When we think of the United Arab Emirates we think of oil refineries and wealth but the day is dawning in the Arabian Desert when a fully sustainable city called Masdar is coming to fruition.
Masdar is the equivalent of the ultimate in gated cities that incorporates both the security of a gated community with sustainable living. It is one city where the only allowable vehicles inside the walls will be electric cars. Although, in a country where obesity is on the rise as few people are able to walk about in the arid temps, this city is built with shaded areas that make for easy foot travel to just about anywhere within the city limits very comfortable. It would appear that “everything has been engineered for high-function, low-consumption performance,” where the living may be easy but it is also totally green.
According to the New York Times, Masdar has been “Designed by Foster & Partners, a London-based firm known for feats of technological wizardry.” You can view the Foster & Partners’ website here. They have set the architectural bar at the highest levels and their firm consists of a largely young, metropolitan and international community that collectively speaks over 40 languages.
The design of Masdar incorporates old world architecture into new world sustainable-living architecture. Imagine living in a visionary city that resembles ancient, architecturally constructed adobe buildings made of clay and other organic materials but with all the modern conveniences.
From the Foster & Partners’ webpage of their descriptive profile on Masdar:
“Masdar Development, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Inspired by the architecture and urban planning of traditional Arab cities, Masdar City incorporates 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 within the complex maximizes the shade and accelerates airflow through the narrow streets. Masdar will boast that 90% of the power consumed will be from the sun with the remainder generated by incinerating waste. You just cannot get much greener than that!
Is this Magic Kingdom-styled city representative of our tomorrow lands? Perhaps Walt Disney’s view of the future is coming to pass – at least in the United Arab Emirates it appears to be a reality.