ecoHQ is publishing a critical summary of big mega projects that could define the future of living. The previous articles discussed three futuristic cities in Saudi Arabia, China and Japan. However, if China and Japan are distant countries you would never think of migrating, look no further, as this article reveals the details of two more futuristic cities worldwide. But why the fuss around futuristic cities?
The world is currently facing a climate crisis and an energy emergency. So, it is critical to focus on sustainability. Moreover, the built environment is responsible for 39% of the global carbon footprint, making it necessary to transition towards sustainability⁽¹⁾. And futuristic cities that promise zero emissions while allowing a clean and green environment for people and plants to flourish will be a necessity rather than a luxury.
As someone who cares about the environment and health, I would love to live in a futuristic city that can lower my ecological impact and enhance my well-being. These two Asian cities are options that I might think about soon. The first one, situated in a desert, is challenging; however, let us look into the specifics.
Masdar City, UAE
Masdar, located 17 km southeast of Abu Dhabi, a city in the United Arab Emirates, has embarked on a vast project approximated between 18 and 20 billion USD. This revolutionary project began in February 2008 and is on a mission to build a sustainable city that will be a test bed for sustainable science concepts, housing 50000 residents, a university and 1500 environmentally friendly businesses⁽²⁾.
Technology will play a massive role in shaping energy-efficient buildings powered by renewables. The buildings are designed close to each other to maximise shade and have methods to funnel cool air inside⁽³⁾. A large wind tower decorated with Arabic designs is constructed to suck hot air and blow cool breeze through the pathways. Solar-powered rooftops and a vast solar farm connected with battery storage will be the prime mode of energy input into the city⁽³⁾.
Figure 1: Masdar City, UAE⁽⁶⁾
The city has banned all combustion vehicles maintaining pollution-free air for residents and a net-zero emission atmosphere; instead, the city has autonomous vehicles that could fit a family of four. In addition, the 2 km network of underground tunnels is designed for a faster, more convenient and stress-free commute⁽²⁾.
Suppose this township can cool the temperatures during the peak summers while relying on renewable energy. In that case, this flagship town can be a model town for futuristic buildings in the Middle East and other parts of the world. And I am excited to see how the other developments pan out during the construction phase of Masdar City.
New Clark City, Philippines
The beautiful island country of the Philippines is home to many touristic things. However, it is also infamous for its earthquakes, typhoons, and volcanic eruptions. These disasters occur because the country’s location is at the active ring of fire in the Pacific. Further, to make matters worse, the present climate crisis is so severe that Manila could be one of the sinking cities in Asia. Therefore, sustainability and resilience are a dire need in this country, and that’s where our focus on the next mega project is.
The New Clark City is situated in the province of Tarlac in the Philippines and is the first smart green city in the country. This metropolis is a public-private construction project covering a whopping space of 9450 hectares (almost 1.5 times the size of the Manhattan Island of New York). It is expected to house 1.2 million inhabitants, employ 600,000 people and have 60% outdoor green spaces⁽⁴⁾.
Figure 2: New Clark City, Philippines⁽⁷⁾
Besides energy-saving or waste recycling facilities, a truly smart city will accommodate measures to counter climate emergencies. And New Clark City has planned its development in a way that minimises the risk caused by future tsunamis, typhoons and earthquakes. For example, buildings are built to withstand an earthquake of 8.5 magnitude and volcanic eruptions of 1 m thick asphalt spillage⁽⁴⁾.
Unlike other metropolis, New Clark City has massive sporting facilities, such as an aquatic centre, a stadium, and even housing facilities for players. There is a river park that flows through the city as well. Furthermore, this city incorporates installations for smart homes, futuristic waste management systems, and advanced transportation facilities. In addition, the city will also be built to utilise renewable energy and rainwater harvesting methods and have lots of trees/green cover⁽⁵⁾. The city will also build commercial centres, an innovation hub for local and foreign investors, a medical and convention centre, and many more⁽⁵⁾.
Ambitious as both may seem,
these are good examples of how the construction sector must look while designing and building future cities. Masdar City has received many recognitions for its sustainable designs and developments. However, residents may not be tempted to move in because of the high price of sustainable buildings and poor access to other parts of the UAE.
On the other hand, at the New Clark City metropolis, the planners have considered the risks of natural disasters in its construction. As a result, they are building a sustainable city that the residents will truly enjoy and live life stress-free.
The article was authored by Jenifer F Dsouza, an environmental consultant with an M.S. degree from The University of Manchester, U.K. She has over seven years of experience in water technologies and is an ESG consultant. She advocates for environmental consciousness and is a content and technical writer for ecological issues. She has authored 11 peer-reviewed journals during her academic research with collaborative projects with MIT University, Boston.
- Bringing embodied carbon footprint, World Green Building Council, https://worldgbc.org/advancing-net-zero/embodied-carbon/#:~:text=Buildings%20are%20currently%20responsible%20for,11%25%20from%20materials%20and%20construction.
- Masdar City, the smartest city in the UAE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLZLMVs0a9w
- A city of the future hidden in the desert, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1NNEv0bZCU
- New Clark City: A 21st- century Metropolis in the Making- Philippines, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9xTckxRS2g&t=265s
- New Clark City: The Catalyst for Central Luzon’s economic growth, https://www.camella.com.ph/new-clark-city-the-catalyst-for-central-luzons-economic-growth/
- Masdar City, https://masdarcity.ae
- New Clark City: all you need to know about this new age sustainable city in the Philippines, https://www.blackridgeresearch.com/project-profiles/new-clark-city-the-new-sustainable-city-in-philippines