Dubai has the knack of adopting green technologies and integrating them into sustainable development projects, giving rise to marvels like Rotating Wind Power Tower, DuBiotech, High-Tech Cybertechture, and many more. The latest project to appear on the horizon is Xeritown, an urban complex designed to work in harmony with the environment of the region through site specific and climate sensitive architecture and planning.
Proposed to be built in the emerging Dubailand, a new extension of Dubai, the master plan of Xeritown consists of a number of dense urban clusters located within the landscape. The 60-acre town will be built across a north-south axis to exploit the cool breezes blowing in off the sea. The orientation of the town will allow the cool sea breeze into the town and block the hot desert breeze out. The whole town has been designed keeping in mind the climate, landscape and environment of Dubai.
The town’s name draws from xeriscape principles, so Xeritown has been designed to minimize water use. For non-domestic uses, recycled greywater or industrial waste water will be used. The town will encourage a pedestrian-orientated lifestyle, and only two-lane streets will be made to significantly reduce the number of vehicles. The buildings will be tall and provide shades for the streets, instead of water dependent trees. Large flat circular structures fitted with photovoltaic cells will hang over walkways on the streets. The photovoltaics will collect solar energy to generate power to be used in the town.
Dubailand is the vision of Dubai’s current ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It will be a city divided into seven themed worlds and attract 15 million tourists to Dubai by 2010. Xeritown has been designed by X–Architects, a Dubai based architecture firm, and SMAQ, an architecture, urbanism and research studio.