In Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates $20 billion is currently being spent building the sustainable eco-city of Masdar.
Proposed to be home for some 50,000 to 90,000 residents, over a thousand business and a university, unlike the seemingly mythical Chinese eco-city of Dongtan, which has yet to be started, construction of Masdar has is well commenced, with the first 6 buildings having opened in 2010.
Masdar is proposed to have pedestrian only streets with numerous parks and green spaces and underground electric driverless cars and public transport systems. The city aims to be fossil fuel free, have zero emissions, zero waste and ultimately be carbon neutral. A large number of new sustainable technologies are being developed and used in Masdar, and it is anticipated that the university and science park will develop into a global center for environmental technology research and development.
Whether Masdar is ultimately able to present a model city for the future remains debatable, but it is certainly attracting a lot of interest and attention from around the world, has the support of the WWF, is hosting the World Future Energy Summit in 2013 and will also ultimately become the home of the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Photo by Jan Seifert, via Flickr