Masdar City

Masdar City, Presidential Flight, Khalifa City A - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates

Remember the movie Bio-Dome? Masdar City is a zero-emission community with a research institute, shops, restaurants, and even apartments. Park outside the self-contained complex and take a driverless car to the Knowledge Centre, where you can read up on the ambitious urban-design project’s plan to become a “greenprint” for cities all around the world as they move to reduce emissions. When you get hungry, grab lunch at one of the nearby cafés—Barbacoa is a local fave—and enjoy the fact that all the energy being used to cook your food comes straight from the sun.

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Finding Future in the Past

A visit to Masdar City, a meticulously planned mixed-use urban experiment, makes for a fascinating day spent exploring the development by foot and by the driverless pod cars that shuttle between the city and the parking area. The futuristic architecture quite literally incorporates the past: Look skyward and you’ll find the reflected images of the more traditionally constructed orange facades in the new shiny glass buildings. Wind towers, the traditional cooling method of the Gulf, have been incorporated into the modern architecture and serve an integral role in the city’s cooling system. The first tenants moved into Masdar City in 2010 and the project’s final phase is slated for 2030.

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