Public consultation planned for Al Gharbia
Abu Dhabi, August 6, 2009
Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), the agency responsible for the future physical planning of Abu Dhabi, is commencing the public consultation sessions for Al Gharbia.
Al Gharbia is spanned across a 60,000 square kilometer area and accounts for 83 per cent of Abu Dhabi Emirate’s landmass. It is also one of the richest areas of the UAE in terms of oil and gas reserves.
The sessions will be organised for individual settlements of the Al Gharbia region with local government authorities along with its residents in partnership with the Western Region Development Council (WRDC) and Western Region Municipality (WRM), which will be the next step towards formulating the urban framework, Plan Al Gharbia 2030.
“Plan Al Gharbia 2030 is aligned with the broader strategic objectives of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 and is aimed at developing an overall regional vision for Al Gharbia and its settlements,” said Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, general manager, Abu Dhabi UPC.
He added: “Plan Al Gharbia 2030 will eventually not only be a model sustainable development which accommodates appropriate growth and offers a high quality of life, but will also preserve its traditional Arabic, Bedouin and Islamic rural culture, character, lifestyle and heritage.”
The Abu Dhabi UPC, in partnership with the WRDC and WRM, had led the charrette process in Al Gharbia on November 16, 2008, which involved leadership and representatives from the Abu Dhabi government and a team of multi-disciplinary experts in urban design, planning, architecture, environment, infrastructure, and transportation.
Charrette is a creative process used by design professionals to develop urban and regional plans, consisting of a series of workshops and professional planning sessions, by utilising the most current demographic and economic studies.
“Collaboration with the citizens of the region for the comprehensive formulation of the urban framework plan is one of the key fundamental principles followed by UPC,” said Al Ahbabi.
“The planning process that subsequently ensues, aims at incorporating most of the views and desires expressed by the residents during the initial sessions. The public consultation sessions beginning on August 03 are primarily meant for the residents of all the settlements in Al Gharbia and we encourage them to actively participate in this important planning process,” he added.
In line with Estidama, which means ‘sustainability’ in Arabic and is Abu Dhabi’s contribution to the global discussion on how to create more sustainable communities, and global enterprises, Plan Al Gharbia 2030 will be unveiled in November 2009 and will be founded on key environmental, cultural, social and economic sustainability principles.
As a next step, following direction from the outcomes of each workshop, conceptual plans for the region and each settlement will be drafted and reviewed by stakeholders before the final plan is formulated.
The findings and conclusions of the November 2008 charrette follow up workshops with local government authorities and discussions with Al Gharbia residents and stakeholders will form the basis of Plan Al Gharbia 2030.
"We are designing urban structures that reflect a creative contribution of our people. Our aim is to manage and meet immediate needs without compromising the assets and potential of the Emiratis' future generation. Determining regional and settlement level land use and recommending patterns of transportation, infrastructure, government services, health care and ecological protection will be an integral aspect of Plan Al Gharbia 2030,” concluded Al Ahbabi.
The WRM has also recently announced its plans to undertake a Dh4 billion ($1.09 billion) revamp to improve the living conditions in 3,200 dwellings across the western region in coordination with Abu Dhabi Centre for Houses and Utility Developments.
Settlements anticipating significan