In order for things to change, changes need to be made. This simple statement was given precedence in the barren lands of United Arab Emirates. Masdar, a planned city project, is currently being constructed and developed with environmental concerns and sustainability as the focal point. The developer, Mubadala Development Company, an Abu Dhabi investment company, is building an entire city that “will rely entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, with a sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste ecology.”
Keeping the traditional design of local Arab cities, Foster + Partners designed a city from the ground up that will “incorporate narrow streets; the shading of windows, exterior walls and walkways; thick-walled buildings; courtyards and wind towers; vegetation and a generally walkable city.” The entire design is meant to provide a specific purpose and functional. For example, the close proximity of the buildings will provide shade for the city dwellers as they pass through the streets. And, the wind towers will provide even more relief from the heat. Even the office workers will be relieved as the walls of their office buildings will naturally prevent the heat from penetrating. Everything has a reason, a purpose and function.
Even further, Masdar, which means ‘source’ in Arabic, will incorporate a PRT (Personable Rapid Transportation) system that will give the visitors and locals the ability to travel underground to their destination–hands free. This Youtube video shows the use and functionality of the PRT:
Masdar will also incorporate power from the newly designed solar system Shams 1. The Shams 1 is designed to concentrate solar power and provide 100 Mega Watts of energy which can power around 20,000 homes. Shams 1 is a new design and, therefore, tests are still being carried out on functionality.
The idea remains–in order for things to change, changes need to be made.Though the area is new and the idea is bold, Masdar is a step in the right direction. For the first time, a city will be completely self-sustaining with zero waste. This is exactly what the world needs to see and may inspire other large cities to consider such changes.