Abu Dhabi’s grand Vision 2030 in motion at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2013


Apr-17-11-city-f1e The first ever comprehensive scale model of Abu Dhabi’s urban landscape, as envisioned in Plan Capital 2030, was first unveiled in 2010 within the Vision 2030 Experience Centre. The UPC’s stand, now in use for the fourth consecutive year, was strategically designed as a modular platform which evolves each year in line with the progress made across the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council’s (UPC) projects, and the implementation phases of its new initiatives.

In this respect, the Vision 2030 Experience Centre not only showcases the UPC’s role as the Emirate’s strategic planning agency, but it clearly highlights the year-on-year progress made in building on the Emirate’s foundations in line with Leadership’s long-term development vision.

Capital 2030 Model:

Measuring 23 x 17 metres, the model brings together, in one format, the various components of the Plan Capital 2030 Urban Structure Framework Plan for one of the world’s most ambitious urban development projects.

“Our stand is designed to share the grand vision of our wise leaders with the people of Abu Dhabi, and indeed with the rest of the world. It is a visible demonstration of our commitment to deliver what we foresaw when our initial framework plan (Capital 2030) was unveiled back in 2007. Our living, breathing model is constantly updated to reflect progress on the ground and serves as a communication and promotional platform for the UPC and the many stakeholders that we work with in the creation of our plans,” said H.E Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager, UPC.

“It is with this objective in mind that we have created such a model because it acts as such an effective visualisation tool for the public to really understand how the various pieces of the

Capital 2030 ‘puzzle’ seamlessly interact, relate and blend with each other to provide a truly unique living experience for future residents and visitors alike,” Al Ahbabi added.

“Complete Sustainable Communities” Interactive Platfoms:

This year, the Plan Capital 2030 model is surrounded by a variety of digital interactive tools which will enable visitors to have a greater insight into the framework plans that span the Emirate and understand how the UPC is planning ‘Complete Sustainable Communities’ (CSC) the latest UPC initiative to show how new communities are being planned and existing communities revitalised to meet the needs of current and future generations. A series of overarching principles have been created to guide the development of Complete Sustainable Communities. To provide visitors with a clear insight into how these communities will look across the Emirate, seven dedicated ‘infopods’, which are located around the Capital 2030 model, have been designed. The new devices illustrate the eight guiding principles of CSCs and the suite of regulations, policies, and manuals that the UPC has produced in order to plan CSCs. The CSC infopods encapsulate the constitutive components of best practice community planning and promote the UPC’s long-term strategy for addressing specific community requirements. To offer visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the CSC concept, the UPC has developed its own fly-through screen, combining cutting-edge software technology with best practice sustainable planning enable them to ‘fly around’ using a control pad to see exactly what the components of Complete Sustainable Communities are and understand how the components complement and combine with each other.

Estidama Statistics Center:

At the heart of the CSC initiative lies ‘Estidama, the UPC’s sustainability programme, which is based on four equal pillars: Environment, Society, Culture and Economy. This ensures a truly balanced approach to sustainability planning bringing long-term benefits without sacrificing the Emirate’s natural environment and unique culture. Two interactive kiosks are dedicated to Estidama on the mezzanine floor of the Centre, which will give visitors a clear perspective of the full range of initiatives that will transform Abu Dhabi into a world-class sustainable capital city. Visitors can learn new information about the Pearl Rating System; and more specifically, the Community, Buildings and Villa Rating Systems. The kiosk highlights a number of flagship projects around the Emirate that have received a Pearl Rating and demonstrates a range of changes that residents can make to their own villa, or consider if building a new villa, to improve its sustainability standards. On April 17th, Estidama will unveil its new Pearl Operational Rating System, presented as a guidance tool to ensure that for buildings and their systems, the operational energy, performance and efficiencies are monitored, controlled and maintained in relation to Estidama requirements. The ultimate aim is to refine the building lifecycle – from design and construction, through to operation. In addition, the Estidama team will also launch its new ‘Estidama Statistics Centre’ to put the many statistics, from the number of ratings to the amount of GFA that has been rated, into context and demonstrate the positive impact of the PRS and its midterm return on investment ratios.

