Hello my friends, I trust you’re all doing well, today we are going to talk about smart cities again, this time though, we’re going to talk about a specific one called Masdar city. This one is a city still in the process of being fully built, it’s located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, it’s a self-sustaining, energy-efficient, low-carbon city. So now, without farther ado, let’s take a look into this smart city shall we?
So before we get ahead of ourselves and talk about the things that this city is building and what separates it from other’s of its kind, let’s come to understand a bit of its history and goals of its construction. The initial plans for the construction of this city began in 2006, under the order of Masdar, also known as the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company. The main idea behind this city is to create a completely sustainable city, with power mainly coming from solar power, and being zero-waste as well. As stated earlier, it’s still in the process of being fully constructed, right now phase one is being close to done, it’s estimated completion is in 2015. The entire city is planned to be complete between 2020 and 2025. The city was supposed to be originally completed in 2016, but due to the global recession of 2009, construction had to be greatly slowed down, hence the reason for the delay in completion of course. When the city is completed, in addition to being a smart city, it’s also going to be home to Masdar’s headquarters as well. The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, a university created by Masdar for the purpose of working towards a greener future is also being built there, with help from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also known as MIT. The University is going to use around 70% less electricity, and portable water then most other buildings around the same size. The city itself is going to be 2 square miles in size when completed, with walls on its perimeter to block out the hot desert winds of the surrounding area. The estimated population of the city is going to be around 50,000 people, give or take a couple thousand. In addition the estimated total cost of the entire project is around US $18 and $19 billion.
Alright, now we have a bit of an idea of what this city is doing right? So, now let’s talk about what they are doing currently, and if they are still going for the most part with their original goal. As I stated before, they are using solar power as one of their primary renewable energy sources, they are building around a 60 megawatt pv solar power plant constructed by Conergy. In addition to solar power, they are also going to use wind farms and geo-thermal. They also plan to build the world largest hydrogen power plant there as well. Since Masdar city is basically being built right next to the Persian Gulf, they are going to have a solar power desalination plant to use the salt water as drinking water safely. Also, they plan to recycle around 80% of their water supply. For example, grey water is going to be used to help crop irrigation among other things. In addition, originally they were also going to be a car-free city as well, relying on public and personal transport systems such as, trains and monorails for mass transit, or podcars for personal transport. Unfortunately, due to the cost of creating a undercroft large enough to hold all of the personal transports higher than intended, they had to drop that part of the plan. So instead, they are going to use regular mass transport, all-electric and green vehicles to move people around the city. They are also extensively using palm wood for much of the exterior areas, they say it’s going to be used on entrance gates, screens, and doors among other things. What’s really interesting about palm wood is the fact that it’s a hardwood substitute made from coconut palm trees. I must say, they have some big ideas, and for the most part so far they have been able to go forward with most of them. Unfortunately, they are not going to be a car-free city as they intended, and the fact that due to some limitations, the city’s now going to be low-carbon, instead of zero-carbon. This seems to be mainly because they are going to be green/hybrid cars in the city.
I hope you enjoyed this post, it’s always interesting seeing how far progress has come, we just need to be careful about letting it get out of hand though. Even though this city is still under construction, I can definitely say that it’s a very ambitious project. I wish them the best and hope that they can fulfill many of their original ideas, without straying to far from the overall goal of course. Next post is going to hit a bit closer to home, that is if you live in an area where there are traffic cameras next to stop lights and stop lights that seem to have shorter and shorter times between changes. As always, if you have something to say please leave a comment below. Talk to you all soon, good day.
* Masdar City (wikipedia.org)