Zira Island Planned as Zero Energy City


Following in the footsteps of Dongtan and Masdar, the Danish firm of Bjarke Ingels Group has just released details of their masterplan for a zero energy resort and entertainment city on Zira Island, which is located within the bay of Baku, Azerbaijan.  The plan calls for roughly 10.8 million square feet of architectural landscape based on the natural landscape of Azerbaijan.  Indeed, Zira Island will feature seven residential developments, each in the shape of one of seven peaks of Azerbaijan, and 300 private villas with views over the Caspian Sea. 


Zira Island is intended to be entirely independent of external resources – to provide “high-end living with low end resource usage.”  Here’s how they plan to do so:

  • Heating/cooling by heat pumps connected to Caspian Sea
  • Photovoltaics strategically placed on facades and rooftops
  • Solar thermal panels integrated into architecture
  • Energy efficient architecture
  • An offshore wind farm for island power
  • Waste and storm water collection, treatment, and reuse in landscaping

The webosphere has gone crazy talking about this zero energy island plan, and that’s a good thing.  When entire cities are built from the ground up, they ought to be built with the best and greenest strategies available. 



[=] Zira Island Masterplan by BIG
[+] Zira Island masterplan by BIG by Dezeen

Image credits: BIG

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  • Joel

    hmmm… interesting concept. A green disneyland or las vegas. Actually looking at this I got a sick feeling in my stomach that maybe some people are taking this whole green thing a little far. Where are all the resources coming from to build all this, and why might I ask to they actually need to build a city from the ground up. I suppose these answers can be found somewhere, but I’m not going to bother looking since I can already guess the possible answers. It would seem that for this and many other projects like it that efforts would be better served elsewhere if the goal is truly to reduce mankind’s footprint on this planet.

    • Brian N.

      I agree, Joel. What if all those resources were used to make an existing city more green? That seems a much more honorable endeavor to me….

  • http://wslfconwaymausa.blogspot.com/2008/11/help-forestry-helps-forest-new-england.html Richard


    These so-called eco friendly places usually are planned to replace the natural landscape. The place ends up being named after the features it replaces. Wearing the “skin” of the landscape does not mean you have saved the landscape.

    Also, I think Joel and Brian N. have a point. Where do all the resources for Zira Island Planned City come from?

    Richard H. Stafursky
    Pres., WSLF
    Conway, MA (Massachusetts), United States (USA)
    (802) 257-9158

    WSL (World Species List Forest)

    The Natural Landscape

    Richard is also known as Dropintheforest on YouTube

  • http://mportlandrealestate.com Tyler Portland Real Estate

    Beautiful! More places need to embrace the zero energy idea!

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