The Dubai Chamber of Commerce has approved the development of a USD 200 million project called Food City, which will be rolled out in multiple stages, the first of which will be completed by 2012. The master plan was developed by GCLA, a Dubai-based landscape architect firm, which plans to turn a city sector into a “self-sufficient metropolis.” Inhabitat says: “GCLA’s future-forward urban quarter incorporates an extensive list of sustainable urban planning ideas, including vertically stacked landscape surfaces, artificial roof landscapes, renewable energy systems, aquatic farms, and thermal conditioning.”
GCLA’s plan aims for green — it provides for renewable energy: “concentrated solar collectors, towers covered in thin-film photovoltaic cells, piezoelectric pads in pedestrian areas, and methane harvesting through sewage percolation tanks.” GCLA also tries to conserve water through the use of “atmospheric water harvesting, solar desalination through concentrated solar collectors, grey water recycling, and application of hydroponic sand to minimize water loss.” However, a productive landscape in midst of the desert is expecting to consume lots of water.
Gulf News writes that Dubai Food City will build up Dubai’s local food sector, and improve the United Arab Emirates’ food security (U.A.E. currently imports over 90 percent of its food). Food City will be a five million square-foot “self-contained development, aimed at wholesale food merchants,” and will be able to hold 400-500 food companies. The food and beverage industry in Dubai was valued at USD 8 billion in 2008.