Dubai to become one of world's top liveable cities

Dubai Municipality to promote liveability ahead of Expo 2020

The Urban Agenda 2020 conference is being held from 31 March to 1 April 2014
The Urban Agenda 2020 conference is being held from 31 March to 1 April 2014

Plans for a 2020 Dubai will engineer the Emirate towards becoming one of the world’s top liveable cities, according to industry experts taking part in the upcoming Dubai Municipality-hosted Urban Agenda 2020 conference (31 March – 1 April 2014).

As the UAE’s urban population is expected to grow to 7.9mn by 2020, and demand for water and energy resources are predicted to double by 2020, experts, together with Dubai Municipality, are prioritising the need for liveability – economic, social and environmental well-being - in Dubai’s approach to urban planning.

There is an impending population boom on the horizon in the run up to World Expo 2020, which is expected to create 270,000 jobs in the lead up to the event.

The safeguarding of natural assets, sustainable, multi-use infrastructure development and efficient, inner-city connectivity through transport are a few of the themes topping discussions set to take place at the conference this week.

“A successful, liveable city functions as its own ecosystem. It balances its social, economic and environmental needs through smart urban planning,” comments Najib Mohammed Saleh, head of Dubai Urban Plan 2020 at Dubai Municipality.

“Dubai has crafted its economic vision 2020, and to now fulfil that goal of being a global business hub and economic centre, our strategy is to prioritise the needs of its citizens and build on these whilst being socially equitable and environmentally sustainable, as well as being economically driven.

“To ensure the continued growth of the Emirate, we are setting out to construct a liveable city that is totally modelled around the needs of the people that inhabit it through intelligent urban mapping and efficient design,” Saleh says.

Part of Dubai’s collective approach to urban growth, amongst its real estate developers, architects and investors, is to manage its resources as a group of strategic assets, including its people.

As economic and urban growth escalates elsewhere in the Gulf, cities across the region will compete with each other to attract talent and enterprise, foreign investment and employment.

“Efficient urban planning can result in significant environmental gains as well as increased resource security,” Saleh explains. “But liveability, or quality of life of its inhabitants, is hugely important for ensuring its future economic performance.”

The recommendations of experts assembled at the Urban Agenda 2020 conference will formally document an action plan for city planners through publication as a white paper.

“The Urban Agenda 2020 is a visioning conference that is setting out a holistic and cohesive view to Dubai’s city planning,” says Thea Skelton, director at Streamline Marketing Group, the event organiser.

“The conference creates a discourse amongst industry leaders and decision-makers and the general public to collectively work together to achieve a SMART 2020 Dubai. It addresses the impact of leisure and education on liveability, for example, whilst also examining the influence of tourism and a city’s creative economy.

“Importantly, a key theme on 2014’s agenda is that of technology and data, and how the emirate is reacting to advances in technology to better the life of its inhabitants.”

The Urban Agenda 2020 conference takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre, gathers senior leaders in urban planning from Dubai Municipality, the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence and Meydan Sobha as well as representatives from Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

Urban Agenda is held as part of The Outdoor Design Build & Supply Exhibition at the Dubai World Trade Centre 31 March – 2 April 2014. A full programme is available via the websites: www.theoutdoorshow.ae

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