Masdar City Exemplifies Sustainability in Urban Planning

With the recent UAE World Future Energy Summit and selection as host of the World Expo 2020, the United Arab Emirates has received significant attention for its clean-energy initiatives. One such project is Masdar City, an experimental community launched in 2006 devoted entirely to sustainability. While most cities around the world must incorporate green technology into their existing infrastructures, Masdar City exemplifies the achievements that are possible when urban planners integrate sustainability into the earliest preparatory stages.

Leveraging technologies ranging from solar power to algae fuels, Masdar hopes to attain a zero carbon footprint. As a desert city near Abu Dhabi, the community also faces significant water challenges. To maximize efficiency, all buildings feature specialized fixtures and appliances as well as wastewater irrigation systems. Additionally, city officials have designed the community to serve as a hub for state-of-the-art, clean-tech research and business. The UAE has long been known not only for its rich oil reserves but also for its glitz and excess. With Masdar City, the country hopes to tap into another aspect of its reputation—that of a forward-thinking country constantly on the leading edge of development.