Masdar: A Continuously Evolving Sustainable City

The future is going to require a serious commitment to sustainable living, and the future has already arrived in Masdar City. This new development in Abu Dhabi is a continuously iterating city that is built and run entirely sustainably.



Every building is ranked from zero to five for sustainability, and nothing gets built that is less than a three. Here is a look into just what the future holds when industry focuses on making the world a better place.

Editor’s Words:

The first time entering Masdar, you can feel its uniqueness from the architecture. The buildings are specially designed, and you can tell it from its looks, and the material they use to build it. After wandering in this city, another idea came to my mind, what a project it is!


Before visiting Masdar City, I got some information from the website and have imagined lot about it. It’s the world’s first zero carbon, zero waste city powered by renewable energy. There must be many challenges in doing that. Only when I walked nearer and talked with some designers and policy makers I found, it’s indeed much more difficult than I thought.



The project is, 1,483 acres and contains 5 phases. It’s not just a package of green buildings, it’s a community that people can live, work, shopping and study here. And the sustainability includes the environment, economy, and society. But when it comes to the economy, there is always conflict between being green and being cheap, especially when you see it in short run. Besides, there are so many people working together in planning and building, engineers from different sectors, economists, landscapers etc. How to find a solution for each one of them, they have been exploring for years, said Chris Wan, the Head of Design Management at Masdar City, who has been working on this project for more than ten years.





Can it really be zero carbon? The latest news is the company doesn’t insist on “zero emission”. Some of the energy used in this city is from outside. It seems that they have given up several unlikely achieved goals but focused firmly on the main and principle tent: sustainability and thinking for the future.



When asked when will the city finish construction, the spokesman Abdulla Balalaa
from Sustainable Real Estate, Masdar told me, they don’t put an exact deadline for this project now, but if they continue with the pace they have right now, it will be done around 2030 to 2035. And for Chris, it’s great and lucky to work for a company cares so much about sustainability. “This is a continuous learning process, it’s not a show. Many people are exploring in this area, but turning a green concept into a green reality, this is what Masdar City about”, said Chris with a smile.



Yes, except for the flaws and compromise sometimes, Masdar and Masdar City, and the UAE, they are really working hard towards a sustainable future and are commited to the world.



Editor: Zou Xin

Camera: Kong Quan