UPC Updated Masterplans and New Initiatives:

On the ground floor, located in each of the corners that surround the Capital 2030 model, interactive kiosks will provide visitors with updated information and videos on the 2030 framework plans for Abu Dhabi Metropolitan Area (Capital 2030), Al Ain 2030, Al Gharbia 2030 and, for the first time, Plan Maritime 2030. This is the fourth and final framework plan to support the realisation of Vision 2030. It is intended to guide the sustainable development of public and private investments and initiatives within the Abu Dhabi’s marine and coastal zones whilst harnessing the opportunities its diverse ecosystems and sheltered waters are creating for recreational and eco-tourism activities. The four combined framework plans give a holistic impression of the scope of Vision 2030’s urban development initiatives across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

On the mezzanine floor, the infrastructure kiosk will present the latest news on the Al Ain Urban District Trunk Utilities and Infrastructure Framework Plan while also providing information on the Middle Income Housing Policy and Commercial Signage Regulations, two of the UPC’s key Planning Policies. The CSC screen will also feature the USDM Online Design Tool for visitors to see how all urban streets are now being designed. The tool has been developed in line with the updated version of the Urban Street Design Manual to demonstrate how the principles of the Manual drives the planned changes required for Abu Dhabi’s street to become safer, more vibrant and pedestrian-friendly.

Development Regulations and Review, one of the more technical kiosks located on the Mezzanine floor of the UPC stand, will introduce the new “Development Review Stream” (DRS) process for development review applications. The streamlined review process, and the web-based application system, will be on display to highlight the new process for approving development across the Emirate.

Presented as a preview at Cityscape, visitors will have the opportunity to view a summary of the key components of the the Abu Dhabi Capital Development Code, the City’s regulatory framework for managing land use and development as per Plan Capital 2030 to be unveiled in June 2013. The Code, which regulates all types and scales of developments both existing and proposed, will support Abu Dhabi’s varied planning and livability initiatives as well as the Estidama programme, to build developments that are well-connected and work together to create complete sustainable communities in Abu Dhabi.

With Geographic Information Systems (GIS) playing a critical role at the UPC in enabling planners to visualise how master plans, infrastructure plans and developments may fit within the existing city fabric, a kiosk on the mezzanine floor will showcase this valuable tool. GIS provides the UPC with spatial planning capabilities, which are vital for strategic decision- making with regards to site selection for various projects in the pipeline.

“Our annual participation at Cityscape Abu Dhabi provides our citizens with comprehensive information through a number of tailored communication tools, from presenting the futuristic vision of the UAE’s capital to the world to a detailed perspective of all major planning and sustainability initiatives. This llustrates the variety of urban development initiatives undertaken by the UPC and how they are progressing,” said Al Ahbabi.

“Cityscape Abu Dhabi provides the UPC with a strong opportunity to assert our role as the regulatory agency in charge of planning vibrant and resilient urban environments that are capable of supporting and driving the Emirate’s anticipated economic growth, while improving the quality of life for all. We are constantly striving to reach new standards of excellence by introducing new regulations, innovations and technologies to create connected communities that are founded on sustainability principles that protect our beautiful, natural environment. By transferring and sequencing Vision 2030 to a physical setting, we are demonstrating how guiding principles cascade over critical urban projects while serving our long term planning strategy. Even if we have already achieved important milestones in urban development and infrastructure planning in our Emirate, there is still a long way to go before arriving at our final destination. However, our horizon is clear, our directions chartered and our Vision 2030 compass firmly guides our steps,” concluded Al Ahbabi.

Vision 2030 Conference Center:

To complement the information showcased on its stand, the UPC was also at the origin of the ‘Vision 2030 Conference Centre’, located alongside the Experience Centre, which will be put at the disposal of its key stakeholders as a communication platform to update the

Public on the progress of their projects and initiatives while demonstrating and promoting the consolidation of Abu Dhabi’s future developments. Through the creation of such a joint-communication platform that highlights pivotal projects and their role in realising Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, the UPC is asserting its role as a planning agency working in close collaboration with the concerned governmental agencies. In addition, to the information available at the Experience Centre stand, visitors can access more information through the online ‘Vision 2030 Experience Centre’ application, available on the UPC’s website.


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