The United Arab Emirates has become the first state whose economy is dependent on oil production to launch a significant green inititative. The first scheme announced by its Masdar Initiative is a six-kilometre square district in Abu Dhabi which is to be zero emission and zero waste. The master plan is being developed by Foster + Partners, based on combining the Arab traditional walled town with modern environmental technologies. The area will be car-free.

It will house the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (a graduate research institute being established in cooperation with MIT; research facilities and laboratories, and space for some commercial companies, local and international, who will commercialise energy technologies, alongf with some residential space and a new science museum.

According to the Foster website, nowhere in the development will be more than 200m from the Abu Dhabi’s public transport system, the walled design will provide shade for the walkways, and power will come from a solar-powered photovoltaic power station. The 6km site is envisaged as a first phase.

Reading the news releases it is clear the UAE is trying to develop a future energy cluster in Abu Dhabi. An early indicator of even a hydrocarbon-rish state planning for life after hydrocarbon?

Thanks to World Carfree News for the tip.