Friday, February 11, 2011

Masdar City Update

Arabian Desert by NASA World Wind
Image via Wikipedia
In Arabian Desert, a Sustainable City Rises (New York Times, Sept. 25, 2010)
Also discussed here:

The most read post on this blog has been Masdar City – zero carbon, zero waste which described the Masdar City concept.

Today’s review article reports on progress made since then with new approaches to the design of buildings, rasied to to take advanatage of cooling desert winds and a replace pollution emitting vehicles with a fleet of small electric ones underground.

Key Quotes:

“Masdar, would be a perfect square, nearly a mile on each side, raised on a 23-foot-high base to capture desert breezes. Beneath its labyrinth of pedestrian streets, a fleet of driverless electric cars would navigate silently through dimly lit tunnels”

“Not only did he close Masdar entirely to combustion-engine vehicles, he buried their replacement — his network of electric cars — underneath the city.”

“he located almost all of the heavy-duty service functions — a 54-acre photovoltaic field and incineration and water treatment plants — outside the city.”

“To conform to Middle Eastern standards of privacy, Mr. Foster came up with an undulating facade of concrete latticework based on the mashrabiya screens common in the region. The latticework blocks direct sunlight and screens interiors from view, while the curves make for angled views to the outside, so that apartment dwellers never look directly into the windows of facing buildings.”
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