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Future View: Dongtan And Masdar Eco-Cities

Date: 07 April 2008

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6 pages, 3 figures

Introduction

The municipal governments of Shanghai and Abu Dhabi have launched plans for multi-billion pound eco-cities called Dongtan and Masdar respectively. But do these low carbon city plans really matter in the fight against climate change? This report presents the most recent information on the dimensions of the eco-city plans, their current state of development and assesses their meaning for the transformation of existing cities.

How You Benefit

This report provides you with a detailed assessment of the Dongtan City and Masdar City plans communicated by their master planners: ARUP and Foster + Partners. We summarize the similar principles that underpin the two developments, provide a timeline for construction, challenge whether the eco-cities really matter as climate change initiatives and clarify how their uniqueness may limit potential lessons learned. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

SHANGHAI AND ABU DHABI ECO-CITY INITIATIVES
Phased Construction Over Long Time Periods
Renewable Energy
Dramatic Cuts In Waste To Landfill
Lower Per Capita Energy Consumption
Research Institutes Contributing To Future Development
Master Plans From UK Firms

DONGTAN AND MASDAR ECO-CITIES: DO THEY MATTER AT ALL? 
House A Tiny Proportion Of Local Populations
Require Hefty Investments That Few Can Afford
Build On “Greenfield” Sites
Exist Primarily In Design Documents Not In Reality
Will Suffer From The “Milton Keynes” Effect

WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE MARKET
Focus On The Dongtan Idea Not The Planned Results
Give Credit To Abu Dhabi For Taking The Lead
Benchmark The Cost And Complexity Or Urban Redesign

 TABLE OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Eco-city plans compared: Dongtan vs Masdar
Figure 2. Getting Dongtan’s planned population size in perspective
Figure 3. Timeline for the planned Dongtan and Masdar eco-cities