Abu Dhabi, UAE After a series of delays in project development, Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s $22 billion pioneering clean technology project, has been delayed by up to 10 years.
In the revised schedule, Masdar’s 1 million m² phase 1 has been pushed back by about two years to 2015. A completion date of 2020 to 2025 has replaced the original date of 2016.
Among key changes – although the goal of being 100% powered by renewable energy remains – “the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste city” is now set to purchase clean energy from outside rather than rely entirely on its on-site facilities.
The development’s roads will also now welcome electric vehicles, while a personal rapid transport (PRT) system of battery-powered pods will be restricted to the Masdar Institute. Its campus will now also be the only element of the development where a 7.5-metre podium and service trench will be implemented
Alternative sources of power such as geothermal energy and solar thermal cooling are also now to be explored.
Changes to the project are set to trim $3.3 billion from the original $22 billion budget.
Masdar’s CEO Dr Sultan Al Jaber described the overhaul of the 2006 master plan as a reflected experience gained through construction.
“From the beginning, Masdar has been engaged in a journey of discovery to create a blueprint for the future of sustainable cities. Our steady progress is being built on our ability to discover the best technologies and approaches to sustainable urban living bring them most effectively to Masdar City,” he said.
Alan Frost, director of Masdar City, said “many new discoveries will shape the future direction” of the project.
“The effective capture and implementation of this knowledge, built on our experiences, will prove to be key to our long-term success,” he said.
In response to descriptions of the revised master plan as a “scale-back” or “scale-down” of the original concept, Dr Sultan al Jabar told local media that “the vision as a whole remains intact.”
Masdar City is planned to cover 6 km² and to host up to 50,000 residents and 1,500 businesses on a site 17 km from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The pioneering development, designed by the architectural studio of Sir Norman Foster, is also intended to provide a home for the IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency.