Abu Dhabi is going far beyond its borders to build a zero carbon footprint city in Masdar. Clean technology leaders from across the global are helping to build Masdar City, which is being designed to use only renewable power and convert its waste to energy.
The innovative city of 40,000 will have no cars and recycle all of its waste, and is scheduled for completion in 2016.
An Australian firm, LAVA architects, recently won the bid to design the city center of Masdar with a European-style plaza.
America’s General Electric has a prominent role in Masdar, partnering with the Mubadala Development Company on financing programs and clean energy research. GE is also establishing an “ecoimagination” research center in Masdar.
European firms have won several contracts as well. The master plan for the city being built near Abu Dhabi is being led by London architectural firm Foster + Partners. Germany’s BASF is participating in the building of Masdar by contributing sustainable construction materials that lower the energy needs of buildings.
As reflective of the global support for the $22 billion development effort in Masdar, the nascent International Renewable Energy Agency has chosen Abu Dhabi as it home.
Abu Dhabi’s decision to invite global participants underscores the reality that there currently is a scarcity of top-flight experts with extensive experience in clean energy, green design and large-scale sustainability projects. Organizations with extensive financial resources are likely to acquire and retain top talent until the many sustainable projects currently underway provide the necessary experience. For the short term, established green energy and building consultants may likely be able to charge a premium.
Universities around the world are ramping up efforts to fill the void in sustainability expertise with undergraduate and graduate programs. Abu Dhabi is looking to create its own talent pool by establishing the Masdar Institute, which recently welcomed its initial class.
The engineering and environmental Institute, which will teach all classes in English, has 82 students from 16 countries. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) helped to develop the research-oriented institute. As with any university, Masdar Institute hopes that students exposed to a region for the first time may be interested in remaining there after they graduate. Since work on Masdar will continue through 2016, jobs will likely be waiting for graduates.
Appearing courtesy of Matter Network.