Planning means performance as Abu Dhabi looks to manage urban growth

Planning means performance as Abu Dhabi looks to manage urban growth

Rapid urban growth in emerging nations has rarely been accompanied by foresight and planning. As economies expand, sucking more and more people into towns and cities in search of jobs and prosperity, the up-shot has too often been uncontrolled development, scant regard for building standards and an ugly urban sprawl.

But in Abu Dhabi, one of the seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates and home to its capital city, municipal authorities are showcasing their vision for a future marked by structure and enlightened regulation, underpinned by quality municipal services.

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipal Affairs and the emirate’s three municipal authorities at Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Western Region will be unveiling 30 projects at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2010.

Primary among these are new building codes demanding improved construction standards across the emirate, creating more cost effective structures of greater longevity and higher energy efficiency.

The codes are supported by a new addressing system for the city of Abu Dhabi, providing new, clear and concise street signage for the expanding capital, while a new Municipal Spatial Solutions Infrastructure (MSSI) has been commissioned to collate geospatial data.

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Municipal services focused on enjoying enhanced urban living include the addition of a further 12 parks in Abu Dhabi during 2010 as well as the Corniche water front development, offering public beaches and leisure facilities.

In Al Ain, Abu Dhabi’s second city, new roads, parks, city centre landscaping and the addition of 132 public toilets conforming to the highest international hygiene standards are planned.

In the country’s Western Region, new designs for a full range of family facilities at Delma Beach join plans for new public parks including the Zayed Park at Liwa, a landmark development aimed at giving this desert area a sustainable, high-quality green space.

The new projects and services will be exhibited at a state-of-the-art stand. Themed on a membrane allowing external influence while protecting the culture and well-being of those the municipality system serves, the stand includes a 4D virtual theatre allowing visitors to swoop across the region, gaining a panoramic view of Abu Dhabi’s future.

“We are tremendously proud of our achievements so far in establishing Abu Dhabi as a great emirate in which to live and work,” said H.E. Rashid Mubarak Al Hajeri, Chairman of Department of Municipal Affairs. “Cityscape and the high-tech stand we have created will allow visitors from across the region and the world to come and see what we have done and what we intend to do in the most exciting way possible,” he added.