Saturday, February 16, 2008

Masdar City: 100% carbon-free community in Abu Dhabi.


Greybishop said...

If they can live up to the hype, it will truly be something to see.

I just wonder about "most travel will be done by bicycle or on foot" having lived there. Fine if you're fit, young and healthy, but heart conditons, age, obesity or infirmity might take some of the wind out of that sail. It's bloody hot (Like 40-50 degrees C (95-120 F) in June-August) and shade doesn't help as much as you'd think. A/C use in the UAE is similiar in ubiquitousness to heating in Canada. It takes a ton of power and I don't know that solar and wind can cope. I hope they can.

The other thing they don't seem to have compensated for is delivery of goods from "the outside" like beds, furniture and other stuff that requires a truck for delivery. Fine and dandy to say "no cars allowed" but if I have to lug a queen sized mattress a couple of blocks, I'll be ticked. Not to mention moving into or out of a house or apartment!

Still, I applaud the effort. I hope it doesn't just cater to an elite, but knowing the middle east, that's an unfortunate likelyhood. Perhaps its the only way something like this can take root...

Greybishop said...

Oh, and I meant to mention, the whole time I'm watching the video, I'm thinking..."Dharma!"

Sawsee said...

Hey GB! Yes, or lugging a few dozen milk crates full of old albums would have one wishing for a cube van.

I've been in Athens in 45 c, with a hangover! I can't imagine 50 c!

I can't help but feel this extravagance, that is happening in Dubai and other Arab nations, will become giant ghost towns once oil is a distant memory.

Greybishop said...

I really hope we're both wrong and it turns out to be the catalyst for serious rethinking in the urban planning world.

With heat that can melt the soles off shoes on outdoor basketball courts (I knew people who claimed this had happened to them)I think in the local heat that our vinyl would end up melting...

Legally you can't work outdoors if the temp is above 50 C. While our balcony thermometer registered 50+ several times over the summer, oddly the "official" temperture never topped 48 C. For this and many other first hand reasons, I have a hard time envisioning any project in the region being anything but a cash grab.

I'd like to be wrong, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Anonymous said...

"...once oil is a distant memory."

I've heard several reports that oil output will peak in 10 to 15 years and then drop. Treehugger had an article recently.

Sawsee said...

With global warming will this part of the world get even warmer?

JDH! I've read quite a few reports too, saying that the world is close to it's peak oil output. Meanwhile, the consumption of oil per year is soaring.

I believe we won't see a major innovation in alternative fuels or electric cars, for the masses, until the oil production is in serious decline.

Greybishop said...

Change in any great amount is only likey to happen if and when it becomes profitable.

Until oil is prohibitively expensive, alternate fuel or alternate power will remain a novelty to all but the seriously committed or fabulously wealthy.