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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Guess Who's Building a Green City from BusinessWeek by Stanley Reed

There's a former nursery across from the royal family's private terminal at the Abu Dhabi airport. It doesn't look like much now—1,600 acres of sand dotted with small, forlorn trees. But one fenced-in spot on the property hints of a plan so ambitious that it stands out even in a land of seemingly limitless wealth. There, atop concrete slabs, engineers are preparing to test solar collectors. Those collectors are scheduled to power a futuristic 100,000-resident city that will rise from this sandy wasteland by the Persian Gulf. The goal: to create the world's first metropolis that emits not a single extra molecule of carbon dioxide, the cause of global warming.

Power will come mainly from solar, not wind—a logical choice given the region's blazing sun and fickle breezes. Visitors will have to park their Ferraris and Porsches outside the city walls. Once inside, they will walk, bicycle, or ride small, driverless vehicles running on paths underground.

Also see the story on China's Dongtan Eco-City

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