Earth Day 2024: A closer look at Masdar City's futuristic sustainable urban solutions

Exploring the project's cutting-edge technologies and sustainable practices

Masdar City serves as both a city and an ambitious initiative to foster a sustainable and technologically advanced urban environment
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Situated within the capital of the UAE, Masdar City emerged as a response to the pressing global challenges of climate change and depleting resources. Functioning both as a city and as an ambitious initiative to foster a sustainable and technologically advanced urban environment, Masdar City stands as a testament to futuristic urban planning.

Since its inception, it has embodied the ethos of a living laboratory, where cutting-edge technologies and sustainable practices harmonise to reimagine the future of urban living. From non-electrical air conditioning systems to vertical smart farms, amid Earth Day, we delve into three technological innovations that define the essence of Masdar City:

1. Autonomous mobility

Host to the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industries cluster in Abu Dhabi, Masdar City is leading the charge in transforming smart and autonomous transportation across air, land, and sea.

As stated on their website, SAVI will inject about $24.5 billion to $32.7 billion into the UAE's economy and create about 30,000 to 50,000 job opportunities.

Beyond its significant potential economic effect, Masdar City showcases futuristic sustainable mobility that aligns with its vision of an advanced urban environment. One notable example is Masdar City’s Personal Rapid Transit system, recognised as the world’s first on-demand, autonomous electric transportation system.

The PRT operates with zero carbon emissions and its entire network is emission-free. By eliminating the need for personal vehicles, the PRT achieves a net carbon effect of zero.

2. Vertical smart farm

Masdar City has teamed up with Alesca Technologies, an agricultural technology firm specialising in tailored farming solutions, to introduce its inaugural indoor vertical farm.

Two large-scale commercial farming containers next to Masdar City's Eco-Plaza will house the farm, which will produce over 650kg of leafy greens monthly, ensuring year-round farm-to-fork produce.

The farm utilises automated equipment and AI software to cultivate various types of premium vegetables and herbs. It also uses 90 to 95 per cent less water than conventional farms. The produce is fresh, free of harmful chemicals, and prepared for immediate consumption.

3. The world’s first air-operated shade system

Developed by the Netherlands start-up Airshade Technologies, the Airshade prototype stands as the world's pioneering air-operated shade system.

Over the past eight months, it has undergone testing at Masdar City's solar plant testing site. Inspired by the natural movement of tree leaves, Airshade employs innovative technology to respond to changing air temperatures, mimicking the sun-shielding action of foliage.

This system operates entirely on natural principles, devoid of sensors, motors, or electricity.

As the world grapples with the urgent challenges of climate change and resource scarcity, Masdar City offers a glimpse into a future where cities thrive in harmony with nature and technology.

Masdar City's initiatives highlight the transformative potential of innovation, determination, and collective action in shaping cities to sustain and enhance life for future generations.

Updated: April 24, 2024, 12:20 PM