In Arabic, Masdar means “the source,” and the the latest development to spring from the city’s upwelling of green tech is a futuristic transit system that will serve the city’s six square kilometers. Realizing a concept straight out of sci-fi, the system consists of a fleet of solar-powered programmable vehicles that seat six and keep streets congestion free.

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It seems like Masdar makes the news every other week with it’s rapidly developing plans for a waste-free zero-emission city. Set to house 50,000 people, Foster and Partners’ eco mecca is mobilizing a slew of high-tech projects that skirt the realm of utopianism.

Masdar’s ultra-efficient city plan makes no allowances for fossil fuel vehicles, favoring a new breed of mass transit – a personal rapid transit system. “You program what station you want to go to, and [the vehicle] will directly take you to that station . . . If you look at things like Blade Runner, etc., that we had 15 years ago, it’s really bringing that to the fore now,” says Scott McGuigan of CH2M Hill, the construction firm that’s building Masdar City.

The vehicles are set to run beneath the city like a subway minus the tracks, creating an aboveground infrastructure that is pedestrian-friendly and free from gridlock. Ease and efficiency are key features, since the programmable cars can take you anywhere you need to go, and energy won’t be expended running multiple railways on off-peak hours. Roughly 1,500 stations are planned, and no point in the city will be more than 200 meters from the system.

+ Climate Connections @ NPR