BUILDING GREEN: MASDAR CITY

Abu Dhabi is the biggest of the United Arab Emirates sitting in the heart of the oil rich Persian Gulf.

Oil represents more than two thirds of this city state’s economy and with such easy access to all that black gold, the citizens of Abu Dhabi have become one of the most polluting on earth. Cheap fuel means big cars, year round air conditioning and sweet water, which comes from an energy intensive desalination process. And yet Abu Dhabi recently announced one of the most ambitious development projects in the world. The construction of Masdar, the world’s first zero carbon, zero waste, car free city.

The 22 billion dollar project when it’s finished in 2016, will be home to 40 000 people, an academic institute, a manufacturing hub for solar power and desalination, have no greenhouse gas emissions, no waste and a personal transport system instead of cars.

Great Idea, but can it work? The team has just 18 months to get the first phase out of the ground (the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology). And in the Middle East they don’t do things by halves. It’s not only the building that must be green, but the process itself, ‘building the building’. This film follows the trials and tribulations of Sanad, Meg, Chris and Samir as they struggle to build the prototype city on time and on budget in Abu Dhabi’s punishing heat.


Details: 52′

A film by Jacqueline FARMER