Masdar: The Only Totally Green City on Earth

Source: http://musemcgill.wordpress.com/case-studies/masdar-city-abu-dhabi-uae/
Source: http://musemcgill.wordpress.com/case-studies/masdar-city-abu-dhabi-uae/
Masdar Driverless Car. Source:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/58978138@N00/6770579011/
Masdar Driverless Car. Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58978138@N00/6770579011/

Masdar: A Totally Green City in an Oil Producing Nation

Masdar: The World's Only Totally Green City Located in an Oil-Producing Nation

Masdar is located near Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) one of the richest oil producing countries in the world. Is it not ironic, that Saudi Arabia realizes, that even they, can not be dependent on their own oil reserves forever?

When driving into the city of Masdar, one must park their vehicle on the outskirts of the city, as gasoline powered vehicles are not allowed inside the city. You will be picked up at the parking garage by one of Masdar's driverless vehicles and taken to wherever your desination might be. To power this wonderful city, there is a solar farm that is the size of 300 football fields. Now, in America, it may not be practical to have a solar farm this big in many places, but there is certainly enough open space in some of our desert and plains areas. After all, isn't much of the UAE desert?

Source:  Google Maps
Source: Google Maps

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Masdar: A Green City in the Making

Masdar: A Green City in the Making

Masdar City is currently a work in progress. The goal is for it to be a home and technological center for business and technology that are environmentally friendly. When completed it is estimated that about 45,000 to 50,000 people will live in Masdar, and another 60,000 will commute into the city for work.

The entire city is about 2.3 square miles, and will eventually be home to an estimated 1,500 or so business. There are already several green technolgoy companies operating in Masdar, some of which are Global Foundries, Sieman's, and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

The ultimate goal of Masdar City is to re-use and recyle everything possible and to have a city that is zero-emissions zero-carbon footprint, and zero-waste. Waste water will be re-used as many times as possible, after which it will be treated and re-used. Biological waste will be repurposed and used as agricultural fertilizers. What vehicles that there will be in the city, other than the driverless cars, will all relay on electrical or other green fuel technology. Woods used in the construction of buildings are fast-growing and sustainable woods, such as palm and bamboo.

"Abu Dhabi-based Masdar is a new kind of global energy company that takes a holistic approach to the changing realities of power generation and consumption around the world. Integrating research, development and innovation with investment, sustainable production, deployment and export, Masdar serves as a link between today’s fossil fuel economy and a new energy future - developing the “greenprint” for how we will live and work tomorrow." Source: https://jobs.abudhabi.ae/en/company/masdar-990744/

Have you ever thought about searching for a job in Masdar? Wouldn't it be interesting to work in a city that is so forward-thinking? A city where caring for the environment is paramount over all else? In Masdar, the focus is so geared to energy conservation, that the length of time that showers run is tightly controlled, and when refrigerator doors or room lights are left open or on for too long, "Big Brother" is notified about the infraction.


"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"  Source: Kaled Awad, director of the Masdar project
"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" Source: Kaled Awad, director of the Masdar project

The Most Aggressive Sustainability Experiment on Earth

The Most Aggressive Sustainability Experiment on Earth


In Masdar is found the world's largest CSP (Concentrated Solar Power), which is producing not only enough electricity to power the entire city, plus all the necessary equipment to continue on with Phase II of the project. Due to economic downturns worldwide, certain portions of the project had to be modified and/or delayed, so the plan which was originally scheduled to complete in 2016 may not be totally finished until 2025.

Nonetheless, the city of Masdar contains many innovative ideas that one may never have expected to come out of one of the largest oil producing nations in the world. Buildings are built so they are close enough to each other to provide shade for each other, in addition to the streets, which are intentionally made narrow as a consequence. Shading on the windows in office buildings is designed so that there is good lighting without direct sunlight entering the buildings, thus keeping them naturally cooler. The whole city is walled off from the outside desert, and it's said that the temperature on the ground inside the city is 10 to 15 degrees cooler than outside the city, just due to the way the architecture has been designed, and other sustainable cooling methods used within the city.

One major problem that is being encountered is the solar farm being affected by sandstorms, which reduce the solar output by 30% when the panels are covered with sand. It is a huge project to clean these panels off, but they have huge machines with giant scrubbing brushes to do that job.

A Lesson for the Rest of the World in Sustainable Resources

Masdar is a Lesson for the Rest of the World in How to Manage Sustainable Resources


Imagine, that one of the larges oil producing countries in the world has the foresight to realize that they are losing money by being dependent on their own oil reserves. Every dollar saved by not using their own oil, is a dollar they can earn from oil-dependent nations like America. Isn't it time that we Americans as well as other nations took a lesson from Abu Dhabi's government and started moving ourselves to self-sustainability on self-reliance? It's time that our governments put money into the research programs needed to free us from oil dependence on other countries, instead of supporting "Big Oil," that rakes in unprecedented profits year after year.

Concept Building in Masdar City.  Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58978138@N00/6770559847/
Concept Building in Masdar City. Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58978138@N00/6770559847/

Side-by-Side Exercises in Energy Conservasion

Side-by-Side Exercises in Energy Conservasion


Imagine parabolic solar panels focusing the energy of the sun concentrated enough to heat water to 400 degrees, then using that seem heated water to power cooling stations to provide whatever cooling is needed in the city. Imagine a 10 megawatt solar farm that is producing far more energy than the 3 megawatts needed to power the city. Imagine what could be accomplished with a 100 megawatt solar farm. That is the plan for the future in Masdar and just outside Masdar in the hot Abu Dhabi desert.

Imagine buildings that are designed around ancient building designs of Arabia that minimized exposure to the hot desert sun and maximized the availability of shaded areas. Imagine a place where only environmentally friendly corporations and institutions operate. Imagine a city where there are no fossil fuel powered vehicles. Imagine a place where the cutting edge science that can free the world from oil dependency is taking place on a daily basis. Imagine a place called Masdar City that has the potential to change the way the world thinks about energy conservation and sustainability. l Imagine the city of tomorrow, taking shape in the world of today.

Source: http://www.careers.ch2m.com/worldwide/en/engineering-projects/masdar.asp
Source: http://www.careers.ch2m.com/worldwide/en/engineering-projects/masdar.asp

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2 comments

allpurposeguru profile image

allpurposeguru 2 years ago from North Carolina

Is parabolic mirror technology really green? It requires vast amounts of water, and all the most suitable sites are in deserts.

I do like the passive solar ideas you present, such as siting of buildings and placement of windows. I thought ground temperatures in cities were higher than in the country side. And in Masrad they're lower! Lots to learn from that!


pocono foothills profile image

pocono foothills 2 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania Author

@allpurposeguru-Thanks for you comment. Masrad recycles all of their water, so the parabolic mirror is really a moot point.

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