Masdar City began its life cycle with a pretty lofty goal; become the first city in the world to reach net-zero carbon levels. While this dream of carbon neutrality may never come to pass, Masdar City, which sits just outside of Abu Dhabi, may have a refreshed vision of its future, but it is a vision that still puts the emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Not only did Masdar City begin its life 10 years ago (construction began eight years ago) with the hopes of becoming a net-zero city, but a similarly lofty goal of completing the first 1 million sm of the development by 2015 was also announced. Thanks in large part to the financial crisis that began in 2008, just as construction was getting started, neither of the goals came to fruition. As of 2016 less than 300,000 sm have been completed and the final completion has now been pushed back to 2030.
Despite all of the problems the city has faced in its development, it has continued to push forward, and, recently, the Boston-based firm CBT has just revealed the detailed master plan (DMP) for Phase 2 of the city’s development.
The DMP, which received the 2015 American Institute of Architects Middle East Design Award, will establish a highly sustainable and pedestrian-focused innovation community and act as a key step in the evolution of Masdar City as an eco-friendly, commercially-viable city that provides a high-quality of life.
Accounting for about 6.7 million sf, the mixed-use project will create many of the city’s core elements. A research and development cluster, shops and restaurants, residential neighborhoods, community centers, mosques, and schools are all included in the project’s second phase. CBT has described the DMP for Phase 2 of Masdar City as a replicable and market-friendly model for sustainable urbanism. Included in the development’s plans are passive design elements such as the use of fine grain fabric, environmental optimization, and hydro-zoning. Phase 2 will achieve a 40% reduction in energy consumption over conventional standards at the building and block levels.
The Phase 2 DMP focused on four key areas: Identity, walkability, sustainability, and replicability. Each aspect builds upon the others to create a cohesive design for Masdar City.
Masdar City’s original plans to achieve carbon neutrality while existing on its own grid may have been a bit over-ambitious, but the Masdar City that is actually being developed in the real world is certainly no slouch when it comes to innovation and sustainability.
Rendering courtesy of CBT
Rendering courtesy of CBT
Rendering courtesy of CBT
Urban Planning | Mar 16, 2023
Three interconnected solutions for 'saving' urban centers
Gensler Co-CEO Andy Cohen explores how the global pandemic affected city life, and gives three solutions for revitalizing these urban centers.
Affordable Housing | Mar 8, 2023
7 affordable housing developments built near historic districts, community ties
While some new multifamily developments strive for modernity, others choose to retain historic aesthetics.
Multifamily Housing | Feb 21, 2023
Watch: DBA Architects' Bryan Moore talks micro communities and the benefits of walkable neighborhoods
What is a micro-community? Where are they most prevalent? What’s the future for micro communities? These questions (and more) addressed by Bryan Moore, President and CEO of DBA Architects.
Augmented Reality | Jan 27, 2023
Enhancing our M.O.O.D. through augmented reality therapy rooms
Perkins Eastman’s M.O.O.D. Space aims to make mental healthcare more accessible—and mental health more achievable.
Urban Planning | Jan 18, 2023
David Adjaye unveils master plan for Cleveland’s Cuyahoga Riverfront
Real estate developer Bedrock and the city of Cleveland recently unveiled a comprehensive Cuyahoga Riverfront master plan that will transform the riverfront. The 15-to-20-year vision will redevelop Tower City Center, and prioritize accessibility, equity, sustainability, and resilience.
40 Under 40 | Oct 19, 2022
Meet the 40 Under 40 class of 2022
Each year, the editors of Building Design+Construction honor 40 architects engineers, contractors, and real estate developers as BD+C 40 Under 40 awards winners. These AEC professionals are recognized for their career achievements, passion for the AEC profession, involvement with AEC industry organizations, and service to their communities.
Urban Planning | Jul 28, 2022
A former military base becomes a substation with public amenities
On the site of a former military base in the Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco, a new three-story substation will house critical electrical infrastructure to replace an existing substation across the street.
Urban Planning | Jul 19, 2022
The EV charger station market is appealing to investors and developers, large and small
The latest entry, The StackCharge, is designed to make recharging time seem shorter.
Sustainable Development | Jul 14, 2022
Designing for climate change and inclusion, with CBT Architects' Kishore Varanasi and Devanshi Purohit
Climate change is having a dramatic impact on urban design, in terms of planning, materials, occupant use, location, and the long-term effect of buildings on the environment. Joining BD+C's John Caulfield to discuss this topic are two experts from the Boston-based CBT Architects: Kishore Varanasi, a Principal and director of urban design; and Devanshi Purohit, an Associate Principal.
Sponsored | Healthcare Facilities | May 3, 2022
Planning for hospital campus access that works for people
This course defines the elements of hospital campus access that are essential to promoting the efficient, stress-free movement of patients, staff, family, and visitors. Campus access elements include signage and wayfinding, parking facilities, transportation demand management, shuttle buses, curb access, valet parking management, roadways, and pedestrian walkways.