Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, today announced the winner of its annual Engage Blogging Contest. Masdar initiated the competition to drive international discussion about the role cities can have on sustainable development across the world. The contest received 117 entries from six continents and motivated thousands of readers to share their ideas about sustainability across Masdar’s web site, blogs and social media platforms in advance of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the largest gathering on sustainability in the Middle East.
The winning post, entitled “Urbanity 2050,” was submitted by Tyler Caine, a LEED-accredited architect practicing in New York City as part of COOKFOX Architects. Caine’s submission read as a futuristic newswire story, describing a New York City that achieved “resource neutrality” by 2050 due to technological innovations, social change and a complete rethink of how cities are structured. In addition to his own blog, InterconGreen.com, Caine’s writings have been featured on ArchDaily, Green Economy Post and the Sustainable Cities Collective.
As the winner, Caine will receive an invitation to attend ADSW 2014 as a guest journalist, where he will have the opportunity to cover the seventh World Future Energy Summit, the second International Water Summit, the first annual EcoWaste Summit and sixth Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony.
“The 65 percent growth in submissions for this year’s Masdar’s blogging contest is a reflection of citizens’ concerns about the challenges increasing urbanization poses to cities around the world,” said Omar Zaafrani, Masdar’s strategic communications manager. “We at Masdar believe dialogue and discussion are crucial to arriving at solutions and taking action. This discussion will continue during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, where global leaders and sustainability professionals will share ideas on how to achieve sustainable economic growth.”
The competition leveraged the power of the Internet to engage readers around the world, generating thousands of votes and numerous discussions on social media channels over four weeks.
“We believe the company’s keystone project, Masdar City, can be a ‘greenprint” for how cities can adapt to rapid urbanization while reducing the consumption of water, an energy and waste,” added Mr. Zaafrani, “so it is fitting this year’s blogging contest winner is an architect whose practice focuses on sustainability.”
According to the World Bank, half of the world’s population lives in urban centers today and by 2050, that ratio will increase to 67 percent in cities. To that end, the contest asked bloggers around the world to submit a post addressing the role cities can contribute in addressing sustainable development, including issues related to water, energy and waste. The winner was determined based on overall creativity, quality and relevance; the ideas presented; voting and scoring by readers; and activity generated on social media channels including Facebook and Twitter.
Along with the winning post by Caine, the posts of the remaining five finalists are available online at HYPERLINK "http://www.masdar.ae/engage" www.masdar.ae/engage.
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will gather more than 30,000 participants from 150 countries, and will include leaders from academia, industry and government to tackle the business, technology and financial challenges required for sustainable development and renewable energy adoption.
Topics ADSW will address include the challenges and opportunities facing renewable energy, the role of water and energy in economic growth, and the interplay between energy efficiency and energy generation.
ADSW includes a series of events: the fourth assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency; the seventh World Future Energy Summit; the second International Water Summit; the first EcoWASTE exhibition; and the sixth Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony.