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AESG's Phillipa Grant reveals how to design happy cities in the Mideast

Killa Design's Sean Killa and Aecom's Steven Velegrinis co-panellists at AESG event discussing how to design healthy cities

AESG reveals how to design happy cities.
Comms MEA
AESG reveals how to design happy cities.

Proper planning of nature, neighbourhoods, and networks is a key consideration when building cities in the Middle East as more of the world’s population moves into urban centres, Dubai-based engineering consultancy AESG said.

“Cities impact both the physical and mental health of their residents,” said AESG’s head of energy and sustainable development, Phillipa Grant, speaking at the company’s ‘Designing for Healthy, Happy Cities’ event last month in Dubai.

Key factors to consider whilst building 'happy' cities, according to Grant, include “access to outdoor spaces, environmental pollution, community connectivity, and safety and security”. 

AESG said the event’s panel raised questions around the role of technology in creating enhanced designs, communal outdoor spaces to encourage social interactions, and how the business case for “healthy design” could be expanded on.

Panellists included Rula Sadik, regional director at Stantec; Steven Velegrinis, Aecom’s head of masterplanning; Saint Gobain UAE’s business development manager, Dr Nada Chami; and Shaun Killa of architectural design house, Killa Design.

AESG said the notion of incorporating more nature into design emerged as one of three key considerations during the event's discussions.

Public transportation was touted as another crucial design component for future cities, with easier mobility contributing to a greater quality of life and happiness for residents.

The concept of scaling down communal spaces to increase social interactions was also “well received by attendees”, AESG said in a statement. 

“Pocket parks, landscaped walkways, public art, and shaded places of rest are essential requirements in ;happy' cities,” Killa said.

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Construction Week - Issue 754
Nov 23, 2019