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Masdar City's Integrated Approach to Sustainability

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Masdar City is the first clean-technology cluster to be located in a carbon-neutral, zero-waste city powered entirely by renewable energy. This US22 billion free zone located about 17km from downtown Abu Dhabi will eventually be home to companies, researchers, and academics from across the globe, creating an international centre of research and development in the fields of renewable energy and sustainable technologies – a tremendous growth industry worldwide.

It is a city where current and future technologies will be funded, researched, developed, tested and commercialised. Masdar City will be home to residents and commuters who will live the technological innovations happening in the city's labs and research centres. It will be a test bed for new approaches to the planning, design, engineering, construction and operational challenges involved in creating environmentally sustainable cities.

Once constructed, Masdar City's water system will use total water management principles to treat all parts of the water cycle as potential resources. This approach includes aggressive use of a variety of water sources, including groundwater, seawater, surface runoff, rainwater harvesting, greywater reuse, blackwater reuse, and resource recovery coupled with sustainable principles for treatment and management of byproducts.

It is an extraordinary endeavour that will attract the highest levels of international expertise, academics, commerce and residents – creating an environment ripe for innovation. By bringing together such resources, Masdar City will set a benchmark that will ultimately support sustainable development throughout Abu Dhabi and the region, as well as provide a functioning blueprint for sustainable living around the world.

Keywords: Integration; Renewable Energy; Sustainability; Water Management

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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