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Abu Dhabi has embarked upon an ambitious plan to build a zero-emission clean-tech centre in the desert. Will it work?

Solar panels

Solar panels

masdar plaza level

overview plan of teh city

overview plan of teh city

THE world’s grubbiest people, measured by emissions of greenhouse gases per head, are the citizens of the United Arab Emirates. The country’s huge oil wealth allows many of them to drive big, fuel-guzzling cars and live in huge, power-guzzling homes. What is more, the country’s hot and muggy climate means that almost all the buildings are air-conditioned, and almost all the water is obtained from energy-intensive desalination plants. The result is an offence to the atmosphere.

No cars will be allowed. Instead, people will have to walk, or take “personal rapid transit”—small pods that will zoom around the city on tracks, akin to metro cars for individuals. Goods will be moved in the same way. The city will be walled, to keep out the hot desert wind. The lack of cars will allow for narrow, shaded streets that will also funnel breezes from one side of the city to the other.

Full article at http://www.economist.com/node/12673433?story_id=12673433

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