The Global View

World first sustainable city plan revealed

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In a bit of news that seems oddly reminiscent of a new year’s resolution, Masdar City – a development in Abu Dhabi that will eventually have 50,000 in habitants – with new best friend the World Wildlife Fund has committed to becoming a veritable paragon of greenness, sustainability, health, happiness and all manner of other good and lovely things.

Here’s what the city is gunning for:

• ZERO CARBON – 100 per cent of energy supplied by renewable energy – Photovoltaics, concentrated solar power, wind, waste to energy and other technologies
• ZERO WASTE – 99 per cent diversion of waste from landfill (includes waste reduction measures, re-use of waste wherever possible, recycling, composting, waste to energy)
• SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT – Zero carbon emissions from transport within the city; implementation of measures to reduce the carbon cost of journeys to the city boundaries (through facilitating and encouraging the use of public transport, vehicle sharing, supporting low emissions vehicle initiatives)
• SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS – Specifying high recycled materials content within building products; tracking and encouraging the reduction of embodied energy within material sand throughout the construction process; specifying the use of sustainable materials such as Forest Stewardship Council certified timber, bamboo and other products
• SUSTAINABLE FOOD – Retail outlets to meet targets for supplying organic food and sustainable and or fair trade products
• SUSTAINABLE WATER – Per capita water consumption to be at least 50 per cent less than the national average; all waste water to be re-used
• HABITATS AND WILDLIFE – All valuable species to be conserved or relocated with positive mitigation targets
• CULTURE AND HERITAGE – Architecture to integrate local values.
• EQUITY AND FAIR TRADE – Fair wages and working conditions for all workers (including construction) as defined by international labour standards
• HEALTH AND HAPPINESS – Facilities and events for every demographic group

The fascinating development will be ready for its inhabitants in 2012 and Greenbang will be keeping an eye on it til then.

Masdar City plans to exceed the criteria of the programme, making it a global benchmark for sustainable urban development. Masdar’s delivery on these targets will be independently and publicly verified, a point of distinction with developments outside the One Planet Living framework.

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