In the windswept deserts of Abu Dhabi, construction is under way on a green oasis planners say represents one of the most ambitious urban building projects ever. On Feb. 7, the United Arab Emirates-funded consortium behind Masdar City, a zero-carbon, zero-waste, self-contained community meant to house 50,000 people, finally broke ground, launching the first of seven building phases to be completed over the next eight years. All told, the $22 billion megaproject will include cutting-edge solar power and water treatment systems, nonpolluting underground light rail, and a small research university operated in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The Foster & Partners-designed Masdar project (BusinessWeek.com, 12/13/07) is no doubt a bid to diversify the UAE's petroleum-rich economy as well as green the country's image. But more important, it is the latest in a growing list of high-profile, high-promise, environmentally friendly city design projects around the world. With mounting concerns over global warming and exploding urban populations, the race to design and build the model "green city of the future" is on. The sites proposed are of such scale and complexity that they represent a major new front in green innovation.
Read more at - 'Rise of the Carbon-Neutral City'