Blending passive and intelligent design


Every square inch of Masdar City is intentionally designed to reduce energy use while maintaining a welcoming, livable environment. On a sweltering summer day, the streets of Masdar City can feel up to 50 degrees cooler than downtown Abu Dhabi – an architectural coup that was accomplished through a marriage of intelligent and passive design.

In fact, the city’s master plan envisions that at least as much attention be paid to the space between buildings as to the buildings themselves. The city and street grid are oriented on a southeast-northwest axis to make the most of natural northwesterly breezes and provide shading throughout the day.

Mary Mazzoni

Based in Philadelphia, Mary Mazzoni is the senior editor of TriplePundit. She is also a freelance journalist with a passion for storytelling and sustainability. Her work has appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News, Earth911, the Huffington Post, Sustainable Brands and the Daily Meal.

Mary is a lifelong vegetarian with an interest in climate resilience, clean tech and social justice. You can contact her at