WIT Press

From Critical To Carbon Neutral, Grassroots Sustainable Urban Planning


Free (open access)





Page Range

629 - 635




196 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


F. R. V. Monteiro


This paper presents a case study developed by a research unit, named Less Carbon, More Renewable Energies and based in Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, which pursues the goal of understanding how the carbon neutral challenge is changing the present day’s urban and architectural practices. We have determined, as research methodology, the analysis of self-acclaimed carbon neutral and/or carbon reduction projects in order to detect which strategies, techniques or technologies can best be applied in different sites and contexts. For this particular case study, we studied \“Masdar City”, a carbon neutral city in the desert of Abu Dhabi designed by Foster and Partners, with the purpose of determining strategic sustainable guidelines to rehabilitate Cova da Moura, one of Portugal’s three \“critical neighbourhoods”. Most data regarding both cases is very distinct considering both scale and economic conditions; however, we have detected a profound similarity in the core of the development’s strategies, both case studies plan to invest in renewable energies to obliterate a current stigma and to guarantee an economic future. What proves to be unique about Cova da Moura is that it is a case of grassroots sustainable planning (planning from the bottom/up versus from the top/down) emerging in a poor, low-educated, neighbourhood, a fact that becomes even more evident when compared to the carbon neutral state-of-the-art development in Abu Dhabi. Keywords: carbon neutral, Masdar, grassroots planning, Cova da Moura, solar energy, sustainable.


carbon neutral, Masdar, grassroots planning, Cova da Moura, solar energy, sustainable