Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy and sustainable development company, and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) today announced the UPC’s approval of the Detailed Master Plans for Phases 2 and 5 of Masdar City, one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments.

Masdar City is targeting a 4 Pearl Estidama Community Rating, the first development in the UAE to do so. The approval of the City’s new Detailed Master Plans also coincides with Masdar’s 10-year anniversary and an ambitious phase of expansion now under way at the City.

Around 35% of the planned built-up area for Masdar City will be completed over the next five years – up from 5% today – and nearly 30% has been committed to, including private homes, schools, hotels and more office space.

Phase 2 of Masdar City involves a dedicated R&D cluster built around many of its existing pilot research projects served by a residential community including 2,000 apartments, a GEMS Education school, restaurants, cafés and parkland. Phase 5 is primarily villas and townhouses surrounded by recreational amenities and green open spaces.

Anthony Mallows, Masdar City Executive Director, said: “Obtaining the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council’s approval of the Detailed Master Plans for Phase 2 and 5 opens the way for the future ambitious expansion of Masdar City, and is further evidence of our commitment to realise the world’s most sustainable urban development.

“Masdar City aspires to be a model for the way our cities are built in the future, setting new standards for reducing energy and water demand, waste and carbon emissions. We look forward to becoming the first development in the UAE to achieve the 4 Pearl Estidama Community, working in partnership with the UPC.”

The City’s forward-thinking plans meet, and in many cases exceed, the requirements of the UPC’s standards and manuals, while giving the development a strong identity and the flexibility to accommodate its future organic growth.

The highly collaborative approach of Masdar’s Master Planning and Design Team and the UPC’s Urban Development & Estidama Sector has delivered an optimised urban framework focused on sustainability and innovation. The highly replicable plans create a continuous public realm that promotes community building and knowledge exchange.

Mohamed Al Khadar, Executive Director for Urban Development & Estidama Sector at UPC, said: “The approval of the Detailed Master Plans for Phase 2 and 5 of Masdar City is an important milestone for the development of Masdar City, which is a vital component of Plan Capital 2030, and of the UPC’s vision to create sustainable, safe, walkable and attractive neighbourhoods for all Abu Dhabi residents.”

Estidama, which means ‘sustainability’ in Arabic, is a UPC initiative aimed at transforming Abu Dhabi into a model for sustainable environmental, economic, social and cultural urbanisation.

The Estidama Pearl Community Rating System (PCRS) promotes the development of Complete Sustainable Communities (CSCs) and advocates improvements in the quality of life of all residents. Achieving a Pearl Community Rating requires the integration of the four pillars of Estidama – social, environmental, economic and cultural – and a collaborative, inter-disciplinary approach to master planning.

Maximising water and energy efficiency, reducing waste, and using locally sourced building materials are priorities – both to reduce the environmental impact of urbanisation and to improve the overall supply chain for sustainable products and services.

“The UPC’s Estidama department will continue to work very closely with the Masdar City team to do everything it can to ensure they meet the requirements of the 4 Pearl Community Rating that they are so committed to achieving,” added Mohamed Al Khadar.

“It will be the first in the UAE – a phenomenal goal that we are very excited to be working towards. What this will mean for future residents of Masdar City is that they will be living in one of the most sustainable areas of Abu Dhabi – sustainability is the future for Abu Dhabi and creating sustainable communities is a key priority for us all.”

Masdar City’s existing developments and ongoing expansion will be showcased throughout Cityscape Abu Dhabi, the real estate exhibition and conference running until April 14.