Contest received more than 100 entries from six continents as people envisioned their ideal, sustainable city of the future
Abu Dhabi, UAE: 14 January, 2015 – Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, today announced the winner of its third annual Engage Blogging Contest. The contest received 106 entries from 40 countries, all of which creatively described the ideal, sustainable city of the future. The collective entries drove thousands of people to Masdar’s website to engage in a digital dialogue – an exchange of ideas – about how the world’s urban centers can become bastions of sustainability, cities that offer a place to live, work and play without undue environmental impact.
The blogging contest was launched in advance of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2015, a yearly platform that addresses the interconnected challenges of energy and water security, climate risk and sustainable development.
The winning post, entitled “Western New York 2030,” was submitted byRP Siegel, an author and inventorwho shines a powerful light on environmental and technological topics from Rochester, New York. Siegel’s submission provides a creative, fictional look at how 3D printing, public transportation, net-zero homes and advanced clean-energy systems will transform his home city by 2030. In addition to writing for Triple Pundit, Huffington Post, Energy Viewpoints and various other publications, Siegel has authored three books, including an adventure novel about sustainability.
As the winner, Siegel will receive an invitation to attend Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week as a guest journalist, where he will have the opportunity to cover the eighth World Future Energy Summit, the third International Water Summit, the second annual EcoWaste Summit and seventh Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony.
“It’s clear that citizens of the world have passionate views of how urban environments can be centers of excellence – cities that support economic growth, enhance lifestyle and promote sustainability,” said Mahra Al Qassimi, director of marketing and communications at Masdar. “The blogging contest is designed to lead an exchange of ideas, to spur creativity and to advance important global issues. And we did that. We received colorful descriptions of how cities can be innovative centers, complete communities and maintain steady growth, while remaining sustainable.”
The United Nations projects that 66 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. While such an influx to the world’s urban centers comprises an extraordinary challenge for policymakers and urban planners, bloggers were asked to consider how advances in emissions-free transportation, smart technology and renewable energy can promote the development of clean, healthy cities that still enjoy economic growth. They were also asked to envision progressive strategies that will mitigate the impact of rapid urbanization on communities.
The winner was selected based on overall creativity, quality and relevance of the ideas presented; voting and scoring by readers; and activity generated on social media channels including Facebook and Twitter.
Along with the winning post by Siegel, the posts of the remaining five finalists – Ayah Alfawaris, Jonathan Powell, Ozzie Gonzalez, Gil Friend and Christina Thomas – are available online at www.masdar.ae/engage.
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) will gather more than 32,000 participants from 170 countries, and will include leaders from academia, industry and government. Topics will explore the relationship between shale gas and renewables, advances in solar-powered water desalination, and shared approaches to accelerating sustainable energy.
ADSW includes a series of events: the fifth assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency; the eighth World Future Energy Summit; the third International Water Summit; the second EcoWASTE exhibition; and the seventh Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony.