It’s a science fiction city! Being built in the UAE? Oh America, why did we write so many of the stories only to have others build them?
Well, despite my disappointment that this is way on the other side of the planet from me, I think this is a great idea. Zero environmentally bad emissions for everything. No cars in the city, instead personal mass transit. Recycled water (and alarms when pipes leak!), solar panels everywhere, and a tech school to research all this stuff.
The project website is a bit hard to navigate because everything goes to the same page and then you navigate within boxes from there. But I recommend going into the “Masdar City: All About Us,” then clicking on the “Master Plan,” then “View Masdar City Images,” and clicking on the photo gallery. Very interesting images of what the project will turn into.
The Economist has a mixed review of it and the Wikipedia page is informative (with links to everything you could want to know about the project). My only reservations about the environmental aspects of it are that I know deserts aren’t dead. They are low on life, but they do have fragile ecosystems, and plowing square miles of land under to make a city does constitute a loss of habitat, even if it is mostly bugs, snakes, and scorpions.
In any case, the United Arab Emirates are a creative place, I suppose because they are rolling in cash. Masdar City is well worth a look if you are interested in futuristic cities, environmental issues, or what you can do with 20 billion dollars. I hope they succeed and pioneer some good technologies.