New masterplan for Al Ain revealed
Abu Dhabi, April 9, 2009
The Urban Planning Council (UPC), the agency responsible for the future of Abu Dhabi’s urban regional environments, has launched a new masterplan for Al Ain city.
Known as Plan Al Ain 2030, this visionary plan presents a coherent picture for the future of Al Ain as an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable city.
It proposes new ways to grow and leverage the economic opportunities at hand without sacrificing the agricultural character of the city – and adds new elements to make it a dynamic hub of knowledge in the modern global economy.
Developed through close collaboration between international planning experts, Abu Dhabi Government representatives, the Al Ain Municipality and its local people, the masterplan includes policies and frameworks for land use, building densities, building heights, transportation, infrastructure, and protected environmental zones.
'For us, heritage means a past with a vision. Al Ain is part of our overall 2030 vision for the Abu Dhabi Emirate, a vision that is inspired by our history and crafted for future generations,' said Falah Al Ahbabi, general manager of UPC.
Known as the ‘garden city’ of the UAE, Al Ain is a natural oasis in Abu Dhabi and is characterised by lush vegetation and fertile urban farms, which have supported continuous settlement for thousands of years. Today, Al Ain remains an environmental and cultural jewel in the crown of Abu Dhabi.
'Through a balance of conservation and development, Plan Al Ain 2030 will foster the authentic Arabic identity of Al Ain whilst supporting a continuously evolving modern culture,' said Al Ahbabi.
In line with Estidama, which means ‘sustainability’ in Arabic and is Abu Dhabi’s contribution to the global discussion of how to create more sustainable communities, cities and global enterprises that aims to ensure sustainable design, operation and maintenance of all types of buildings and communities in the Emirate, Plan Al Ain 2030 is founded on key environmental, cultural, social and economic sustainability principles.
“Plan Al Ain 2030 strikes a delicate and much-needed balance between conservation and development. It explores the need to conserve ground water resources, protects natural habitats and reverses damaging trends such as the contamination of the city’s oases with pesticides from local farms.
“With the population of Al Ain expected to reach one million by 2030, Plan Al Ain 2030 offers a range of solutions to regulate the quality and quantity of new development projects, improve public transport, preserve the city’s unique character and create new open spaces and cool micro-climates for residents to share and enjoy,” he continued.
Importantly, Plan Al Ain 2030 also outlines policies for facilities such as mosques, gathering places, recreation areas and shopping precincts, which will be spread throughout residential areas within easy walking distance.
A range of suitable and affordable housing options will meet the needs of Al Ain’s diverse population, including Emirati extended families, various expatriate households, and guest workers.
'To create a truly sustainable city, Plan Al Ain 2030 proposes a range of urban development, renewable energy, water conservation and public transport initiatives.'
'This will ensure that local residents continue to enjoy an excellent quality of life as the city’s population grows to one million and beyond,' concluded Al Ahbabi.-TradeArabia News Service