Masdar City bringing urban planning ideas to the rest of the region

The Financial Times recently looked at how many of the ideas employed in the design of Masdar City, just outside of Abu Dhabi, are being looked to for a model of energy efficiency and urban planning ideals for new developments around the region. However, there are issues with the replication of many of these ideas – such as public transportation, street based design to encourage walking and increasing building and population density. The article notes the public transportation challenges faced in many cities around the region, which are primarily designed around the use of the car. Dubai, which has a metro, is one example of both the successes and challenges to such design. The primary metro line has proved to be a success both in terms of ridership and serving the majority of the spread out city. But the city has also built a monorail on the Palm islands, which was designed with only two stops and does not serve the majority of people who live on those islands or connect to the larger metro system as a whole. The challenge to making the region more energy efficient and having better urban planning is a challenge that must be addressed city by city – no one solution will work for all.


About CTED

CTED, as part of the New York University Abu Dhabi Research Grant, is a multidisciplinary research lab that focuses on combining economic principles, technological advances, and human-centric design to create innovative solutions for the problems experienced in emerging regions.
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