"The world's first zero-carbon city is being built in Abu Dhabi and is designed to be not only free of cars and skyscrapers but also powered by the sun.
The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is the last place you would expect to learn lessons on low-carbon living, but the emerging eco-city of Masdar could teach the world.
At first glance, the parched landscape of Abu Dhabi looks like the craziest place to build any city, let alone a sustainable one.
The inhospitable terrain suggests that the only way to survive here is with the maximum of technological support, a bit like living on the moon.
The genius of Masdar - if it works - will be combining 21st Century engineering with traditional desert architecture to deliver zero-carbon comfort. And it is being built now.
Masdar will be home to about 50,000 people, at least 1,000 businesses and a university.
It is being designed by British architects Foster and Partners, but it is the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is paying for it. And it will cost between £10bn (USD$15bn) and £20bn (USD$30bn). "
(Tom Heap, BBC News)
[Profiled on the BBC Radio 4 programme 'Costing The Earth: Eco-City Limits' Monday 29 March at 2100 BST]
"In a dérive [literally: "drifting"] one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there. Chance is a less important factor in this activity than one might think: from a d?rive point of view cities have psychogeographical contours, with constant currents, fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones."
(Guy Debord, 1956)