Zero carbon, zero car city in Abu Dhabi

The list is impressive for Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s grand experiment (ground breaking was last week) in building a truly sustainable city with:

Zero cars
Zero carbon emissions
Zero waste (converted to energy)
100% renewable energy
70% reduction in energy demand
80% water recycled
water production reduced by 75%

It’s the ultimate living laboratory, as the country is investing $15 billion in new energy technologies. Keep in mind this is not some 10-acre eco-neighborhood, but a 2.3 square mile city with a resident population of 40,000 (up to 50,000) as well as 70,000 workplaces. To be completed in 2016, it will feature pedestrian-only streets, paseos, walks, squares, courtyards and piazzas, connected via personal rapid transit. You can view the virtual tour here.

One aspect of the city that should definitely not be overlooked is the presence of a graduate-level academic research center, Masdar Institute, with ties to MIT, since behind a progressive city is often a progressive educational institution.

Granted, it’s a bit of a contradiction in that it’s being built in the desert, but it will serve as a model for mature communities in other aspects.

Check out what green experts have to say about Masdar here.