The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) set up a second stakeholder consultation session at Mirfa Hotel in Mirfa, in collaboration with the Western Region Development Council and Western Region Municipality. More than one hundred professionals attended the presentations and the various panel discussions managed by the UPC.
The purpose of the one-day session was to provide the UPC with the opportunity to give its stakeholders an update on Plan Al Gharbia 2030 and to get their feedback while holding break-out sessions that offered the audience the opportunity to interact with the UPC and solicit topic-specific information.
As Eng. Amer Al Hammadi, Executive Director - Planning & Infrastructure, UPC, said in his introductory comments: “The complexity of the Al Gharbia 2030 Regional Structure FrameworkPlan requires close coordination with all our stakeholders to ensure the updated plan will answer everyone’s needs and expectations. Our workshops are designed to give you a better understanding of the major projects in the region such as the Baraka Nuclear Plant, Etihad Rail and further oil & gas expansion while making sure we will provide the communities with the appropriate facilities and amenities. Perfectly aligned with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030’s overarching principles, it reflects our Leadership’s vision of managing the development of our Emirate to ensure a harmonious, diversified and culturally rich society, in tandem with economic diversification and growth, all in a stable and sustainable environment.”
During the sessions, the UPC reaffirmed the five guiding principles that remain the foundations of the Framework Plan: managed, responsible growth, environmental respect, social health, cultural identity and the growing population. These five principles assert the dedicated role of urban planning policies as supporting tools for social, cultural, and economic development to make a meaningful contribution towards sustainable development in the Western Region.
Morning sessions from the UPC included presentations on current conditions in terms of land use planning, communities facilities development, economic, population demographics, education & healthcare, environmental, tourism, culture and heritage. Intensive afternoon focus group sessions were held to identify opportunities and new constraints to regional development in the dedicated areas of transport and infrastructure development.
The presentations and afternoon work sessions resulted in a commitment by agencies to continue close coordination in the development of Plan Al Gharbia 2030. Over the coming months, the Plan will be updated and a draft version will be presented at public outreach sessions that are planned for the future to enable residents to provide their input and feedback.
Al Hammadi concluded: “Today’s workshop sessions included overall presentations of key findings and we got interesting inputs from our stakeholders on the opportunities and challenges offered through the different settlements. We are now envisioning to set up a series of intensive sessions in order to continue focusing on the identified key areas of concerns and these sessions will be followed by subsequent one-to-one stakeholder meetings held to solicit additional information to be incorporated in our final report. Our global consulting approach reflects one of our key responsibilities that is about managing and meeting immediate needs without compromising the assets to be nurtured for the Emirate’s future generations. It’s all about ensuring sustainable development and, in the sensitive context of Al Gharbia, ‘sustainability’ is far more than a word. Today’s session is one part of the answer, as such a session has proven to be the most effective way of scoping on the clear challenges to cope with. Under the guidance of our General Manager, H.E Falah Al Ahbabi, and by systematically empower local-decision making to consider diversity of responses, we are demonstrating that Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 is a consolidated roadmap shared by all stakeholders and that we are all moving in the same direction .In fact, a fundamental component of our role is social responsibility – engaging with, and listening to the people for whom we are planning, both stakeholders and residents – and that is what makes this second interactive session today so productive.”