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May 20, 2008

Walled city. No cars. Middle of the desert. Sound like a place only a camel could love? No way. Try modern city with a zero carbon footprint, waste-free environment, designed by renowned architects Foster+Partners (responsible for the controversial London City Hall and the breathtaking Millau Viaduct in France), and you’ve arrived in Masdar, Silicon Valley of the Sustainability Industry. It may seem ironic that one of the largest oil producing countries in the world should be on the forefront of sustainability research, but UAE has been diversifying it’s sources of wealth for at least the last decade (check out the trade fairs in Dubai – heck, check out Dubai.). No camels here, I bet this upscale city will attract young techies and wealthy jetsetters from all over, and it won’t be long before there’s a Prada on main street. Hopefully, Masdar will spark conversation and innovation among the Green set and shame the West into, at least, parking their Hummers.