Masdar City Institute by Norman Foster and Partners
Masdar City Institute by Norman Foster and Partners
Calling all bloggers who write about sustainable development and cities.  Would you like to win a free trip to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, January 18-23 in the United Arab Emirates, and participate in the largest gathering of sustainability in the Middle East?

An international blogging contest is being run by Masdar, an Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company that wants to raise awareness of the critical issues of water security and energy. 

Entries might concern a call to action for how to address the roles cities have to play as urbanization continues its inexorable rise over the coming decades. Or the best ways in which cities might develop sustainably. 

Sustainable Cities Collective is the foremost website for international discussion about these topics, and so we would like our bloggers to have a chance to attend this important conference and write about it for us. Don't worry if you don't already have a profile on this site and approval to post, you can do this easily; the instructions are here.

To enter, simply follow these three steps:

  1. Write a 500 - 600 word article addressing the following question: “How can cities contribute to the advancement of sustainable development and address issues including water, energy and waste?”
  2. Publish your story on this website and post a link to it in a comment on Masdar’s Engage Blogging Contest Page. The deadline for entries is January 3, 2014.
  3. Promote it by telling our readers, your friends and your network to vote for and share your story when it becomes featured on the Masdar website: Voting ends January 7, 2014.

A judging panel will review each entry submitted. The winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to attend Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, January 18 - 23 in the United Arab Emirates and join more than 30,000 people – including leading thinkers, policymakers and companies – focused on addressing the critical energy, climate and sustainability issues the world faces.

Sustainable Cities Collective will support any of our bloggers who reach the third stage, and we would encourage in return any of our bloggers or readers who end up attending the event to post their coverage on this website.

The issues


Courtyard and wind tower in Masdar city Institute
Courtyard and wind tower in Masdar city Institute

According to the World Bank, half of the world’s population lives in urban centers today and by 2050, that proportion will increase to 67%. Therefore cities must become “smart” and adapt to rapid urbanization as well as the increased stress on resources such as energy, water and waste.

Issues worth exploring in this context include how true sustainability is measured and achieved; the role of technology and innovation; how we will feed their populations; urban mobility; energy and water efficiency; the advancement of new building materials; opportunities for entrepreneurship and social innovation; and how the transformation into a “smart city” will be conducive to both sustainability and economic opportunity.

But the organisers exhort you to be creative: these are only a few suggested topics.

The winning entry will clearly map out the connection between smart cities and sustainable development, and include recommended actions for how cities can play a vital role in accommodating far more people, while using fewer resources in a closed loop of efficiency.

Competition rules

1. Write a post and publish it at your blog with a link to the Masdar Engage page (if you don't have a blog, you can send submissions to

2. Leave a comment on the 2014 Engage Contest Page with a link to your post; IMPORTANT: Leave a comment on this page with a link to your post AND do not forget to mention the Masdar Engage Blogging Contest plus link to to help us find your post. Other entries may be read here.

3. Qualifying content will be posted on the Masdar web site. Limit one (1) Entry per person.

4. Winner Selection: A judging panel will review qualifying entries and will weigh: a) The overall quality of the post; b) The number of votes for the post on the Masdar website; c) The number of Tweets, Facebook “Likes” and “Shares” on Masdar's and the writers’ websites from their followers on social media.

5. Prize: One winner will be selected for an all-expense paid trip to Abu Dhabi during mid-January 2014, hired as Masdar’s VIP blogger throughout Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, post regular updates during the event, and receive a modest stipend for his or her efforts. 

6. Prize Restrictions: Winners are subject to verification, including verification of age. If winner resides within a 100-mile radius of destination, ground transportation may be provided in lieu of air transportation. Winners are responsible for having valid travel documents and passport. Employees of Masdar, its partners and subsidiaries are not eligible for Masdar’s Engage blogging contest. 

7. Entry Requirements: Submissions must be the original work of the entrant; may not have been used previously for public display; must be suitable for publication; may not be promotional endorsements for brands or companies; and may not contain any copyrighted works owned by other parties. Entries will be reviewed for compliance with these rules before being published and/or judged. Masdar makes the finaldetermination as to what entries are eligible. 

8. Commercial Use of Entries: Submission of an entry grants Masdar the unconditional, irrevocable, worldwide right to publish, use, edit and/or modify such entry in any way, in any and all media, without limitation, and without consideration to the entrant, winning or not.

9. Editorial Priority: The SCC editors and moderators reserve the right not to publish material if it is not deemed of sufficient quality. If you haven't heard from us within 4 days of submitting material that it is to be published on our site you are free to publish it elsewhere.