The City Of Tomorrow?

Friday, July 25, 2008

The city of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, is flush with oil revenues -- and investing billions in an audacious experiment in renewable energy: Masdar, a city they are building from scratch to be completely solar-powered with zero carbon emissions. We talk to the CEO of the Masdar initiative, Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber, about whether solar can scale up to power an entire city.


Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber

Comments [14]

Matthew from Queens

Why is there no coverage of Kucinich's efforts this morning to present articles of impeachment against the administration? That, is news that I am concerned about, and the media as a whole pays no regard.

Jul. 25 2008 01:19 PM
Jesse from Manhattan

....The NPR article/tour was from May 6th. Here is the link to the article(s) and animated tour.

Jul. 25 2008 11:05 AM
Jesse from Manhattan

Brian- You may want to inform your listeners that the Masdar Story was covered around 6 weeks ago on There was an article and a link to see a virtual tour of the city. The virtual tour is very cool! Jesse

Jul. 25 2008 11:00 AM
Hannah Seeger from NYC

That guy promoting Abu Dhabi green city was clearly reading a script (full of jargon and blather).

He reminded me of the chief alien in the classic TWILIGHT ZONE episode "To Serve Man" who invites the earthlings to come visit his wonderful planet.

Jul. 25 2008 10:57 AM
hjs from 11211

yes, the jails only charge 10 drachmas a week

Jul. 25 2008 10:53 AM

It suddenly dawns on me that this idea isn't new. Walt Disney and dozens of other futurists proposed the exact same things in the 60s. Just throwing money at the problem didn't do it then - and we'll see if it does it now. One thing I didn't hear in the report - when will the city open?

Jul. 25 2008 10:52 AM
alison from nyc

Will there be affordable housing in Masdar?

Jul. 25 2008 10:49 AM
ap from ct

won't it take massive amounts of oil to build this city in the first place? how are we going to build cities like this when we run out of oil?

Jul. 25 2008 10:49 AM

The PRT comment was interesting. I keep hearing about proposals for this in the US - but beyond simple models that you'll find at Disneyland and in airports, nobody has tried it. Its a massive undertaking.

(As an aside - it looks like the website you link to has been identified as helping distribute malware - Firefox won't let you view most of it.)

Jul. 25 2008 10:48 AM
norman from nyc

According to Science magazine, the most advanced solar panels come from Germany, where the government promotes solar power.

Do they get their solar panels from Germany?

Jul. 25 2008 10:47 AM
O from Forest Hills

This is a wonderful idea to conserve natural resources, however, we need to stop China from popping up 3 factories a week to make more junk and they don't have environmental standards to make them comply with. Their pollution contribution is off setting these green efforts and making them null.

Jul. 25 2008 10:46 AM
hjs from 11211

the USA is missing the boat to 21st century.

mark my words!

Jul. 25 2008 10:42 AM
snoop from Brooklyn

It would be great if the UAE's attempt to build such a city works. But let's keep in mind that the UAE's development is built on the backs of exploited workers from some of the poorest countries in the world. We don't have the luxury (or moral hazard) of having access to such cheap labor, so it's not the most realistic model.

Further, having lived in the UAE, which is a rather superficial place, one of my concerns would be that the city is just a show with power lines sneaking in from the back...

Jul. 25 2008 10:38 AM
Hank from ny

This is what we need from the show and NPR more and constant stories about creative ideas for new sources of energy. The drive by media won't do it. If you only do it when you feel like it, it becomes an occasional novelty. You have to apply pressure as an alternative media outlet to continue to put alternatives to oil in our faces so we get used to the idea that soon our cars will run on water, and our homes on sunlight. Don't stop.

Jul. 25 2008 09:45 AM

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