The WWF and the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) have announced plans to create the world’s first zero-waste, zero-carbon car-free city.
Work will begin in the coming months on Masdar City, to be built near Abu Dhabi International Airport. Once complete in 2015, it will be home to more than 1,500 businesses and around 50,000 people.
Masdar City aims to exceed the 10 sustainability principles of One Planet Living, a global scheme launched by the WWF – known internationally as the Worldwide Fund for Nature and in the US as the World Wildlife Fund – and environmental consultancy BioRegional.
Masdar City’s electricity will be generated by photovoltaic panels, while cooling will be provided via concentrated solar power. Water
will be sourced through a solar-powered desalination plant.
Landscaping within the city and crops grown outside the city will be
irrigated with grey water and treated waste water produced by the city’s water treatment plant.
The city, covering six square kilometres, is part of the Masdar Initiative, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted investment in the exploration, development and commercialisation of future energy sources and clean technology solutions.
A model of the Masdar City will be unveiled on January 21 at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.
Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud, Director of One Planet Living, said: “Abu Dhabi is embarking on a journey to become the global capital of the renewable energy revolution. It is the first hydrocarbon-producing
nation to have taken such a significant step.”
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive of the Masdar Initiative, said: “Masdar City will question patterns of urban development, and set new benchmarks for sustainability and environmentally friendly design.”
US President George W Bush was briefed about Masdar during his visit to the UAE. Bush was accompanied during the briefing at Emirates Palace by General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces. Dr Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive of Masdar, presented Bush with a comprehensive outline of Masdar City and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.
He said: “President Bush was very encouraged by Masdar’s activities. I was able to share details of our efforts and our plans for the future. I look forward to continuing this discussion with United States Energy Secretary Bodman next week at the World Future Energy Summit.”