Defining Green infrastructures is not set in stone, as it spans everything related to sustainable practices, because green infrastructures are not so traditional, unlike our conventional infrastructures.
We could define green infrastructures as structures that utilize quality natural and environmental features designed to deliver a range of ecosystem services and protect biodiversity in rural and urban areas.
Benefits of a Green Infrastructure for the Middle East
As a region, the Middle East is known for its plentiful reserves of natural oil and gas. In addition, this region houses some of the most sophisticated architecture in the world, like the Burj Khalifa and Makkah’s Clock Tower. The things that add wealth and beauty to the Middle East are the same things that provide an avenue for global warming.
While these exist, the Middle East is susceptible to significant effects of climate change. Drought, rising sea levels, food scarcity and aridity, are some of the issues that could contribute to the declining quality of life in the region.
This is why the region’s shift and increased focus to clean energy sources is essential. Not only does the construction of green infrastructures benefit the environment, but it also has economic and social benefits. For example, there is reduced energy consumption, waste, emissions and better water management, all of which lead to improved public health.
Examples of Green Infrastructure in the Middle East
The Middle East region is home to some of the earth’s most notable green buildings. Over 2000 green infrastructures in the Middle East have a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar are at the forefront of housing LEED-accredited buildings. Saudi Arabia and Egypt follow closely. Some of the most notable green structures in the MENA are:
An initiative that is in Abu Dhabi is called Masdar City. This aims to be one of the world’s most sustainable cities. It is an urban community comprised of clean-tech clusters and public green spaces. The primary goal of this city is to advance carbon reduction in the Middle East.
Qatar National Convention Centre
The centre was built in 2011 and was the first of its kind to earn a LEED accreditation. It is home to both corporate and cultural events.
Climate Change Initiative Building
Located in Dubai, the building was awarded the world’s most sustainable commercial construction. The initiative provides environmentally friendly solutions and implements its beliefs by ensuring that all of its structures, from electricity to water management, run on clean energy.
World Trade Centre
The World Trade Centre, located in Bahrain, was the first large building to incorporate wind turbines in its system. Being the first of its kind, the centre stands as an icon for sustainable design and engineering worldwide.
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Aside from sustainability being the core of this university’s education, it also utilizes eco-friendly architectures that allow the university to maximize its sustainable culture.
In conclusion, as Middle Eastern countries continue to embrace green infrastructures, the detriment of climate change on the region is significantly reduced. Furthermore, they can be at the forefront for both developed and developing nations to take a cue on the benefits of maximizing clean energy resources.
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