The city of Zion in the movie Matrix was a perfect example of sustainable living. Every Joule of energy, every gram of waste, and every ounce of water was recycled for re-consumption by the city’s inhabitants. Alas, such concepts have always remained in the domain of ‘fiction’ where authors and Hollywood producers make and break their own physical laws to manufacture a new one according to their own liking.
However, at Masdar City, ten miles outside of Abu Dhabi, engineers and architects are almost ready to make sustainable living an actual reality. Spanning about six square kilometers, Masdar City will incorporate a perfectly sustainable zero-cabon and zero-waste design. The architects, Foster and Partners claim that the city will run entirely on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. Water requirements will be met through a desalinization plant, most of which will be recycled. Biological waste, on the other hand, will be treated and converted to fertilizer.
Furthermore, as part of its design, Masdar will have narrow streets and alleys. Cars and trucks will have to commute through underground roads. Also, the thick walls of the buildings will provide insulation from external temperatures while providing shade for pedestrians on pathways outside. The core idea behind the entire architecture is sustainability.
The first phase of construction at Masdar is over, and the project is expected to reach its completion in the year 2025. Planners say that the city will eventually be able to house nearly fifty thousand inhabitants. But, while all may seem promising right now, the real test will come only after the project’s completion. Masdar is indeed a bold move – a move that was necessary. And its success is very crucial because, eventually, we all will have to enter that future of the fiction we see today.
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