Speakers of the forum addressing audience
As part of its commitment towards participatory planning and the priority given to maintaining a comprehensive and continual dialogue with the development industry in the Emirate the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), organised the first Estidama Developers Forum.
The Estidama Developers Forum, which was attended by key executives representing the Emirates’ development industry, presented the overarching strategy of the Emirate’s sustainability programme and its progression and milestones, the findings after the first effective year of applying the Estidama Pearl Rating System (PRS ) as well as the initiatives in the pipeline for the coming year. As a logical continuation, the forum was the ideal platform to engage developers in the PRS’ construction stage.
“Estidama is gaining strong momentum, with more developers committing to its inter-disciplinary approach and sustainability guidelines which forms a strong part of the developments’ DNA. PRS has provided developers with a suite of tools that are determining the core principles of sustainable development. The increasing number of developments attaining Estidama Compliance Status is proof that the industry is an active proponent of the UPC’s Estidama programme and a true partner in the principles of sustainability”, said Eng. Nader Al Awlaqi, UPC Director of Development Review and Estidama.
Supporting Projects utilises the principles of the UPC’s Development Review Process to engage and support developers early on and provide them with advice and input on sustainability techniques, materials, product specifications and best practice which are critical to a development.
People are key, therefore the continuous professional development for PQPs, improved training programs, development of materials and the fostering of knowledge sharing between stakeholders, incorporates the alignment of Estidama and the Pearl Rating Systems with partner programmes. This all combines to deliver our commitment to you, which is to deliver professional and supportive face-to-face time and technical assistance, with an open door approach to help the development teams achieve maximum sustainable performance.
To further extend the implementation of Estidama, the UPC updated developers on its state-of-the-art Development Review Streamlining Process. This is an inter-agency mechanism designed and led by UPC to inform and direct developers regarding Emirate-wide regulations and policies to improve overall integration with the surrounding areas whilst providing the UPC with the necessary data to make informed decisions on project applications. The process also provides all external agencies with the necessary data and ensures a transparent, consistent system. In addition, an implementation booklet has been jointly produced to clearly explain and support the assigned roles, responsibilities and requirements for both the Abu Dhabi Municipality and the UPC.
“This forum embodies the UPC’s well-defined and carefully-crafted approach of having a two-way communication channel with all stakeholders to present them with our plans, initiatives and programmes whilst gaining their feedback and suggestions to be further studied and incorporated. Stakeholder-engaging activities are instrumental tools to help us gain more genuine insights on how development and facilities should be orchestrated to achieve Vision 2030 objectives. As one our key stakeholders, developers play a pivotal role in the successful implementation of Estidama and will ensure that the UPC continually embraces the rapidly evolving concepts for sustainable urban development while grounding them in the economic, environmental, social and cultural needs of our Emirate” added Al Awlaqi.