Eco-Utopia in...Abu Dhabi?
Read this (from the Beeb) and tell me the world isn't well and truly bonkers:
The world's first zero-carbon city is being built in Abu Dhabi and is designed to be not only free of cars and skyscrapers but also powered by the sun.
The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is the last place you would expect to learn lessons on low-carbon living, but the emerging eco-city of Masdar could teach the world.
At first glance, the parched landscape of Abu Dhabi looks like the craziest place to build any city, let alone a sustainable one.
The inhospitable terrain suggests that the only way to survive here is with the maximum of technological support, a bit like living on the moon.
The genius of Masdar - if it works - will be combining 21st Century engineering with traditional desert architecture to deliver zero-carbon comfort. And it is being built now.
Masdar will be home to about 50,000 people, at least 1,000 businesses and a university.
It is being designed by British architects Foster and Partners, but it is the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is paying for it. And it will cost between £10bn ($15bn) and £20bn ($30bn)... Quel bargoon.
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