I’ve been meaning to tell you about…

• A car-free city in the Persian Gulf:

Groundbreaking is scheduled for Saturday for Masdar City, a nearly self-contained mini-municipality designed for up to 50,000 people rising from the desert next to Abu Dhabi’s international airport and intended as a hub for academic and corporate research on nonpolluting energy technologies.

The 2.3-square-mile community, set behind walls to divert hot desert winds and airport noise, will be car free, according to the design by Foster + Partners, the London firm that has become a leading practitioner of energy-saving architecture.

(Source: New York Times, via Bus Nerd)

• Even higher congestion charges in London:

London Mayor Ken Livingstone will triple the city’s daily congestion charge to 25 pounds ($49) for the most-polluting cars and sport utility vehicles, his latest plan to cut carbon emissions by boosting driving costs.

Owners of vehicles that emit more than 225 grams (0.5 pounds) of carbon dioxide a kilometer — the so-called ‘G band’ rating used for calculating U.K. vehicle tax — will pay the increased fee to enter central London’s congestion zone starting Oct. 27. The charge will be waived for owners of the least- polluting vehicles, Livingstone said at a news conference today.

(Source: Bloomberg News, via World Carfree Network)

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