Models of Sustainability? A Comparative Analysis of Ideal City Planning in Saltaire and Masdar City

Isabelle Whitehead


This report compares the model English industrial town of Saltaire to the recently proposed Masdar City eco-city development in the United Arab Emirates. Despite their different contexts, there are significant issues of ecological, social and economic sustainability that are common to both cities. These parallels raise important questions about the notion of ‘sustainability’, the viability of imposed planning regimes, and the relevance of model cities to the Australian urban environment. Ultimately, this report demonstrates that the perceived level of sustainability varied greatly according to the methods of analysis used and the contextual and ideological values inherent in these methods.


urban planning; sustainability; model city; eco-city; ecological footprint; bioregionalism

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