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Masdar City, one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments, is seeing strong progress on the construction of Masdar Institute Neighbourhood, a major mixed-use development of offices, residential, retail and public open space which is due for completion in 2020. The project, which is part of the most intensive period of expansion in Masdar City’s history, will link the central Masdar City Podium with the North Car Park, providing more than 100,000 square metres of new development.

In order to accommodate ongoing construction activity, Masdar City’s iconic electric-powered driverless Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) network, which runs between the North Car Park and the Podium, will be temporarily suspended from 2 July. Alternative means of transportation will be provided for the duration of the closure.

“The Masdar Institute Neighbourhood is the largest new development currently underway at Masdar City and construction work is progressing extremely well, so we’re very excited about the additional amenities this will bring,” said Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director, Sustainable Real Estate, Masdar. “This phase of our expansion means that we need to temporarily close the PRT, following seven years of continuous operation in which it has transported more than 2 million passengers. We have made careful provision to ensure there is no disruption for people within the City.”   

During the temporary closure of the PRT, Masdar will continue to work with industry partners to develop the next phase of its autonomous mobility network, which was announced during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January.  The extension will operate alongside the existing PRT and cover a 1-kilometre route, with two new stops linking Masdar Institute (part of Khalifa University of Science & Technology), the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the recently announced “My City Centre Masdar” shopping mall. 

“Autonomous mobility has evolved dramatically in recent years, which means our next phase of emission-free driverless vehicles at Masdar City will be able to operate outdoors, integrating with both pedestrians and other types of vehicles,” added Baselaib. “This is just one of many solutions which we are working on with industry partners as part of our ongoing commitment to drive innovation and support the advancement of intelligent mobility.”

Masdar City’s PRT system was the first of its kind in the world. Since its launch in November 2010, it has transported more than 2 million passengers far enough to reach the moon and back and circle the Earth five times. The system has generated an immense amount of practical data that will contribute to the commercialisation of future sustainable mobility solutions.

Its temporary closure is necessary to ensure the health and safety of people within Masdar City during construction works. An expanded shuttle service is being provided to take all visitors from the multi-storey North Car Park to the front of the Masdar City podium, just outside the headquarters of Siemens. The shuttle will run daily from 06:00 until midnight.

Masdar City is currently undergoing rapid expansion; more than 175,000 square metres of completed buildings are fully leased and occupied, with more than 750,000 square metres of projects with firm development agreements in place.

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