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Desert eco-city to run on waste

Abu Dhabi, capital city of the United Arab Emirates, is building a $22 billion zero-carbon showcase city for 50,000 residents with its power plants running on waste.

A plot of desert land will be transformed into Masdar City  which will produce no waste, emit no carbon and be completed by 2016. It is an initiative by the Government of Abu Dhabi through the Mubadala Development Company [State-run renewable energy firm].

Speaking to the Sunday Times (1 February), Masdar City head of development Khaled Awad said: "This will be the city of the future. Zero-carbon and run on totally renewable energy, it will be one of the first and biggest ecoclusters in the world."

Non-organic waste will be recycled. Organic waste will be converted into fuel for power plants.
Designed by the British architect Lord Foster, the 6.5 kilometre city will be suspended on stilts 20ft above the ground, increasing air circulation and reducing the heat transferred from the hot desert floor. Overall, Masdar City will need about a quarter of the energy of a normal city of comparable size.

It will be spilt into three decks that separate transport from residential and public spaces and cars will not be allowed anywhere.

Water will be drawn from dew and a solar-powered desalination plant and electricity will be generated from solar power. In total the city will cost $22 billion.

The city will be built with 100% scrap metal, and carbon emissions from building equipment and vehicles will be offset.

Masdar chief executive Sultan Al Jaber said he wants to convert the emirate, one of the world's most profligate energy-using petro states, into a model of green technology.

Image: Masdar City Construction

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