Dubai's supposedly doomed, with half-finished buildings littering the skyline as their wealth trickles away like sand through a timer. Before I get more poetic, Abu Dhabi looks to be faring better, if this eco-city is anything to go by.
We first saw Masdar HQ a couple of years ago, when it was aiming to be the world's first positive energy building. Likewise, the entire eco-city of Masdar has just as lofty ambitions, where cars will be banned along with skyscapers (though obviously electric cars are welcome). Thus, the 6sqkm city, which should house 50,000 people at some point, will rely on solar power to make their little world go 'round.
Architects will place buildings close enough together so they can cast shade on their neighbours and ensure normal cars won't be driving through the streets. A form of public transport in the shape of podcars, which move by magnetic sensors, should be a fast way to zip around the city.
Really, it sounds like Masdar City is the closest thing we'll ever have to the future. I just hope the United Arab Emirates (and Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who's coughing up the cash for the city) doesn't suffer much more financially, as the $US15 billion - $US30 billion it's meant to cost could easily escalate in the projected 10 years it'll take to create. [PhysOrg]