Sharjah Sustainable City, an eco-friendly community by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), recently hosted a delegation of students and faculty from the American University of Sharjah (AUS) to further academic research and knowledge on sustainable real estate development in the UAE and beyond.
Developed by Shurooq in partnership with Diamond Developers, Sharjah Sustainable City (SSC) is a world-class mixed-use development that meets the highest standards of social, environmental and economic sustainability.
Eight students from the Master of Urban Planning programme at AUS attended the site visit, to learn about the practical implementations of sustainable development theories on housing communities and their effectiveness on the ground in the new Sharjah development. They were accompanied by Professor Rafael Pizarro (PhD), Associate Professor at the College of Architecture, Art & Design, and Rose Armour, Head of Sustainability at AUS.
Commenting on the visit, Yousif Ahmed Al-Mutawa, Chief Executive Officer of Sharjah Sustainable City, said: “In line with our commitment to engaging with our community in Sharjah, it is a great pleasure to host the delegation from the American University of Sharjah. This visit represents an excellent opportunity to share our expertise with the bright young minds of the future, and further research and learning around sustainable developments in partnership with AUS, one of the leading educational institutions in the region.”
The MUP course offers practical approaches to understanding and engaging with urban development trends and issues in the real world, and how to address complex urban development issues effectively. As part of their course, the students will gather information to assess the project and write their final class report.
The premise of the exercise is that sustainable development projects are only ever ‘perfect’ in theory. Once they are faced with the realities of real estate development such as housing markets, economics, financing and so on, some aspects must be negotiated and compromised in trade-offs between the ideal and the reality.
Professor Rafael Pizarro added: “Our work with Sharjah Sustainable City offers invaluable insights into the real-world applications of sustainable practices in real-estate development, allowing students to learn first-hand what it takes to incorporate sustainability principles into a project like this and the impact it can have on our individual and community carbon footprint.”
Sharjah Sustainable City is designed with a net-zero approach to community planning. The city is 100% solar-powered, recycles 100% of water and waste, cultivates vegetables and leafy greens on-site, and is designed to encourage walkability and the use of clean mobility.
With social amenities such as parks, gyms, swimming pool, school, and walking/cycling paths spanning the community, Sharjah Sustainable City aims to improve the quality of life for residents without compromising the needs of future generations, as well as presenting opportunities for research and inspiration on how residential communities can minimise their carbon footprint.