Recognising its success in implementing the latest, state-of-the-art geographic information systems (GIS) in all of its urban planning processes, the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) has received one of the highest possible ratings in the “2010 Abu Dhabi Stakeholder GeoMaturity Assessment” reported by the Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Centre (ADSIC) from the Executive Council. ADSIC’s GeoMaturity assessment was conducted among all relevant entities within the Abu Dhabi Emirate with the aim of determining how the high-tech capabilities of Geospatial Information, Technology and Services (GITS) are being leveraged by those entities to enhance their central business activities.
Commenting on receiving this rating, Eng. Amer Al Hammadi, Director of Planning Policies and Infrastructure at the UPC, said: “This achievement reflects the key importance that we at the UPC place on the use of ground-breaking technology to facilitate the urban planning process. Such technologically advanced capabilities empower us with smart, interactive and real-time effective decision-making tools that are crucial to supporting and realising the principles of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.”
The UPC’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Department has developed a number of tools based on GIS technology including GeoPlanner, a web based system that enables the UPC’s planners to easily identify masterplans, planning policies and regulations for any location or area and to visually track the development proposal review and approval process. It is used throughout the UPC's planning departments including planning policy, development review, Estidama and corporate communications.
As part of the evaluation by the ADSIC GeoMaturity assessment team, the UPC’s GIS tools and processes were assessed as being at the “Integrated Level” on the GeoMaturity scale. This implies that Geospatial Information, Technology and Services (GITS) are integrated into all the relevant core business processes at the Council. A plan is in place for the UPC to further improve its processes to move to the highest level of Geomaturity – “Enterprise.”
“The clear goal of GIS is to inform the decision-making process by integrating all data from different sources and visualising the whole planning process. Such valuable input not only sharpens our decision-making abilities but also enables us to cope with the fast pace of development in urban planning disciplines. Moving forward, we plan to gradually integrate Geospatial Information, Technology and Services (GITS) within more of the Council’s core business activities,” added Al Hammadi.
This accomplishment is further recognition of the UPC’s GIS capabilities and technological advancement. The UPC has also previously received the “2010 Excellence in GIS Award” in recognition of its achievements in executing exceptional GIS systems to manage and analyse data across three municipalities in Abu Dhabi. The Excellence in GIS Implementation (EGI) Awards were established by GISTEC, the official and sole distributor of ESRI software and the organiser of GIS events in UAE, to promote innovation and experimentation in the area of GIS implementation.