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A Zero-carbon, Zero-Waste, Sustainable City in the Desert

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    Back in 2007, the government of Abu Dhabi — a Middle Eastern emirate that controls 8% of the world's oil reserves — announced that it would build "the world's first zero-carbon city," a custom-designed settlement called Masdar. (The word means source in Arabic.) It would rely entirely on renewable energy — mostly solar — and would produce zero waste. It would be home to a university dedicated to the study of sustainability, as well as attract the best companies in clean tech. There would be no traditional cars inside the city — all transportation was to be via PRT vehicle — and it would use half the energy of a settlement of the same size. The urban layout — by the green-minded British architect Norman Foster — would combine classic Arab design with 21st century technology.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2043934,00.html#ixzz1Jd4T tUCi



    Finally, some cluster of buildings, planned by Foster + Partners in Masdar..





    The first group to settle in Masdar which will house 50 thousand people in total will be colleague students.



    The city will be skyscraper-free, and photovoltaic (PV) arrays on building rooftops will also collect sunlight for power. A desalination plant that will provide fresh water to the city will use solar power as well. The city will also use energy from a $2 billion hydrogen power plant. Hydrogen, a clean source of energy, produces much fewer carbon dioxide emissions than most fossil fuel processes used today.

    To keep energy needs low and the city cool, designers plan to orient the city and its structures to take full advantage of natural sea breezes. A wall encompassing the city and wind towers for buildings will contribute to protecting the population from the harsh desert climate. In addition, taller buildings will shade the city's narrow walking streets. If the city's structures use sustainable technologies, and energy demand is reduced 70 percent because of those technologies, then it will be easier for the city to survive on alternative energy resources. The city hopes to save $2 billion in oil after 25 years

    How does a community of 50,000 people produce no waste? The answer lies in composting and recycling materials. To keep trash from ending up in a landfill, much of the waste will end up in a compost pile,





    Absent from Masdar will be the sound and smell of cars hootin’ and spewin’. Conventional vehicles will be parked outside of the walled
    boundary, but people weary of walking this compact and pedestrian-friendly city can use pod cars below street level. These are equipped with magnetic sensors that detect potential obstacles and are powered by the sun. Reap quotes Kaled Awad, the project’s director: “the quality of air will be better than any other street in the Gulf and in the world, and that alone will bring you safety, health and happiness.
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    Sounds very nice ... if it ever happens that is.
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    (Original post by Darkphilosopher)
    Sounds very nice ... if it ever happens that is.
    It's happening to be completed in 2020, but I believe the zero-carbon aim is too ambitious
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    Designed by Western scientists and engineers, built by South Asian immigrants, and paid for by oil






    Are you trying to impress us or something cause its not working ?
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    Hydrogen??? Be interesting to see how they produce as much hydrogen while being carbon neutral.
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    (Original post by Ramox3)
    It's happening to be completed in 2020, but I believe the zero-carbon aim is too ambitious
    Its just that these types of projects often get to half way through completion then end up being abandoned because of some reason or another.
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    (Original post by Darkphilosopher)
    Its just that these types of projects often get to half way through completion then end up being abandoned because of some reason or another.
    Not in the UAE, those Sheikhs and Emirs are nutters.
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    Zero carbon?

    So the population isn't exhaling? :holmes:
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    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    Zero carbon?

    So the population isn't exhaling? :holmes:
    Probably counter that with plants.
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    (Original post by Scottish)
    Designed by Western scientists and engineers, built by South Asian immigrants, and paid for by oil






    Are you trying to impress us or something cause its not working ?
    On Arab Land.

    Bragging wasn't the aim of the post, but since you've started it . No one denies the advancement of the western scientist over Arab ones. But thats the whole point of the project. This and many other projects are done in the hope that the science would eventually "rub off" on the region.

    And please dont have a short memory and forget that a lot of the advanced western civilization originates from Arabs and Persians. Words like Algebra, Alchemy, Alkali, Algorithim, Guitar and many others are still used in the English language until today. A few other examples I can think of , at the top of my head are Arabic numerals (1,2,3 ), trigonometric function except for sin, first water turbine, and the first degree awarding university (as recognized by Guinness world record). Hell even your official state's religion is Middle Eastern, * although Jesus wasn't Arabic he was a semitic Aramaic, but hey its still middle eastern ! )
    So many Arabs believe that its a duty to "bring the science back home", and everyone knows that oil money isn't going to last forever. There is a lot of lavishness and waste going on, we also know that, but what do you expect from a nation that's been so hungry and poor for long and suddenly falls on an all you can eat open buffet of wealth?

    About the South Asian labor, they all had a choice, and continue to have one. Thats nothing but good old western capitalism for you, its all about supply and demand. And if they where to chose to work in the gulf again 90% of those labour would chose to work in the gulf again, because conditions back home are way worse. No wonder these people find a heaven in England when they immigrate.
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    (Original post by Darkphilosopher)
    Its just that these types of projects often get to half way through completion then end up being abandoned because of some reason or another.
    Not in Abu Dhabi my friend, no one wants neighboring Dubai or Saudi Arabia to "win" . The first phase has already been accomplished featuring a sustainability university.
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    (Original post by Ramox3)
    On Arab Land.

