The culmination of months of careful planning and hard work, the eagerly anticipated Global City 2011, Abu Dhabi, opens today at Emirates Palace.
Under the Patronage of HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi government, Global City 2011 is expected to usher in a new era of thinking on urban sustainability. The Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, Department of Transport, Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, Western Region Development Authority and the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry have collaborated to bring this essential and timely forum to the city.
Over the past several months, organizers and key members of the Abu Dhabi government have been hard at work preparing for what is to be one of the most important meeting points for the worldâ€™s top city leaders, thinkers and experts on sustainable solutions for growing cities. While the forumâ€™s invited international speakers have been preparing their contributions, an impressive line-up of industry figures have been blogging on key topics integral to urban development and sustainability.
Sustainability being at the foundation of any new development in Abu Dhabi, and capitalizing on Estidamaâ€™s efforts in transforming the capital into a model sustainable city, His Excellency Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager of Urban Planning Council will be welcoming attendees to the forum. A keynote address on Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 will be given by an elite panel including Amer Al Hammadi, Planning Policy & TIES Director, Humaid Al Marzouq, Senior Associate Planner with Planning Policies, Aysha Abu Shahab and Yousif Al Fahim, Associate Planners at Estidama and Planning Policy respectively, Talal Al Ansari and Ibrahim Al Hmoudi, Senior Urban Designers at Urban Design Studio.
A forum of â€œfirsts,â€ Global City 2011, Abu Dhabi, with a focus on Visionary Values, will mark the first time that Dr. Jacques Attali will share his vision of sustainability with the Middle East. A Leaders Panel on City Identity, chaired by Greg Clark, Global Advisor on the Development and Investment of Cities and Regions, UK, will examine how leaders can develop integrated city strategies combining a distinctive city identity with sustainable values. Distinguished panelists will include prominent city leaders, including HH Prince Abdulaziz bin Mohammad bin Ayyaf, Mayor of Riyadh Region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Hon. James Orengo, Minister of Lands, Kenya; Mayor Jussi Ilmari Pajunen, Helsinki, Finland; Senator Jean-Marie Bockel, President, Mulhouse Alsace Urban Agglomeration, France; and Alan Frost, Director, Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.
This forum will also be the first to include culture and local values as part of the program, and will also offer the first Global City master classes on culture and city branding. Other topics on the agenda are city identity, financing sustainable growth, migration, mobility, city transformation and green growth.
â€œThe research and planning that takes place during the preparation of a forum of this magnitude is critical to the success of the event,â€ said Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development. â€œWe anticipate a record level of participation, and expect solid progress to be made to pave the way to a sustainable future for our cities.â€