masdar city


Masdar City is like a mirage: a walled city growing out of the desert sands in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Yet it is real, and remarkably so; for this intriguing city not only exists but is also one of the most unexpected in the Gulf region or anywhere in the world. Behind those walls and wind towers is one of the world’s first zero-carbon cities. I went to see it recently, just shortly before families from across Abu Dhabi turned up in their thousands for The Market @ Masdar City, the first one-day fair designed to showcase the architecture and planning of this brave attempt at shaping a truly sustainable city of the future. Designed by Foster and Partners for the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company and set in the desert 17km from the skyscrapers of Abu Dhabi, Masdar is an intriguing experiment in urban design and living. The six square kilometre city – powered by solar energy and other renewable resources – is an attempt to show what kind of future might lie ahead for urban development in the Gulf now that the high-rise city of gas-guzzling towers, that has characterised the region in recent decades, has been increasingly discredited.

more from Jonathan Glancey at The Guardian here.