Monday 25 June 2007

Coming up - world's first 'zero-carbon' city

The world's first attempt to create a zero-carbon, zero-waste city has been officially launched in Abu Dhabi.

The new six square kilometer energy, science and technology community will open in late 2009. The development is a unique, integrated 'Green Community' in the heart of Abu Dhabi, which uses the traditional planning principals of a walled city, together with existing technologies to achieve a zero-carbon and zero-waste sustainable development.

The city will house -

* the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology - the graduate science and research Institute currently being established in cooperation 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 commercialise advanced energy technologies.

The city will also host Masdar's offices and residential space for employees, as well as a science museum and edutainment facilities.

Masdar CEO, Sultan Al Jaber explained - "There is nothing like this in the world. We are creating a synergetic environment - it is a true alternative energy cluster. Here you will find researchers, students, scientists, business investment professionals and policy makers - all within the same community.

"It will be a living example of sustainable development that will position Abu Dhabi and Masdar at the forefront of intelligent resource utilisation. It will combine the talent, expertise and resources to enable the technological breakthroughs necessary for truly sustainable development."

Rooted in a zero-carbon ambition, the city will be car-free, powered by renewable energy with services digitally managed and providing real-time information. With a maximum distance of 200m to the nearest transport link and amenities, the compact network of streets will encourage walking and is complemented by a personalised rapid transport system.

Shaded walkways and narrow streets will create a pedestrian-friendly environment in the context of Abu Dhabi's extreme climate. Surrounding land will contain wind, photovoltaic farms, research fields and plantations - enabling the city to be entirely self-sustaining.

The city will provide up to 1,500 companies with an attractive package of incentives - including a one-stop-shop program of government services, transparent laws, 100% foreign ownership, tax-free environment, intellectual property protection and proximity to nearby manufactures, suppliers and markets.

Sultan Al Jaber added - "By attempting the first carbon-neutral city in the world, Masdar is demonstrating its commitment to change the way the world understands energy and sustainable resource utilisation. One day, all cities will be built like this."

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