New communities built with the aim of achieving sustainability are becoming increasingly common in Europe, North America, and Japan. These communities have created infrastructures designed for sustainability, for example, using eco-friendly building materials, energy-efficient design, renewable energy, integrated transportation solutions, and solid waste and wastewater management. Regardless of their location, these communities have found that they must also take into account how social behavior contributes to a sustainable lifestyle. Recently, the sustainability phenomenon has taken hold in the Middle East and North Africa. Purpose-built sustainable communities are now being designed, constructed, and operated in several countries, including The Sustainable City in Dubai, Msheireb in Doha, El Gouna in Egypt, and Masdar in Abu Dhabi. Other communities with less comprehensive, albeit significant, sustainability commitments, are also emerging. This paper studies global sustainable community models and their different approaches towards engendering sustainable behavior among residents. Most of these communities have operated for several years; therefore, they can provide both lessons and inspiration for the rising communities in the Middle East. This paper compiles best practices for promoting a culture of sustainability from the research on global communities, plus early findings from investigations of emerging communities in the Middle East. For example, residents must be actively engaged to connect with and work towards achieving a sustainable community; mere awareness is rarely enough to incite a significant behavioral change. This paper presents a compilation of recommendations for how communities in the Middle East and North Africa can operationalize the environmental, economic, and social dimensions of sustainability. A sound technical infrastructure is important but environmental, economic, and social sustainability cannot be realized without changing the lifestyle and behavior of the community.


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