Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems: Benefits and Opportunities

With changing weather patterns of frequent and intense rainfall, regions in the Middle East are struggling to cope with the influx of rain and stormwater runoff that often flood roads and residential areas. While a good network of surface drainage systems enforced with concrete, pipes and manholes may alleviate the situation, city planners can now adopt the use of more sustainable and environmentally beneficial methods to decrease urban flooding in the Middle East. This technique of utilising natural drainage systems to improve water management is also referred to as Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). Different types of SuDS: Detention ponds, green … Continue reading

Eco-friendly Things To Know Before Buying Your First Home

As we humans continue to develop, we use more and more resources and put more and more toxins into the air. It’s our responsibility to do what we can help our earth. The first place to start is right at home. There are a number of things we can do in our households to make the world a little bit greener. Here are 9 eco-friendly things you can do at your house. Use the right lights The light bulbs you use in your home can make a big difference on your carbon imprint (and your wallet). While incandescent light bulbs are … Continue reading

Practical Ways to Reduce Heat from the Outside Sun

Air conditioning is used today to battle extreme heat, it is indeed a marvelous creation. Even if you have air conditioning, blasting it at full capacity 24/7 is going to cost you a lot and may even not achieve the desired results. People throughout the ages used to battle heat in many innovative ways; Romans used their architecture, aqueducts circulating cold water through the buildings; an emperor used his influence to move a mountain of snow in his garden, he used donkey trains to transport all this snow. You don’t need to move mountains or build aqueducts in your home. … Continue reading

Green Spaces in Middle East – Perspectives

Often dubbed as “pockets of green in a grey landscape”, green spaces such as urban parks, vertical gardens and street trees, are increasingly being incorporated into city plans and designs for their multi-functional benefits of ecological, physical and social nature. An obvious benefit from increasing green space within cities is the increase in biodiversity. Often serving as refuges and habitat corridors for wildlife, studies have shown increases in both native and endemic flora and fauna with the expansion of green spaces in cities. Infact it has been observed that city planners choose to incorporate green spaces, such as urban parks … Continue reading

Recycling and Artwork

Art and recycling goes hand-in-hand. Eco-artists are, nowadays, transforming old, recycled and resued object into amazing pieces of contemporary art. The trend started gaining prominence in 1980s when museums and galleries in the Western world opened their doors for such innovation and creativity. In recent years, many artists in the Middle East has started expressing their support for recycling and sustainability through artworks where they merge traditional tone with contemporary themes creating attractive installation art that express local cultural heritage in the larger public interests. Artists are expressing their emotions and ideas through a wide range of recyclables glass, cans, plastics, CDs, PET bottles etc. Installation … Continue reading

Energy Efficiency Implementation in GCC’s Residential Sector: Actions and Technical Requirements

The huge existing stock of residential units in the GCC region, and the expected growth in residential construction projects, convey different challenges at the time of energy efficiency implementation. New developments require the definition and the enforcement of standards to be included at the design process; while owners and users of existing units require motivation and financial strategies to implement different levels of energy efficiency actions. A set of actions and requirements have been identified to improve energy efficiency in residential buildings, these include core management actions and specific technical requirements; and are defined for new developments and for already … Continue reading

How to Protect Green Spaces in the Middle East

One of the ecological benefits brought by green spaces is its capability to combat urban heat. The increasing urban heat is usually caused by the high number of heat reflective substances that are emerging in the cities. Green spaces such as gardens and parks can significantly reduce heat and promote natural cooling through an efficient ventilation and dynamic absorption. Some green spaces could even help prevent urban flooding, air pollution, and storm water run-off. So, how can we protect these beneficial green spaces in Middle East? Spread Awareness Dubai is expected to plant an estimated of 50 million flowers in … Continue reading

Energy Efficiency in Residential Sector in Saudi Arabia

The energy demand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has increased steadily with an average annual increase close to 5% since 2010[1]. Such rise is driven mainly by the economic prosperity of the region, the rapid industrial development of the Kingdom, and the population growth. However, the per capita energy consumption of KSA is almost three times higher than the world average[2], explained by the presence of energy-intensive industries, harsh climate conditions, and a high energy demanding lifestyle encouraged by historical low energy prices. Link between Economic Growth and Energy Consumption Although the link between economic growth and energy consumption … Continue reading

How Landscaping Adds Value to Your Property

There is no way of predicting what might happen in your life. Not to mention, the housing market is always prone to fluctuations. In other words, the option of selling property is always on the table. This is why if you’re a person who thinks ahead, you should always be looking for ways to add value to your property. While there are a lot of ways, a simple, foolproof, way to boost your property’s value is landscaping. A proper, well-maintained garden can easily add up over a thousand dollars to the value of your property because, as you probably know, … Continue reading

Re-thinking Sustainable Innovation: A New Development Discourse

The climate change presents a challenge to science and policy makers to articulate a new discourse for  sustainable development. Although, the Middle East, the cradle of civilization, was  a fertile land, it was transformed by modern technology and new models of development into a vulnerable ecosystem. The Paradox The paradox is that we are witnessing high levels of poverty despite a growth in global GDP. Also, our natural capital is being degraded at an alarming rate. This is evident when we look at global indicators; i.e., the planet has lost half its mangrove in the last century, and about 70% … Continue reading

How are Eco-friendly Properties Revolutionising the Housing Market?

Sustainability has been a rising concern over recent years, and the term has become more familiar as carbon emissions and protecting the environment has soared to the top of people’s agenda. Due to the rising environmental concerns and public awareness, homeowners across the UK are relocating from traditional bricks and mortar to different types of property whereby eco-friendliness is the main concern. Developed using environmentally friendly materials, properties that aim to have a limited effect on the environment are built to be as self-sufficient as possible. Through the use of natural resources such as wind and light, sustainable homes can … Continue reading

The City of Nouakchott – Perspectives and Challenges

Nouakchott, capital city of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is the biggest city in the Sahara region. Like other major cities worldwide, the city is plagued by environmental, social and economic challenges. Sewage disposal network, dating back to 1960’s is no longer sufficient for Nouakchott. The country is heavily dependent on fossil fuels and woody biomass for meeting energy requirements, though there is good potential of solar, wind and biomass energy. Solid waste management is becoming a major headache for city planners. Population is increasing at a tremendous pace which is putting tremendous strain on meager civic resources. Making of … Continue reading