Masdar, a 100% sustainable city project
Masdar City is one of the most sustainable urban communities in the world. The city embraces an efficient and smart urban design approach, which shows the possibility of dealing with population density within urban compounds more efficiently. The buildings are designed to reduce energy and water consumption by 40% compared to regular buildings in Abu Dhabi.
The city is a center linking education with research, development and business with investment. It is a test model for renewable energy and technology companies in the United Arab Emirates and around the world.
The City Plan
Masdar City aims to provide commercially viable opportunities and the highest quality of life with minimal environmental impact. The city represents a sustainable and diversified community, which includes commercial spaces, residential areas, gardens, malls and public facilities.
Masdar City is considered as a free investment zone, as it allows foreigners to own real estate and companies within it. It also attracts clean technology companies of various sizes and specializations to work on testing, marketing and dissemination of clean energy technologies.
Upon completion, the city will host over 50,000 residents, in addition to 40,000 new jobs and study opportunities.
The City attaches a great importance to promote sustainable development, by reducing the demand for energy and water while recycling and reuse waste, especially during the implementation of construction projects.
Sustainable projects and buildings
All buildings in Masdar City were constructed using low carbon cement, in addition to recycled aluminum, which accounts for 90% of the aluminum used. All buildings are designed to reduce energy and water consumption by at least 40% compared to the consumption of ordinary buildings within the city. The LEED standards and the basic criteria for the Pearl Rating System (used to classify building sustainability performance) have been taken into account for the “Estidama” program developed by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council.
Mobility is a key part of the Masdar City strategy, as it is a key factor in promoting a green footprint within sustainable urban communities. Despite the leadership of Masdar City in adopting fast personal transport systems that were developed by “Together” and which operates since 2010, the overall planning of the city remains more important than the mobility solutions and techniques used.
The mobility strategy for Masdar City is based on a hierarchy that places pedestrians first and stresses the importance of adopting a sustainable transportation network, which includes clean energy public transportation services and ultimately includes personal vehicles. As part of this strategy and to achieve this trend, the city of Masdar has employed many technologies in both commercial and experimental projects. The mobility strategy is part of the overall sustainability mission, which begins with building compounds that provide basic services like walking distance, as walking is more sustainable than using an electric vehicle. By moving to a higher level, the city has schools and hotels that can be reached by bicycle or public transportation. Therefore, the establishment of the city in this way helps in the success of the mobility strategy.
Energy in Masdar City
The power plant using photovoltaic panels in “Masdar City”, which is the largest of its kind in the Middle East region, produces about 17,500 megawatt hours of clean energy annually. This contribution helps to avoid the emissions of 15 thousand tons of carbon annually. Finally, the plant consists of 87,780 thin-film solar panels and crystallized silicon cells from Sun Tech and First Solar.