Creating space to enjoy'is vital'

Peter Wynne Rees, a city planning officer in London, has called for the construction of urban habitable spaces in the Middle East, saying that developing communities and not 'just buildings' was the key to sustainability.

Peter Wynne Rees, a city planning officer in London, has called for the construction of urban habitable spaces in the Middle East, saying that developing communities and not 'just buildings' was the key to sustainability.

"Anyone can make a building and then turn that into an icon," he said at the eighth world congress of the Council on Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat (CTBUH) last week. "What's important is creating spaces - those that are enjoyable and liveable in. This is what creates sustainable places and buildings.

"A city is not defined by its iconic buildings, it's defined by its public spaces and atmosphere; and this can only be achieved through the people living in them. A building cannot be sustainable on its own."

Rees also slammed the sub-urban culture and residential communities outside cities, calling them the 'worst' situation for a sustainable world.

More than 800 delegates from 42 countries attended the congress in Dubai to listen to lectures on developing, designing, building and operating sustainable skyscrapers and technologies related to energy-use reduction.

"Dubai is trying to create self-sufficient communities that are sustainable," said HE Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general, Dubai Municipality (DM). "We are planning to encourage walking in the city with the introduction of new walkways along Sheikh Zayed Road."

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