Abu Dhabi’s UPC concludes 1st Plan Capital 2030 update charette

WAM ABU DHABI, September 21st, 2013 (WAM)– The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) has concluded its three-day Plan Capital 2030 Update Stakeholder Charette.

An impressive level of attendance over the three days resulted in a diverse, thoughtful and refreshingly honest discussion on the successes and challenges of the current Plan Capital 2030 and the need to link the overarching principles and implementing the recommendations.

Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Project Director – Plan Capital 2030 Update, UPC said, “The levels of honesty, expertise and passion that have been demonstrated throughout this Charette have far exceeded my expectations. The value of the Plan Update we are striving to produce lies not just in its pages, but in bringing together all stakeholders to focus our energy on the achievement of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030. This first Charette has allowed a diverse group to play a role in planning the future of their country, and, over the coming months, we will continue to work together to ensure the Plan Update is action-oriented, implementable and comprehensive document that we can proudly present to Leadership.” As part of the proceedings, five international experts were invited to participate and provide advice, ideas and possible solutions to support the Update process. All were selected specifically for their level of expertise and experience in a number of complementary specialities, and hail from the US, Canada, UK and New Zealand. Their input throughout the three-day Charette was capped in a panel discussion where they discussed opportunities to capitalise on the work of the original plan as the four pillar Estidama approach that focuses on sustainability, environment, economy and culture/society.

Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager of UPC, said, “A city’s performance has to be measured in a way that encapsulates all of these sustainability concerns. Overall, our Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 depends upon a strategic planning approach that identifies the very best growth opportunities and nurtures them, integrating environmental concerns and ensuring that all of our citizens will enjoy and benefit . Our goal in this Charette was to look at existing and future areas for improvement, prioritise these, and create an implementation plan and capital investment plan. We are convinced at the UPC that smart growth for the Capital of our Emirate means planning for what lies ahead.” “Our approach, from the day we launched Plan Capital 2030 back in 2007, was to make sure our strategic framework plans are flexible enough to reflect the changing needs of the city. The review and update of Plan Capital 2030 is very much in line with best practice planning – the lifecycle of long-term framework plans requires a review and update process typically every five to seven years to ensure it reflects the realities of local, regional and global trends. This is exactly the phase we are entering now with the most iconic of our plans,” Al Ahbabi added.

This kind of flexibility requires a great deal of skill, which is being provided through the UPC’s multidisciplinary planning departments. This three-day Charette has provided the perfect platform to gather input from all key influential stakeholders to be used in greater details during the forthcoming Update phases.

In recognising the positive impact Plan Capital 2030 has had on the Abu Dhabi Metropolitan Area to date, 20.000 people from 24 countries participated in a recent Ipsos survey that ranked Abu Dhabi as the fourth favorite city worldwide, behind only New York, London and Paris. This recognition speaks for itself, but it also acts as a reminder of the need to ensure the planning process continues to evolve in line with the Capital’s changing needs in support of the Emirate’s long-term Vision 2030 targets.

Over the coming months, as the project team continues to work on preparing the Plan Update, two additional charettes will be held. The second Charette will focus on the future of the Capital Region and will provide opportunities to review the technical assessments currently taking place and refine the growth options. The third Charette will focus more on preparing a clear strategy to support implementation of the Plan Update. During this time, public stakeholder engagement activities will be on-going.

WAM/MMYS

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