The low-carbon development of Masdar City has an integral role in transforming Abu Dhabi’s economy from an oil foundation to one with a knowledge and innovation base. It serves as a centralised test bed for global renewable energy and technology companies.

The city itself is designed to maximise convenience and reduce environmental impacts.

A 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant and an array of building-mounted solar panels offsets nearly all of the electricity in Phase 1, reducing the need for power produced by fossil fuels. Streets maximise shade all day long, capturing cooling breezes and reducing the need for air-conditioning.

A mix of educational and recreational, housing, retail, manufacturing, and office spaces give commuters and residents easy access to everything they need, reducing transport needs. Buildings are densely populated, allowing residents to live and work in the same location. This reduces heating, cooling and internal transportation needs.

Water conservation is ensured by high-efficiency appliances, low-flow showers, a water tariff, smart water meters and treated wastewater, which is recycled for plant irrigation.

The ground-up approach that Masdar City has taken to ensuring a sustainable and enjoyable way of life for residents demonstrates that environmental responsibility need not be a hardship.