How Masdar City is Transforming the Concept of Sustainable Cities

Masdar City
Masdar City

As our world confronts environmental challenges, urban planning has become a recurring topic of discussion. With the constant rise in population, regions all over the world must adjust their infrastructure to support the growing number of individuals while also preserving the environment. In response, Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, UAE, is setting an example of what a sustainable city should look like.

Masdar City’s Vision Of A Greener Urban Living

Masdar City started its journey in 2008 to create one of the most sustainable cities in the world. It is, without a doubt, a frontline in sustainability because it drives the advancement toward more environmentally friendly and sustainably oriented urban living. With an aim to be sustainable, it is a city with zero carbon and zero waste at the core of its development. Factors like reducing trash, saving energy, and fostering a healthy environment for its citizens are the guiding values of the city.

Masdar City is home to a residential area with stores, eateries, and open green spaces, as well as a clean-tech cluster that is fast expanding. Most importantly, it incorporates traditional Arabic architecture into the city’s design, using modern technology to create a livable and eco-friendly environment. Masdar’s construction also follows the Estidama Pearl Building Rating System guidelines. Moreover, the walls of the buildings have cushions of air that limit heat radiation. This design helps decrease the need for air conditioning by 55 percent and naturally creates a cooler temperature. In fact, the temperature is almost 10°C lower than in the rest of Abu Dhabi.

The UAE recognized the importance of establishing urban public spaces that safeguard our overall health long before the COVID-19 outbreak and the corporate transition to eco-friendly methods that focus on environmental, social, and governance aspects. The UAE realized the importance of sustainable urban development, even though it is in a region heavily relying on energy-intensive cooling.

One of the major features of Masdar City is its use of renewable energy sources. There is a 10 MW solar facility located on the edge of the development area. It produces more clean power than the city uses daily. The community of Masdar City, powered by a large field of solar panels, covers an area of 22 hectares and consists of 87,777 individual panels. Also, there are PVs that hover over the tops of many of the buildings themselves.

Masdar City built the Eco-Villa, Abu Dhabi’s first net-zero energy home, in 2017. The home in Abu Dhabi uses much less energy and water than a normal home of the same size. It reduces carbon dioxide emissions by about 63 tons every year. The property’s electricity consumption is only 97 kWh per square meter. Although it costs about the same to build a regular home of the same size, it costs less to run because it uses less water and energy.

Masdar City has been striving for net zero since its inception 15 years ago, drawing inspiration from the UAE leadership’s innovative legacy. Their projects have become increasingly ambitious over time.


Masdar City is a shining example of how sustainable cities can be revolutionized. It has proven that it is possible to create a livable, sustainable city without compromising the environment.

Last Updated on January 29, 2024 by News Editor

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