Have you heard of Masdar?
It’s a city – a futuristic city, in the process of being built – a city that is growing, intelligently, neighborhood by neighborhood.
For my part, it was when I became interested in the latest technological advances in energy and ecology that I heard about Masdar – and the Wind Tower.
As I am curious – more than a cat and more than a magpie – I was inevitably interested in this Wind Tower
A Wind Tower? What does a Wind Tower mean?
So I found the origin, necessarily in the great and very very advanced regions of the Middle East: Persia – Iran – which had found this system to live the hot seasons in relative coolness – without electricity.
Then at first, it was that & it’s a quite old conception & quite perfect :
And now, in the desert of Abu Dhabi, you can see this wind tower, in a modern version:
I was amazed by this tower – so I wondered what this city, Masdar, was about, which I had absolutely never heard of.
And for good reason, while I was painfully learning my “world cities” Masdar didn’t exist at all.
And so, here I am, discovering a new little marvel from the United Arab Emirates – this time from the Emirate of Abu Dhabi: thinking and realizing a self-sufficient city – a clean city – a city where one does not die of heat – a city where one does not die of thirst.
Big challenge – the desert is so much there in the Emirates, the sun is so much a permanent aggression, the heat turns you into a little parched papyrus so quickly – air-conditioning is an absolute necessity – even for old guys like me, who pretend to hate canned air and open all the windows all the time -.
The English architect Foster and his comrades thought: they took from the local architecture all that there was to take: the narrow streets – thinking about the wind – thinking about the wind tower – thinking about the most suitable materials for heat – and they added all that modern studies have taught them, both in architecture and in renewable energy.
And there – a city that would make me fall over in amazement.
And, did you see ? they even thought about transportation – even thought about eliminating the individual car by small common transportation – a little more and here we are all in Minority Report – well for now, it runs flat, like us.
And this transportation is integrated into the design of the city – which makes it possible to think of it in the best and most efficient way – an advantage that our old cities do not have.
So when I see people capable of creating this, I don’t know why, but I regain confidence in the future
And I know that Altair – if Altair exists – will be a place made by people like them, people who think well and fast – people who will look for the pearls of the past to combine them with the pearls of the future – in the building as well as in the general concept.
It’s a kind of philosophy, in a way.
The only sad thing about this subject is the morbid joy of the French-speaking journalists, who write about ‘the ghost town‘, ‘the failure of Masdar‘, ‘the Emirati mirage‘ – because the city does not yet have the desired number of inhabitants, oh yes, that is serious.
And then – you know what? In the United Arab Emirates, people have big cars and air-conditioning everywhere – so they’d better shut up, those people, they’re mean and that’s it. But how can I still put up with this petty, miserable, jealous, cretinous, poopy state of mind of the Parisian journalist who thinks he is the king of the world?