Zero Emissions & Zero Waste City...Is it possible?

Is it really possible to make a city of 40,000+ inhabitants both zero emissions and zero waste? It will be interesting to watch the plans for this city unfold in Abu Dhabi, as reported today by c|net news. So, my question to you readers out there...what are the entrepreneurial opportunities that will need to be uncovered in this new city form? As with the advent of the Wild West and the Gold Rush, smart entrepreneurs will be making their lasting mark on the imprint of this nascent plan. Have you an idea that might make an impact in a car-less, solar-rich, and water-conscious municipality?

We talked about a few of these ideas in our Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship class at Cal State San Marcos last semester. I'll be interested to see if any of my CIE students are reading this and care to weigh in with your thoughts.

For those of you who care to dig deeper, check out the Masdar Initiative's One Planet Living 10 guiding principles:
ZERO CARBON: 100 per cent of energy supplied by renewable energy – Photovoltaics, concentrated solar power, wind, waste to energy and other technologies

ZERO WASTE: 99 per cent diversion of waste from landfill (includes waste reduction measures, re-use of waste wherever possible, recycling, composting, waste to energy)

SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT: Zero carbon emissions from transport within the city; implementation of measures to reduce the carbon cost of journeys to the city boundaries (through facilitating and encouraging the use of public transport, vehicle sharing, supporting low emissions vehicle initiatives)

SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS: Specifying high recycled materials content within building products; tracking and encouraging the reduction of embodied energy within materials and throughout the construction process; specifying the use of sustainable materials such as Forest Stewardship Council certified timber, bamboo and other products

SUSTAINABLE FOOD: Retail outlets to meet targets for supplying organic food and sustainable and or fair trade products

SUSTAINABLE WATER: Per capita water consumption to be at least 50 per cent less than the national average; all waste water to be re-used

HABITATS AND WILDLIFE: All valuable species to be conserved or relocated with positive mitigation targets

CULTURE AND HERITAGE: Architecture to integrate local values.

EQUITY AND FAIR TRADE: Fair wages and working conditions for all workers (including construction) as defined by international labour standards

HEALTH AND HAPPINESS: Facilities and events for every demographic group
Of the ten, I'd say the last one is the most challenging. It occurs to me that in our world, one demographic group's happiness may be at the expense of another demographic group's happiness. By that, I mean that our world thrives on conflict and, unfortunately, is a source of happiness for some demographic groups.

For a more lengthy description via a strong English narration, check out the video here.

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