Masdar City: a che punto è la città più eco del mondo? (gallery)

di Marco Mancini 40

Di recente ci siamo occupati a latere di Masdar City, la misteriosa città carbon-free costruita nel deserto a pochi chilometri da Abu Dhabi, in occasione del World Future Energy Summit. L’annuncio di questo capolavoro di ingegneria e tecnologie pulite è stato dato due anni fa, e gli ambientalisti sono ora eccitati dall’idea che possa esistere una città indipendente dal petrolio, peraltro nella nazione che di petrolio ne ha di più al mondo, gli Emirati Arabi Uniti. Ma che fine ha fatto questa città? A che punto siamo con la realizzazione?

C’è una buona notizia: Masdar sta diventando reale, i primi progetti verdi sono stati già realizzati. Finora esiste soltanto un complesso principale di edifici costruito nel cuore della Masdar che sarà. Tutto intorno le gru sono parcheggiate, i materiali da costruzione posizionati in pile nettamente separate, ed un piccolo esercito di lavoratori è l’unica popolazione che finora la città può contare.

Questi edifici già in piedi comprendono il Masdar Institute (un centro di ricerca post-laurea che collabora con il MIT) e le residenze per coloro che vi lavorano. C’è un bar, un laboratorio di ricerca, un paio di condomini, una biblioteca, e tanto tanto deserto. Circa 150 persone vi abitano già oggi, per lo più ricercatori e le loro famiglie. Quando Masdar sarà completata, darà una casa a 40-50.000 persone, e servirà come luogo di lavoro per oltre 100.000 pendolari. I posti di lavoro saranno principalmente nel settore dell’energia pulita. E, naturalmente, la città manterrà la promessa di essere “carbon neutral”, anche se in molti sono pronti a scommettere che qualche emissione sarà inevitabile a causa delle automobili, e quindi più che altro si potrebbe definire a basse (piuttosto che zero) emissioni.

L’energia sarà interamente pulita, ottenendo 14 MW da un vicino impianto solare che è già collegato alla rete. L’impianto sta attualmente producendo un surplus di potenza, dopo l’illuminazione della città, le operazioni di costruzione e l’invio di energia alla rete. Chiaramente, non tutti i materiali da costruzione (cemento, acciaio) sono privi di carbonio, ma Masdar afferma che sta facendo uno sforzo per utilizzare materiali riciclati e recuperati il più possibile. Per il trasporto, c’è un piccolo sistema denominato “Personal Rapid Transit” già in funzione, una sorta di metropolitana di superficie composta da scompartimenti piccoli da massimo 4 persone, alimentati elettricamente, che circolano per tutta la città in modo da collegare le zone residenziali con quelle lavorative, mentre sono in fase di ultimazione le auto elettriche che circoleranno solo nei confini cittadini.

Masdar è stata originariamente progettata per essere una città pedonale, con una moltitudine di possibilità di trasporto di massa, ma ora la necessità di avere veicoli elettrici comincia a diventare evidente. Un certo numero di innovazioni sono già in atto, come i corridoi per la ventilazione che trasportano l’aria fredda passivamente in tutto il complesso, rendendo inutile il ricorso a ventilatori e condizionatori. Una gigantesca torre di raffreddamento spinge il vento giù nel complesso, e mantiene la temperatura di 5 o 6 gradi C più fredda rispetto a quella del deserto.

Luci LED fanno da contorno alla torre, e segnalano lo spreco di energia utilizzata dalla comunità adiacente in qualsiasi momento. Il che significa che se un cittadino ha lasciato il televisore acceso in un appartamento tutto il giorno, le luci verdi diventano rosse, a dimostrazione dello spreco. Infine, ci sono un gruppo di progetti di ricerca sull’energia rinnovabile sparsi in tutto il perimetro come un piccolo impianto di energia solare concentrata, e un prototipo di impianto di raffreddamento solare.

Circa 2 miliardi dollari sono stati investiti finora in Masdar City, ma ancora molto servirà per completare le infrastrutture, le costruzioni e altre strutture che oggi sono presenti solo sulla carta. Per poter essere ultimata bisognerà attendere il 2015, anche se sull’inaugurazione i progettisti sono rimasti un po’ vaghi perché vanno valutate le varie partnership internazionali alla base dei progetti. Di seguito le foto della città come si presenta oggi, all’inizio del 2011.

[Fonte: Treehugger]

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