Masdar City is cool.

13 Feb

If you haven’t heard of Masdar City yet, you will soon. Time Magazine has done a piece on it. It’s a city of the future being planned not far from the airport of Ab* D*abi. The goal is to create a self-sustaining, carbon-neutral city.  Internal combustion engines are forbidden past the perimeter wall of the city (yes, it is a gated community), and stairs are given prominence in the design as a means of encouraging exercise.  Cutting edge technology (magnetized pavement) and ancient building know-how (streets angled for shade, wind towers) are incorporated into a development that is currently a research campus but that has much larger ambitions.  MIT runs various programs out of the campus that’s been built, where you can see a display announcing what is going to happen. What is going to happen is a whole city.

Almost the best part is getting there. I mean after you get out of your car or a taxi at the parking lot. That’s where you pick up an electric car that drives you to campus, driverless but not on tracks. It has tires that roll on pavement, but it is magnetized pavement. Don’t they look cute?

When you get out you are on campus, which is a pretty small cluster of buildings surrounding two plazas. The best part was the wind tower.  This thing manages to cool an outdoor space, in the middle of the desert, by redirecting winds downward. It adds mists when necessary.  We sat in its vicinity and sure enough, we felt very cool.

Here’s part of the inside of the tower and a few of the other buildings.

Technological wizardry aside, it was just really nice to see some architecture designed with intelligence and taste, rather than developer-driven towers or the tacky flashy buildings one sees here and there throughout the rest of the city.

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One Response to “Masdar City is cool.”

  1. Charmaine February 14, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    Oh my Jesus! So Philip K Dick

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