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Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Abu Dhabi 'zero-carbon city' unveiled
Billed as the 'world's first zero-carbon, zero-waste city' - I think Dongtan (covered recently by WIRED) might have words to say about that - this is a Foster-planned project, to house 50,000, in the desert state. The hubris of the Gulf states knows no ends - and has ended up with a perfectly square walled mini-city (50,000 surely isn't really city-sized?) in the middle of nowhere, with a science and technology institute developed in conjunction with MIT, "research facilities; world-class laboratories; commercial space for related-sector companies; light manufacturing facilities and a carefully selected pool of international tenants who will invest, develop, and commercialize advanced energy technologies."

Oh, and lots of monorails, which will provide the "personalised rapid transport system" for this car-free development. And "surrounding land will contain wind, photovoltaic farms, research fields and plantations, enabling the city to be entirely self-sustaining."

Sounds completely bizarre and thus, believable for this part of the word. Photovoltaic farms - alas, sadly, not actually growing giant crystals in ponds of ionised solution in the desert - are of course hardly 'zero-carbon' to make. And the energy needs of an airconditioned research centre in the middle of the desert are going to be pretty phenomenal. Let's not start questioning the sustainability of the whole thing on the macro scale, however, as that will be never-ending...

Pictures, here if you're and AJ subscriber.


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