What if there was a city that was completely run on solar — where there were no cars, but instead a few thousand specially designed solar-powered vehicles to transport its citizens? What would you call that city?
You might think think of it as a pipe dream, one of those "Cities of the Future" scale models you might see gathering dust at a museum. But Masdar City is a real city, currently being built just 11 miles from the city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Designed by the British architectural firm Foster + Partners, the city will rely entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, with a sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste ecology.
A combination of renewable sources, including a solar power plant, wind farms, geothermal power and hydrogen power will power the city. A solar-powered desalination plant will provide the city's clean water needs with 80 percent of the resulting greywater used for crop irrigation and other purposes. The city will also attempt to reduce waste to zero; biological waste will be used to create nutrient-rich soil and fertilizer and possibly as an additional power source while other waste will be recycled or re-purposed.