A sign of the times

Cityscape Abu Dhabi marked a sign of change, with the benefits of sustainability recognised for the first time.

IIR Middle East, COMMENT, MEP

Cityscape Abu Dhabi has marked a real sign of change in the region's thinking. For as well as the usual showcasing of elaborate and adventurous real estate projects that is the norm at this international property investment and development event, a dedicated sustainable development conference was added to the program for the first time.

And from the sign of attendance numbers on day one of Cityscape, this is something for which the sector has been waiting. Several hundred visitors to the event didn't appear to have to try very hard to tear themselves away from the project scale models in the main exhibition to attend the conference. The conference hall was virtually full throughout, as audiences sought to gain information on the latest sustainable building thinking and how this will affect the future construction industry in the region, and indeed our day-to-day lives.

One of the most encouraging things about the conference was the audience mix. For it was not simply engineers and academics that were present; developers, stakeholders and architects, among others, were to be found in abundance. And this is exactly what is needed for a truly sustainable future to be possible in the region - everyone to be involved and everyone to want to be involved.

If Cityscape Abu Dhabi is truly a sign of current thinking, the battle to ensure that sustainable building designs will be accepted by all has just become easier. We can but hope.

Alison Luke is the editor of Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Middle East.

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