Arabs Building First Green City

Run on solar power, Masdar City will cost $22 billion and take 8 years to construct
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Feb 10, 2008 5:14 PM CST
From left to right, UAE Minister of Energy Mohammad bin Dhaen Al Hamli, U.S. Secretary of Energy Sam Bodman and Vivienne Cox Chief Executive of BP Alternative Energy take part at the keynote session 1...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Earth's first carbon-free city is being built in the United Arab Emirates and will take 8 years and $22 billion to complete, the BBC reports. Called Masdar City, it will run on solar power and shuttle residents on travel pods via magnetic tracks. But critics say the $22 billion project, funded by the city of Abu Dhabi, belies the oil-rich emirate's overall gobbling of resources.

A green city of 50,000 residents and 1,500 businesses would also do little to reduce Abu Dhabi's sky-high oil consumption, and will likely become a hermetic haven for the rich, experts say. The city is nonetheless part of a $15 billion, 5-year green plan and will monetize all of its carbon cutbacks. "Such innovative financing has never been applied to the scale of an entire city," Masdar's chief exec said.