In January 2008 Prince Charles demonstrated his green credentials by delivering a speech to a green energy conference in Abu Dhabi as a hologram. The prince noted that if he had chosen to appear in person, his long-haul flight would have emitted nearly 15 tons of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas which is causing global warming. The prince delivered the speech to congratulate Abu Dhabi for it's plans to harness the power of natural resources to create a new zero carbon city called Masdar.
The "Al Masdar" initiative was announced in March 2006 with the goal of creating a city of 47,500 people with zero carbon emissions and based entirely on renewable energy sources.
The designers of the city envisage courtyards shaded by photovoltaic canopies, a fully automated electric mass transit system and a state-of-the-art photovoltaic power plant. As well as demonstrating zero carbon emissions Al Masdar will recycle 100% of it's waste and be entirely car free.
Not just a shining example of clean energy, Al Masdar is being designed with quality of life in mind. Large open spaces for recreation are planned and walking and cycling will be the most popular ways to get around.
In June 2008 Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of the Al Masdar Initiative testified before the U.S. Congress Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. “For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population now lives in cities, with their traditional energy inefficiencies, waste and pollution,” Dr. Al Jaber told the Committee.
Will Al Masdar be, as it's designers envisage, the way all cities will be built in the future?