The walled city of Masdar

Thursday 10 May 2007

Foster + Partners to create the world's first zero carbon, zero waste city in Abu Dhabi

The first project as a result of the Masdar Initiative is a new 6 million square meter sustainable development that uses the traditional planning principals of a walled city, together with existing technologies to achieve a zero carbon and zero waste community. Masterplanned by Foster + Partners and launched today at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, the initiative has been driven by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, and will be a centre for the development of new ideas for energy production. Masdar responds to the urban identity of Abu Dhabi while offering a sustainable urban blueprint for the future. It is an ambitious project that will attract the highest levels of international expertise and commerce, providing a mixed-use, high-density city. The exciting programme includes a new university, the Headquarters for Abu Dhabi’s Future Energy Company, special economic zones and an Innovation Center.The principle of the Masdar development is a dense walled city to be constructed in an energy efficient two-stage phasing that relies on the creation of a large photovoltaic power plant, which later becomes the site for the cities second phase, allowing for urban growth yet avoiding low density sprawl. Strategically located for Abu Dhabi’s principal transport infrastructure, Masdar will be linked to surrounding communities as well as the centre of Abu Dhabi and the international airport by a network of existing road and new rail and public transport routes.Rooted in a zero carbon ambition, the city itself is car free. With a maximum distance of 200m to the nearest transport link and amenities, the compact network of streets encourages walking and is complemented by a personalised rapid transport system. The shaded walkways and narrow streets will create a pedestrian friendly environment in the context of Abu Dhabi’s extreme climate. It also articulates the tightly planned, compact nature of traditional walled cities. With expansion carefully planned, the surrounding land will contain wind, photovoltaic farms, research fields and plantations, so that the city will be entirely self-sustaining.

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