Sustainable Suburbia? Eco-Friendly Masdar City Holds First Market

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Getty Images / Duncan Chard/Bloomberg

Solar panels are seen on the roof of residential buildings at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Masdar City, a government-backed sustainable development in Abu Dhabi, held its first open house market and street fair last Friday.

The Market@Masdar City showcased urban sustainability and offered free entry. Targeted primarily at local families, the day featured green-themed activities, live performances and local vendors selling organic food and products.

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According to the Khajeel Times, visitors were shuttled into the market, held at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology campus, on electric cabs and trains — because the development only allows Masdar vehicles inside. At the fair, citizens could opt to test-ride electrically-powered driver-less pods called “personal rapid transit” vehicles.

According to Masdar’s website, the city, launched in 2007, is “a high-density, pedestrian-friendly development where current and future renewable energy and clean technologies are showcased, marketed, researched, developed, tested and implemented.”

TIME reports that though Masdar is low-carbon rather than no-carbon (as its original plans anticipated), “the project will still have enormous value as a living lab for green, potentially far-out ideas that can be underwritten with Abu Dhabi’s oil money.”

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