"Ectopian" Town on the Rise

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With a population of 50,000 and a footprint of 2.3 miles, Masdar City (http://www.masdaruae.com/), an "ectopian town," is rising next to the Abu Dhabi airport, reports Andrew C. Revkin in The New York Times. Designed by Foster & Partners, which "has become a leading practitioner of energy-saving architecture," Masdar City is intended to be "a hub for academic and corporate research on non-polluting energy technologies, and will include construction of "the Masdar Institute, a graduate-level academic research center associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."

When completed in two years, Masdar City will be "slightly smaller than the historic district of Venice, will have similar narrow pedestrian streets, but will be shaded by canopies made of photovoltaic panels. It will produce all of its own energy from sunlight, water will flow from a solar-powered seawater-desalination plant, produce will come from nearby greenhouses, and all waste will be composted or otherwise recycled.
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