The launching of the Dhs2 billion “Sharjah Sustainable City” project by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, adds a tremendous boost to the global movement towards reducing carbon footprint, slowing global warming and decreasing the harsh impacts of climate change.
Sharjah certainly deserves a salute for doing its best to promote the green economy culture in the country and creating new opportunities for the establishment of world-class infrastructure that promotes environment-friendly and sustainable living.
Protection of nature and sustainable development are key topics that receive great attention from the UAE authorities right from the beginning.
A clean and green environment will not only be beneficial for humanity, but also help protect endangered species, fish, and water from pollution, contributing to food security, and increasing the productivity of agricultural crops as a result of the elimination of chemical and gas contaminants.
It should be noted that the “Sharjah Sustainable City” project is the first urban mixed-use project in the emirate, which meets the highest standards of green economy and environmental sustainability.
Upon completion, the project, an outcome of a strategic partnership between Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Diamond Developers, will feature 1,120 eco-friendly and energy-efficient villas with a modern-meets-oriental design in harmony with the unique architectural aesthetic Sharjah is known for.
With various eco-friendly technologies being used to build the city, the environmental and health benefits that the city’s future residents will enjoy are tremendous.
Interestingly, the project will include a sustainable school, which will promote the concepts of sustainability through school curricula. It will feature a ‘Sustainability Experience Centre’ – a platform to host meetings and forums by government and academic entities, NGOs, as well as school and university students, centred around promoting awareness about environmental issues and sustainable living.
A primary point to note is that the smart homes in the city are being built to offer up to 100 per cent savings on electricity bills and 50 per cent cuts on water bills.
The UAE’s efforts to achieve a green economy have been earnest and consistent. For example, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MOCCAE, launched in October last year the ‘UAE Green Dashboard’, an online open data platform that allows the public to access statistical data assessments of the country’s overall progress in its transition into a green economy.
The Green Dashboard was developed to enable all stakeholders to understand the UAE’s efforts to achieve a green economy and benefit from the UAE government’s open data policy by utilising performance data for their own research and analysis.
In addition to highlighting benchmarks and past results for the 41 green key performance indicators, KPIs, the dashboard, which integrates seamlessly with the software used by the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, sheds light on the general level of compliance with the targets, and the annual progress rate, thereby facilitating target-setting for the future.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. It is heartening that Sharjah is presenting to the world a brilliant global model through its sustainable city project and also offers a brand new opportunity in sustainable investments.