An article in today’s New York Times reports that green is growing in an unlikely place. The Persian Gulf, known and coveted for its wealth of oil, is preparing for a post-petroleum world.
The Madsar Institute, a research institute associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), partnered with London design firm Foster and Partners, leading eco-architects, to design Madsar City, a car-free, solar-powered mini-metropolis that will rely strongly on non-polluting, low-impact eco-technology.
Similar eco-communities have sprung up elsewhere, including Arcosanti in the Arizona desert, but not on the same scale as this initiative. The 6 million square meter development of Madsar will strive to be carbon neutral and zero-waste.
The NYT describes Madsar:
The community, slightly smaller than the historic district of Venice, will have similar narrow pedestrian streets, but shaded by canopies made of photovoltaic panels. It will produce all of its own energy from sunlight.
Water will flow from a solar-powered seawater-desalinization plant. Produce will come from nearby greenhouses, and all waste will be composted or otherwise recycled, said Khaled Awad, property manager for the project.
This news comes as the sporting world’s eyes turn to the region for the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament, an event that’s not exactly well-suited to water conservation and sustainability.
The city is slated for construction nearby Abu Dhabi’s international airport and will serve as a center for academic and corporate research on green technology. The proposed car-free community is part of a $15 billion investment in new energy technologies by Abu Dhabi.
Construction of Madsar begins this Saturday, with the first phase slated for completion in two years.
See a simulated video tour of Madsar City on the Dot Earth blog.
See also: Model Green City: Treasure Island Starts from Scratch.
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