Masdar’s failed sustainable city becoming a green ghost town 

Posted: February 21, 2016 by oldbrew in Big Green, ideology, innovation
Tags: ,
Masdar personal rapid transit podcar [image credit: Mariordo]

Masdar personal rapid transit podcar [image credit: Mariordo]

Zero carbon dreams make zero sense in the real world, it seems. Is anyone surprised?

Masdar’s failed sustainable city may be doomed to become a green ghost town. Masdar City was supposed to represent the future of sustainable energy and, for a while, it did that.

More than a decade in development, the planned community on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi is falling well short of its original goals. Now, what might have been the sparkling gem of the United Arab Emirates is on its way to becoming the world’s first green ghost town.

The planned carbon neutral city was originally supposed to be completed this year, but as real estate developments go, it’s far from finished. The project’s managers are turning their backs on the initial plan.

Chris Wan, the city’s design manager, admits there is no way the community could reach its zero carbon goals, even if the buildings were to be completed. “We are not going to try to shoehorn renewable energy into the city just to justify a definition created within a boundary,” he said. “As of today, it’s not a net zero future, it’s about 50 percent.”

These days, Masdar City is inhabited solely by students of the Institute of Science and Technology – around 300 or so of them. That’s a far cry from the vision for the sustainable city. It was supposed to house 50,000 residents with an additional 40,000 workers commuting to the urban hub for work.

Designed by Foster + Partners and backed by a $22 billion investment from Abu Dhabi’s state-owned investment company, Masdar City was intended to be a beacon of clean energy.Only five percent of the original plan for the city has been built to date, despite sprawling plans for state-of-the-art green office buildings.

Although some 300 companies, including Siemens, GE Ecomagination, and Lockheed Martin, have a presence in Masdar City today, most are said to be more or less in name only, with no solid future plans to increase their foothold. Project planners have extended the completion date from this year to 2030, but giving up on the zero-carbon goal changes things substantially.

Rather than being a shining example of clean energy at work, Masdar City is looking more like an over-ambitious farce each day.

Via The Guardian

Source: Masdar’s failed sustainable city may be doomed to become a green ghost town | Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

  1. oldbrew says:

    Looks like Siemens lost its shirt on this bet – ‘office building for a staff of 800’.

  2. Not really news.

    Well it looked like a failure a long time ago. I noted that Wired reporting Masdar as fighting the desert sands for survival.

    I was wondering why that blog article was getting hits recently.

  3. tom0mason says:

    Not even HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan himself can not hold back the sands from this corrupt mirage of ‘sustainability’.
    Is this to be another folly in the Sheikh’s name, or should this one be handed to the young-blood Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber Minister of State in the United Arab Emirates and the chairman of Masdar.? The good doctor was named one of the ‘Champions of the Earth’ by the United Nations, in the category of “Entrepreneurial Vision.”
    Even from the 2013 report it has never looked like a economically viable idea, now with the low oil revenues and the excess of premium properties in the Middle East, it all looks like yet another overpriced pipe-dream.

  4. oldbrew says:

    Certainly ‘$22 billion investment from Abu Dhabi’s state-owned investment company’ for 300 students of the Institute of Science and Technology doesn’t look like value for money 😉

  5. p.g.sharrow says:

    I wonder if that is where the Clinton Foundation is burying their money? I know it is somewhere in Dhabi. Wouldn’t that be rich! 🙂 :Lol …pg

  6. The only shocking thing in that whole article was: “via the Guardian”. This is the second time the Gaurdian have poor cold water on green alarmism in perhaps a week.

  7. oldbrew says:

    The original Guardian story says:
    ‘The pioneering autonomous transport system – which was originally supposed to stretch to 100 stations – was scrapped after the first two stops.

    There is a bike-sharing station – though it’s a good 10 miles away from Abu Dhabi, and there are no bike paths.’

    Who fancies riding a bike in the desert sun?

  8. catweazle666 says:

    Shades of Ozymandias…