On my recent trip to Abu Dhabi we were taken on an a tour of the just-opened Phase B of Masdar City, the multi-billion dollar experiment in sustainable urban development in the Middle East. The goal of the city is to be as close to net zero as possible in terms of carbon emissions. This means every component of the city -- from the bricks used on the facades to the high-tech cooling systems -- has to have a low energy profile. This is not easy to do in a place that often sees 120 degree temperatures in the summer. A team of architects, led be Sir Norman Foster, engineers and scientists have teamed up to make this vision a reality.
Currently Phase A of the city (which opened in 2011) is occupied by the Masdar Institute of Technology, an extension of MIT, which is working on low-energy R & D. We arrived in Masdar just as the new extension, Phase B, opened to journalists and an annoucement was made about several new high-profile corporate tenants -- energy giant Siemens, Mitsubishi Heavy, and General Electric -- making this a new high-tech hub to be reckoned with. Here is a video tour by our friends at Future360: