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Global Students Debate Sustainable Cities With Experts At Masdar City
(21 April 2016)


Masdar, in partnership with the Zayed Future Energy Prize, yesterday hosted students from around the world for a unique sustainable cities learning experience at Masdar City. The students, who are of primary and secondary school age, were in the UAE debating sustainable cities as part of a global essay competition run by the Trust for Sustainable Living. The Trust is based in Berkshire, England, and seeks to raise awareness of sustainability issues to schools and the public.

During their time in the UAE, the students participated in a discussion and debate with experts from Masdar at the Global Green Growth Institute training facility at Masdar City. The debate saw the students present arguments from their essays to the design and sustainability experts, who in turn shared their thoughts on these ideas for sustainable cities. The session concluded with a presentation on why the secondary school-aged students should encourage their home schools to apply for the Zayed Future Energy Prize, as well as a presentation by Chris Wan, Head of Design Management at Masdar City, on the development and vision of the City.

Dr. Nawal Al-Hosany, Director of Sustainability at Masdar and Director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, said, "Delivering the global goal of creating a sustainable future for all will not be possible without inspiring young people to be part of the solutions that will drive sustainable development. This is precisely why the UAE leadership established the Global High Schools category of the Zayed Future Energy Prize – to encourage more students to be involved in designing and implementing innovative solutions that can make a tangible difference to our collective future."

Following the conclusion of the debate session, the students were given a guided tour of Masdar City, gaining first-hand experience of the development of a sustainable city and the pioneering technologies that are pushing the boundaries of how urban development will look in the future.

Chris Wan said, "We are extremely proud that 70 percent of the global submissions in the essay competition spoke about Masdar City. Yesterday, we provided a platform for these young people to advance their knowledge and skills against the backdrop of Masdar City, which is on a journey to be the most sustainable urban development in the world."

As part of its commitment to delivering platforms for students to learn, Masdar City routinely hosts visits from local and international schools, in addition to holding special activities for students during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. The nucleus of Masdar City is Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which has graduated 447 students since 2011 and honoured its first PhD graduates last year.

The Global High Schools category of the Zayed Future Energy Prize was introduced in 2012 as a commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative and its three 2030 objectives: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

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