Suburban Sprawl is No Match for Urban Draws: An Unpaved City That’s Paving the Way for our Urban Fut

Suburban Sprawl

Each city or urban center is like its own individual. The streets and sidewalks act as vital veins; cultural landmarks are essential organs, and the people who live inside them are the lifeblood that keeps their heartbeat and culture alive. Globally, as more people move into urban areas, there is no question that a lack of sustainable creativity will result in failure . . . luckily, there’s a futuristic city already underway that will allow residents to enjoy all the luxuries of a posh, urban existence while minimizing environmental harm. Old cities and new; some of the least likely places are taking giant leaps to ensure they eschew large carbon footprints. One small city imprinting small steps can be a giant leap . . .

Masadar City: Abu Dhabi Channels Natural Resources for a Sunny Forecast

Recent boons in tourism and wealth-generating resources have opened up parts of the Middle East like never before. Unfortunately, much of their newly flourishing cities are tasked to keep up with flourishing appetites for energy usage and a heightening demand for modern creature comforts. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, one of the world’s tallest and most decadent destinations, although it strives to save water and energy where it can, still it utilizes approximately 250,000 gallons of water per day and burns equal 500,000 100 watt light bulbs daily, all by itself, according to Archioninja.

However, not every behemoth community bares such a burden. In fact, in Abu Dhabi, there is an incredible feat underway called Masdar City, whose sole purpose is to make urban life as cool as it should be-- literally and figuratively. The firm Foster and Partners spearheaded an almost utopian vision for a bustling city that can be livable and thrive amid arid, desert conditions, only without wasting resources. The city of Masadar is built on high on platform using ancient methods derived from Egypt and Rome; it features 150 towers that shuttle in cool air.

The simple architectural airflow allows for inhabitants (expected to number upwards of 60,000 when completed) to enjoy temperatures that can reach 20 degrees below the smouldering au naturel desert temps outside the walls. Although this has been practiced for thousands of years by Egyptians, Sumerians and Romans, the simple architectural design ensures that above and below ground airflow create the perfect storm of a perfect temperature.

Getting Around: Above and Below Ground

The above-ground city itself is completely devoid of cars. Residents can cycle and walk easily to close destinations, but with a city this large (2.39 square miles), even the most devout environmentalist is going to need a lift sometimes. And for a city that strives to attract 1,500 businesses, subways and busses aren’t going to spin many wheels.

Which leads to one of the most remarkable aspects of the city-- their transportation. Underneath the naturally temp-controlled walls, there will be a network of hybrid self-driving cars. Not only will this eliminate the distraction of frantically trying to position one’s mobile phone GPS to make sense, but it has the potential to cut down on auto accidents caused by irresponsible people. The cost of auto-related pain and suffering and medical care alone is incalculable. Drunk driving and jaywalking could be a thing of the past. However, if someone actually enjoys driving their own car, all they’d have to do is step outside the naturally temperature-controlled walls. It’s a win-win situation for people who love to drive, people who hate public transport, and people who like to take a nice stroll through the neighborhood without worrying about getting bowled over while taking said stroll.

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