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Masdar City expansion plans earn Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council approval

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Earns green light to secure 4 Pearl Estidama Community Rating; City will be the first development in the UAE to achieve new urban sustainability benchmark   Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy and sustainable development company, and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) announced the UPC’s approval of the Detailed Master Plans for Phases 2 and 5 of Masdar City, touted as one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments. MasdarMasdar 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 percent of the planned built-up area for Masdar City will be completed over the next five years – up from 5 percent today – and nearly 30 percent 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. “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,” said Anthony Mallows, Masdar City Executive Director. “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,” he added. 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, according to Masdar. 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.