The World Energy Summit held earlier this week in Abu Dhabi served as a showcase for Masdar, the $15 billion future energy initiative that has been launched by the Abu Dhabi government. The most eye-catching aspect of the initiative is Masdar City, which is being billed as the ‘greenest city in the world’. It is hoped that the city, which will be capable of housing about 50,000 people, will serve as a model for sustainable architecture. Masdar (which means ‘the source’ in Arabic) says the development will be the world’s first zero-pollution, zero-waste city. A solar-photovoltaic power plant will deliver energy to buildings and solar canopies will be used to provide shade, as well as power. No cars will be allowed in the city, thus further reducing its carbon footprint. Pedestrians will never be more than 200 metres from a public transport option, which will include an electric light-rail system that will be linked to the center of Abu Dhabi. Masdar will break ground on the city in February, and the first residents are expected to start moving there in 2009. Construction is expected to take 10 years to complete.
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