The Life and Death of a Green City

If you could breath life into a new city, what kind of place would you build? Let’s say you were loaded. You’ve got all the money that you could need. The sky’s the limit. Your coffers are full to the brim because you happen to be one of the largest producers of oil. Given that fossil fuels are your life blood, would you go green?
A green city?
Think about this paradox as you read these articles about work starting on a “Green City” in the Gulf emirate. Is it trendy to be green? Is it guilt? Or, is Abu Dhabi taking a step in the right direction?

On the plus side, this new cutting edge green city could be a real life test bed for green technologies. Masdar City is on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi City. It’s a suburb. Suburbs have a really hard time being green. This one could actually be better.

green suburbs

source: Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You – NYTimes article

But, is building a NEW city even a green choice in the first place? What if Abu Dhabi was to make the harder economic decision and address the carbon footprint of it’s oil industry instead? Would that mean sure death for our great green city?

Related Topics


Joanne often gets really excited when she talks about Science. Luckily, she works in the Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory, the educational arm of the Michael Smith Labs. She likes all kinds of science but has a special spot in her heart for biology, technology, and well, sports. As a scientist and educator at UBC, she hopes that she never becomes so specialized that she loses her global perspective. (When she gets around to writing an intro post, I'm sure that she'll link to it here).