Masdar City – Abu Dhabi

Masdar – meaning ”the source”

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, 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. The programme includes a new university, the Headquarters for Abu Dhabi’s Future Energy Company, special economic zones and an Innovation Center (

The city is likely to open in late 2009.The city would house 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses

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.

The surrounding land will contain wind, photovoltaic farms, research fields and plantations, so that the city will be entirely self-sustaining. The electricity for the entire city would be generated by solar energy harnessed by photovoltaic panels. To start with, a large solar power station would be built that would meet the energy requirements during the construction of the city, while buildings would be cooled by wind towers (

Wasteand Water
Systems would encourage reuse and minimal resources, with 99% of the waste generated in the city getting reused, or composted. All waste water would be reused as well, with solar energy desalination systems (

Critical voices:

Architectural journals
– Bauwelt, 2008 Dec.29, v.99, n.48, p.26-29
– Metropolis, 2008 Oct., v.28, n.2, p.[132]-[141]
– Architectural review, 2008 Aug., v.224, n.1338, p.80-81
– GA document, 2008 June, n.103, p.96-99
– Architect (Washington, DC): vol. 97, no. 4, 2008 Mar., p. 60-67
– Architect (Washington, DC): vol. 97, no. 8, 2008 June, p. 74-79
– Architects’ journal: vol. 227, no. 19, 2008 May 15, p. 100-104
– Architect (Washington, D.C.), 2008 June, v.97, n.8, p.74-79
– Arkitekten (Copenhagen): vol. 110, no. 12, 2008, p. 40-45
– Arkitektur: the Swedish review of architecture, 2008 Mar., v.108, n.2, p.34-35
– Architectural record: vol. 195, no. 8, 2007 Aug., p. 34
– Architecture plus: architecture of a new world :no. 16, 2007, p. 104-109
– Blueprint (London, England), 2008 Feb., n.263, p.40-43
– GA document : no. 103, 2008 June, p. 69-99
– Volume (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 2008, n.16, p.74-77
– Architectural record, 2007 Aug., v.195, n.8, p.34

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