A City without Oil
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country with a lot of oil. Oil brings the country billions of dollars each year. So why is the UAE building a city that uses very little or no oil? The answer is simple: oil will not last forever. But there is another resource people can use instead of oil–the sun.
In fact, engineers are now building a new city that uses mostly solar energy for its power. The city is called Masdar, and it is about 20 miles (32 km) from Abu Dhabi, one of the largest cities in the UAE. If it is a success, Masdar will be the first city in the world that uses little or no oil.
Masdar is a small city-only 2.3 square miles (6 sq. km). In the future, it will hold 50,000 people, more than 1,000 companies, and a university. Its streets are very narrow. The houses are close to each other. The shade from the houses helps keep the streets cool.
There are no cars on the streets of Masdar. Because the city is so small, people can walk to most places. If they get tired, they can use the PRT: Personal Rapid Transit. These small, solar-powered cars move underground, like a subway. The cars have no drivers. People just tell the car where they want to go, and it takes them there.
Masdar will reuse as many resources as possible. It will reuse about 80 percent of its water and change most of its waste into more energy. People in Masdar are even using building materials that they can reuse in the future.
Can this city really be successful? No one knows. But if it is, there could be other low-energy cities around the world in the future.
Read the sentences below and check (√) True or False.
- Masdar will get most of its electricity from solar power.
- There will be few businesses in Masdar.
- Most people in Masdar will use their own cars.
- The cars in Masdar move underground.
- The cars in Masdar don’t need drivers.
- We don’t know if Masdar will be a success.
- The city will use its waste to make energy.
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