Blogging Contest: Win a Trip to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and the World Future Energy Summit.

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” – Buddha.

This post is my opinion for a bogging competition contest with the theme  ”smart cities and sustainable development” and the rules are pretty straightforward: Write a 500-600 word story addressing the following question:

How can cities contribute to the advancement of sustainable development and address issues including water, energy and waste?”

Link to my story on MASDAR’s official website ->

Link to the engage page ->

Here is my story:


Cities are becoming larger and larger and in order to offer its inhabitants a proper lifestyle, numerous services have to be fulfilled for them to prosper.

In the present, energy is the main issue in any developing city because of the immense number of electrical applications and utilities in each household. Worldwide we can see that there are many examples of sustainable energy harvesting with the help of Sun, wind, and wave power. And if built on a large scale those solutions not only could fulfill energy demands but could also be traded with neighboring cities. Of course there are also other possibilities of harvesting energy, but scientists say that the Sun could offer in an hour enough energy to supply the whole Planet Earth for one year, and power of wind and waves exists in abundance over sea.

Humanity has not always depended on energy, but when it comes to water, especially potable water, life would not be possible without it. It is assumed that about 2% of Earth’s water is fresh water and considering today’s accelerated pollution rate and increased use, it is naïve to believe that these values will remain the same. Even though there are many ways of filtrating water and also desalinization of ocean water, when we think in terms of costs, they would be enormous in order to supply cities on a daily basis.

In the last three decades green roofs have proved to be a sustainable approach in water collection and filtration, energy consumption improvements especially in urban areas where air conditioning systems have a scarce battle with the heat island effect, as well as better air quality. Even though recent reports suggest that there are more advantages than disadvantages in the “long-run”, green roofs cannot positively influence fresh water treatment because of their maintenance that includes treatments with chemical nutrients.

Both examples, energy and water problems, could be improved if on a large scale, cities would “smartly” use these resources instead of taking them for granted.

Waste is at a critical point in urban areas because of the immense quantities produced daily. Humanity alone is producing so much waste that no matter how much recycling would be made, it would still not be enough to balance the pollution of water, soil, and air. From my point of view this problem can only be remediated or reduced by educating the population to stop being “super-consumers / super-users”. Nowadays we are buying so many things that we don’t really need, at a rate that the degradation of objects becomes meaningless in terms of achieving a sustainable value.

I believe that in order to improve the contribution to the advancement of sustainable development, cities should focus on educating the populus on how to care more about the environment and the future generations that follow,  nonetheless focus on the present and take action now.

Our planet is going through some serious changes at this moment and humanity is facing with a lot of problems because of those changes. We are the homo-sapiens, a very intelligent life-form and we must be aware of what is happening around us and learn from others. We just have to cooperate and work together as an organization with the same purpose.

If I could think of an example of cooperation and success in sustainability then Denmark would be the closest. With a population of mere 5,5 million inhabitants they strive in many fields among others energy, water and waste. Go check it!

I believe that TOGETHER we can have a better future but only if WE focus on the NOW!




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Blogging Contest: Win a Trip to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and the World Future Energy Summit.