendable. But cities are shaped by the people in them, and utopias have a way of turning out much different from their founders’ visions.
Masdar can’t possibly turn out as dull as it sounds.