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THE REGIONAL VIEW: HYDER CONSULTING


CASE STUDY – MASDAR CITY, ABU DHABI, UAE Masdar City http://www.masdar.ae/en/masdar/ our-story, is part of a conscious decision on the part of the Abu Dhabi government to shift away from a mainly oil-based economy to one ‘led by knowledge, innovation and the export of cutting-edge technologies’ and is part of an Abu Dhabi ‘2030 Vision’ for the Emirate. Within the Masdar company lies Masdar City;


‘designed to be one of the most sustainable cities in the world, Masdar City is a clean technology cluster attracting companies committed to advancing the new energy industry and establishing Middle East operations’. Te plan for Masdar City is to have 40,000 residents and 50,000 commuters coming to the city every day for work and study. (http://www.masdar.ae/assets/downloads/


content/226/masdar_corporate_brochure.pdf) Importantly, the vision behind the city is driven


not by the Smart City concept. Instead it aims to be ‘the world’s most sustainable eco-city’. Actually, the use of the phrase Smart City is not one that Masdar City uses. Te fact that it is referred to at all here is because it fits a definition much larger than its original authors intended. Masdar City’s success in being a Smart City is that its aims are far grander than a simple use of modern gadgets. It embodies a vision of a futuristic city that embraces these four key elements below.


1 SUSTAINABILITY Sustainability is the foundation and purpose of Masdar City. Tis should indeed be the glue that binds the planning behind all cities of the future. Te environmental, social, cultural and economic pillars of sustainability are on display in full force in Masdar. Te environmental and cutting edge sustainable


designs include wind funneling and glare reducing windows facing away from the direction of the sun, thus reducing the need for air conditioning. Solar panels feeding green energy to the grid are among a host of other initiatives that will ensure each building receives at least a minimum


‘MASDAR CITY’S SUCCESS IN BEING A SMART CITY IS THAT ITS AIMS ARE FAR GRANDER THAN A SIMPLE USE OF MODERN GADGETS. IT EMBODIES A VISION OF A FUTURISTIC CITY THAT EMBRACES SUSTAINABILITY, PLANNING, LIVEABILITY AND TECHNOLOGY.’


28 EXPERTVIEW SPRING 2015


of a 3 Pearl Building Rating on sustainability. (Te project uses the Abu Dhabi equivalent of a LEED-Gold sustainability accreditation called Estidama, the Arabic word for sustainability). After the designs, infrastructure and buildings


are completed, Masdar has also created a whole suite of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) behind building performance to ensure that the tenants continue the excellent work done in the design and construction of the city. Tese KPIs are complimented by Abu Dhabi’s Estidama regulations governing, amongst other things, the fair conditions of construction workers who will build the facilities. Te public realm design, construction and operationwill also achieve a 4-Pearl Community Rating under Estidama.


2 PLANNING Masdar’s sustainable vision is demonstrated in its initial design concept, by Foster and Partners. Tis was then revised within Hyder Consulting’s concept master plan and detailed master plan for Phase 1. One of Hyder Consulting’s remits was to create a plan that enables a commercially viable sustainable city that offers the highest quality of life with the lowest environmental footprint. One of Masdar’s main aims in planning effectively, and the baton carried forward by Hyder, has been to ensure the city has an integrated design. Tis ensures blue sky thinking and a big picture approach that takes into account the needs of all users both now and in the future. In fact, current work in Masdar City is only the very beginning; the master plan currently extends all the way to 2030.


3 LIVEABILITY Liveability is a term that is defined here as a ranking of the overall quality of life. Masdar has been instrumental in creating an environment that emphasizes all of the major aspects of quality such as stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. Within the master plan are workplaces, retail centres, open spaces, leisure facilities and even nurseries, primary schools, the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Masdar Institute, a research-oriented university focused on alternative energy and sustainability. Hyder Consulting, in rising to this challenge


has ensured that no residency is more than 350 metres from a community centre with a nursery, shops, a post office, a police post and a medical clinic. Te design itself is backed by an ‘integration strategy’ which allows for a walkable environment with ‘linear parks’ (wind funnels) that trap and ventilate the spaces ensuring usage even in the middle of summer when unshaded temperatures hover around 40 degrees centigrade. Furthermore, public transport initiatives


are planned to ensure that getting around is a breeze; light rail, a Metro and buses with dedicated lanes will provide access to the wider Abu Dhabi and beyond. All of which will mean that Masdar City


is an extremely desirable city for those that work within but also for those who work in the wider area who wish to live in a modern, sustainable and comfortable environment.


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