Masdar City, meaning “the source” is a one of its kind project undertaken by the Abu Dhabi government. Designed by the British architecture firm Norman Foster & partners, a $22 billion project, 6 square kilometer township Masdar city is undoubtedly the most ambitious project of the contemporary global world. Masdar city is futuristic in its design intent which will rely entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy resources with a sustainable, zero-carbon, car-free, zero-waste ecology.
In many ways,
The circulation layout of
Many interesting questions are asked around the globe on the intent, success potential and long term sustainability of the project, some of which were addressed in a panel discussion conducted by TreeHugger - the leading media outlet for environmental issues. A summary and discussion is presented next.
Believers: The integrated design and planning principles like use of narrow and shaded streets, site plan which allows least amount of direct sunlight striking the buildings during high temperature, high density built up area with no sprawl, use of renewable energy materials, locally sourced Arabian materials, collaborative efforts between sustainable transporation, waste management, water conservation, green construction, recycling, climate change – all these ingredients are ideal for genuine sustainable development.
Skeptics: Although the design and planning principles all point towards sustainability but skeptics are concerned about infrastructural issues. They want to quantify concerns like “If all the oil is gone from the earth, will
What is the success potential of
Believers: By virtue of its design principles,
What is the success rate of long term sustainability of the project as it is always more sustainable to re-build existing cities than to build cities from scratch?
Believers: Juxtaposing the old and the new is far more complicated than starting from scratch. The success of a
Skeptics : Extensive studies in the past have shown that re-building existing cities is far more sustainable than creating new ones. The city to be moulded would provide infrastructural support, skilled manpower, and ready access to resources, which is undoubtedly garnered only over several years of development.
The opinions on
For more information on the project you can go to http://www.masdaruae.com/en/home/index.aspx
Posted by Nimisha Thakur, Preservation Associate