    Bragging wasn't the aim of the post, but since you've started it . No one denies the advancement of the western science over Arab ones. But thats the whole point of the project. This and many other projects are done in the hope that the science would eventually "rub off" on the region.

    And please dont have a short memory and forget that a lot of the advanced western civilization originates from Arabs and Persians. Words like Algebra, Alchemy, Alkali, Algorithim, Guitar and many others are still used in the English language until today. Other examples are Arabic Numerals, trigonometric function except for sin, first water turbine, and the first degree awarding university (as recognized by Guinness world record). So many Arabs believe that its a duty to "bring the science back home", and oil money isn't going to last forever.

    About the South Asian labor, they all had a choice, and continue to have one. Thats nothing but good old western capitalism for you, its all about supply and demand. And if they where to chose to work in the gulf again 90% of those labour would chose to work in the gulf again, because conditions back home are way worse. No wonder these people find a heaven in England when they immigrate.
    Firstly do not lecture me on arabic science, Arabic Science is pale in comparison to what the west has contributed. And secondly capitalism is NOT western. Capitalism has existed since before written language.
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    *Sigh*

    Why must you (nationalists/racists) manage to turn everything that's mildly interesting into some asinine discussion about who's country/race is the best?

    'Western scientists'; 'Arab land'; 'South Asian labour'; 'Western capitalism'... who really gives a toss about all of this?

    Anyway, the fact that they are using Hydrogen-based electricity is, in my opinion, quite interesting. I've been wondering for years, since this whole sustainable fuel furore started, why no one seems to discussing Hydrogen as a replacement for oil. Rather cool.
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    (Original post by Scottish)
    Firstly do not lecture me on arabic science, Arabic Science is pale in comparison to what the west has contributed. And secondly capitalism is NOT western. Capitalism has existed since before written language.
    They may seem pale to you now, but back in the day they were major breakthroughs. Pale or not, they laid down a lot of the foundations, and you may chose to ignore the history, for reasons of arrogance or ignorance I can't tell.
    Anyway I presented my case , and I rest it there.
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    (Original post by D.R.E)
    *Sigh*

    Why must you (nationalists/racists) manage to turn everything that's mildly interesting into some asinine discussion about who's country/race is the best?

    'Western scientists'; 'Arab land'; 'South Asian labour'; 'Western capitalism'... who really gives a toss about all of this?

    Anyway, the fact that they are using Hydrogen-based electricity is, in my opinion, quite interesting. I've been wondering for years, since this whole sustainable fuel furore started, why no one seems to discussing Hydrogen as a replacement for oil. Rather cool.
    haha, I didn't start that conversation, I personally prefer to see things from a human perspective, but when someone starts a nationalist debate I tend to give in easily, and it's usually annoying because for some reason people view us Arabs as sub-human with oil money and no brains or class.
    But yea I generally see an advancement of one nation as an advancement of humanity, because we all complete each other after all , how dull would the world be if it was all Western, or all Middle Eastern, African or Eastern ?

    here's more info on the Hydrogen plant btw
    Natural gas will be processed to create hydrogen and CO2. The hydrogen fuel would generate low-carbon electricity. Rather than being emitted to the atmosphere, the CO2 will be captured, ready for transportation and injection into a producing oil field where it can replace natural gas currently being injected into the field to maintain pressure. The injected CO2 has also the potential to increase the proportion of Abu Dhabis oil that can be recovered.
    http://www.stichtingmilieunet.nl/and...abu-dhabi.html
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    That would be amazing! But I do agree, the zero-carbon goal may be pushing it.
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    (Original post by Scottish)
    Firstly do not lecture me on arabic science, Arabic Science is pale in comparison to what the west has contributed. And secondly capitalism is NOT western. Capitalism has existed since before written language.
    LOL


    Western science wouldn't even have been possible without Arabic science, and more importantly their mathematics.

    You do post some **** on this forum, taking every opportunity - even one as tenuous as this - to spout crap about how another group of people are inferior to your own.

    I'm ashamed to share my nationality with you - bet you're a Rangers fan to boot :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Barden)
    LOL


    Western science would even have been possible without Arabic science, and more importantly their mathematics.

    You do post some **** on this forum, taking every opportunity - even one as tenuous as this - to spout crap about how another group of people are inferior to your own.

    I'm ashamed to share my nationality with you - bet you're a Rangers fan to boot :rolleyes:

    Bro, I know he doesn't represent all Scotsmen, Scotland is truly a beautiful country every Scotsman should be proud of, everything from the music, the mountains, the castles, the people, the history and the present. I visited Scotland twice and I also have 2 amazing Scottish friends!

    Thats what you expect from internet forums anyway, and its all a positive thing in the end despite the occasional negativity, because we all get to say what we really think and it gets things out there in the open, and so we all get the opportunity to debate things freely and maybe clear a few misconceptions up. so yea good stuff !
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    Heard about this on the radio at least a year back... seemed like the wrong way of going about finding answers to sustainability to me - we're not going to be able to demolish the world's cities and move everyone into billion dollar designer ecotowns.

    otoh some info might come out of it and there's worse things arab royalty have been known to spend their money on.
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    Hmmm....interesting thread. But quick ques: Is the city still functional today? Was this project a success?

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Updated: April 17, 2011
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