Monday, February 25, 2008

Zero Is The Future

Imagine living in a zero carbon emission + zero waste community. Soon this will be the reality for residents of Masdar, which means "the source" in Arabic. Architectural firm Foster + Partners will be constructing a 6 million square meter sustainable walled city just outside of Abu Dhabi. The project will cost approximately $22 billion.

The city, shown above, will be car free, with a maximum distance of 200m to the nearest transport link and amenities. There will also be an electrical rapid transport system, but the shaded walkways and narrow streets should make a pleasurable environment to go for a stroll within the extreme climate of Abu Dhabi. Solar power will be the main source of energy. In addition, the surrounding land will contain wind, photovoltaic farms, research fields and plantations, so that the city will be self-sustaining.

The project began in 2006, with 2016 as the projected date of completion. After the first phase is constructed in 2009, Masdar will be habitable. It will be home to 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses.

But they are not alone!

The Chinese have also unveiled a plan for an eco-city of their own: Dongtan. Based on similar environmentally friendly principles, by 2040, this city will be one-third the size of Manhattan, capable of holding a total population of 500,000.

This is quickly becoming something like a new age space-race... Hopefully more nations will join in.

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