Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council Organises 1st Abu Dhabi Urban Development Forum

Published November 9th, 2010 - 01:37 GMT

The first Abu Dhabi Urban Development Forum that took place today at the Yas Hotel marks the completion of three years of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council's (UPC) existence in the year 2010 and the fruitful partnership with Abu Dhabi's development industry at large.

The Forum is a new platform created by the UPC to further vindicate its commitment to engage with its key stakeholders towards the realisation of Vision 2030's objectives. It clearly illustrates UPC's pivotal role towards maintaining a comprehensive and sustained dialogue with the development industry in the Emirate.

The Abu Dhabi Urban Development Forum, which was attended by key executives representing the Emirates' development industry, presented the overarching strategy of the Emirates' Vision 2030 development initiatives and the progress achieved on key UPC projects and sustainability initiatives that will facilitate development in Abu Dhabi on the long term.

"It is the intergovernmental cooperation at leadership and technical levels and effective coordination with various agencies for developing plans and regulations that have together contributed towards the milestones achieved. Our responsibility is to reinforce our regular stakeholder engagement process to highlight our joint achievements and discuss the framework for the next phase of development", said H.E Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council.

The industry stakeholders participating in the forum were informed on the last streamline improvements incorporated in the UPC's development review process and updates on various UPC initiatives which among others included Estidama (the sustainability programme managed by the UPC), new guidelines for buildings, street and infrastructure design, Capital District development and a first description of the Public Realm Design Manual's contents and assigned objectives.

Through nine guiding principles, with the development of the Abu Dhabi Public Realm Design Manual (PRDM), the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is actively planning for a world-class public realm and building a world-class community. The PRDM is an essential planning tool that will help the Emirate achieve its vision for the future. The changes will redefine Abu Dhabi lifestyles through tangible enhancements that will cater to its residents' diverse needs.

As described by H.E Falah Al Ahbabi : " Abu Dhabi's Public Realm Design Manual focuses on designing a public realm that clearly expresses the Arab culture while addressing and serving the multicultural population's needs. The Manual reflects the enhancement priorities that will be applicable to UPC's key urban development projects to ensure safety and comfort, preserve heritage and culture, improve accessibility to places of leisure while enhancing connectivity and mobility. Our primary goal is that by 2030, 90% of all residents in the Emirate will live within 250 meters of a park".

The Abu Dhabi Urban Development Forum has been deemed as an annual event by the UPC and has been organised to mark the UPC's celebration of the World Town Planning Day, which is celebrated in more than 30 countries on four continents. It is a special day to recognize and promote the role of planning as a strategic tool to create livable communities.

World Town Planning Day presents an excellent opportunity to look at planning from a global perspective, an event which appeals to the conscience of citizens and public authorities in order to draw attention to the sustainable principles to be applied for future development of cities and territories.

"Collaborating with Abu Dhabi's development industry is a critical aspect for the success of Vision 2030's master plans. It reflects our role of supporting the measured growth of our sustainable economy rather than uncontrolled developments. In addition to the consultation sessions we are setting up with our Communities, our objective is to reinforce the positive dialogue we have developed with key influential industry representatives and assert UPC's role as a competent and customer responsive review agency" said Saood Al Junaibi, Director of Sustainable Development and Urban design, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. 

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