Masdar City, a new development just outside of Abu Dhabi, is a marvel of sustainable architecture. The 1,500-acre development masterplanned by British architect Norman Foster is designed to be carbon neutral and waste-free, with no fossil-fueled cars on the streets. New aerial footage, part of a student recruitment film for local research university the Masdar Institute, shows the city at its most high-tech. Tall arrays of solar panel rise from the flat desert, and driverless electric podcars drive along the streets–which, unlike in most other places in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, are pedestrian-friendly. The video sweeps through beautifully shaded courtyards lined by red clay buildings.
Unfortunately, the Masdar Institute remains the only thing drawing people to the newly hatched metropolis. The isolated desert city still has nearly no one in it. Even a promotional video doesn’t capture any actual street life, save a lone pair of pedestrians. The city of the future still looks like it’s a scene from the apocalypse.
Read more about the project from our friends at Co.Exist.