Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council to Showcase GIS Capabilities at Abu Dhabi GIS Day 2009

Published November 17th, 2009 - 09:46 GMT

Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), the agency responsible for the future of Abu Dhabi’s urban environment, today announced its participation at the Abu Dhabi GIS Day 2009, an event organised by Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre. UPC, which will host an interactive booth at the event, will present its GIS capabilities at the two day event, which will commence on November 18, 2009 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). 

Abu Dhabi GIS Day 2009 will witness the UPC showcasing its state of the art enterprise GIS system, named GeoPlanner (a web based GIS solution), which has been implemented across different departments within UPC such as planning and policy, development review, Estidama (sustainable initiative) and Corporate Communications.

Spatial information, such as plots, buildings, master plans, zoning and land use, and transportation networks, is a critical element in the urban planning process. It is used to track multiple urban and regional statistics and forecast community needs. Geospatial technologies help planning agencies identify problems, respond to them efficiently, and communicate the results to a wide audience. Due to the significance of its objectives, the UPC’s top priority was implementing a robust, enterprise GIS out of a targeted strategic plan that supports informed decision making.

One critical achievement was the development an internal web portal, GeoPlanner, to facilitate planning processes and collaboration within the UPC and across other organizations, including 3 municipalities, development companies and consultants. GeoPlanner provides a wide range of data mapping, search, analysis and administration tools.  This portal is based on the latest ArcGIS Server and Flash technologies and includes the following functionality: map navigation, search, query, map annotation, measurement, and modeling, reporting and printing. Overall, GeoPlanner allows planners and planning managers to easily identify master plans, planning policies and regulations for any location or area, to better organize their documents and data in various formats, and to visually track the development proposal review and approval processes.

“At UPC we are defining the shape of the Emirate by ensuring factors such as sustainability, infrastructure capacity, new transport infrastructures, community planning and quality of life, by overseeing development across the city and the Emirate as a whole,” said H.E Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, General Manager, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC).

“GIS’ clear assignment is to improve the decision making process by integrating all data from different sources and visualizing the whole aspects of planning. Such a valuable input sharpens our planning decision enabling us to cope with the fast pace of development in urban planning disciplines,” added Al Ahbabi.


As a concrete example, the Mosques Distribution Support System (MDSS) demonstrates, wherein UPC is implementing its GIS capabilities. Under this programme, the UPC is assisting the government authorities on the mosques location allocation strategy. It would integrate criteria such as the best location for mosque based on the demographic analysis and supply the distinctive needs that the indicated area may require based on accessibility analysis. This project will lead to a more effective distribution of mosques in Abu Dhabi and will ensure that communities get easy access to adequate mosques facilities.

Spatial distribution of all the developments being undertaken by private developers has also benefited immensely from UPC’s GIS practices, which are in line with the guiding principles of the visionary Plan Abu Dhabi 2030. New standards and data specifications have been developed using the cutting edge solution that has been distributed to private developers. It has not only assisted the developers to understand UPC’s strategic goals, but has also ensured adherence to its standards and best practices.

GIS Day is a worldwide event that takes place every year to raise awareness about technology and its important role in helping governments and communities to better understand the world around us.


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