One of the most exciting new developments in Qatar is Msheireb, the sustainably designed mixed use residential and business complex that will transform downtown Doha in the coming decade. Msheireb Properties (rendering pictured left, click to expand) continues to win allocades and awards for its plans to revitalize Qatar’s capital.

But beyond the Cityscape Qatar Award and the LEED certifications, projects like Msheireb send a strong signal that carbon-heavy Qatar is serious about doing its part to push the boundaries of green building and demonstrate that this tiny country can be a leading sustainability laboratory. Doha’s recent elimination from consideration as host of the 2020 Olympics may be disappointing to Qataris, but it should motivate this country even more to prove its skeptics that their assumptions about the Middle East are wrong. The world's leading hub for oil and gas must do what it can to ramp up developments in clean energy and carbon emission reductions.

The beauty of Msheireb includes not only its ambitious goals to slash energy consumption and incorporate smart design, but the fact that the project is beautiful. Currently Qatar is a hodge-podge of such interesting developments as Souq Waqif and Katara. Msheireb can help connect those dots and become, in its own way, a massive dose of urban acupuncture: currently too much of Doha is impenetrable with office buildings that are inhospitable to pedestrians.

Msheireb will help plunk Doha on the global map. And Qataris should not despair: many cities bid several times before they host the Olympics. The 2024 and 2028 Olympics area also a possibility, but in the meantime more projects, which emphasize sustainable design like Msheireb, are a must. We look forward to the first phase, opening later this year.

Breaking: A fire has broken out in the Villagio shopping complex in west Doha.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.