Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council unveils its Estidama School programme developed in partnership with Aldar Academies
- United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, January 16 - 2013 at 16:38
- PRESS RELEASE
The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) and Aldar Academies are joining forces to educate the next generation on sustainability issues that are relevant to their daily lifestyles.
The Estidama School Programme has been developed in partnership with the six schools that comprise Aldar Academies, specificallyunder the guidance of its Pearl Primary School, which played a key role in developing the purpose and content of the joint initiative.
Aimed at creating thematic junior think-tanks, the programme will communicate and engage with children about the significance of sustainability, utilising the UPC's Estidama 4-pillar approach and its Complete Sustainable Communities (CSC) initiative.
By focusing on the main components of CSC, the programme intends to enable children to better understand how sustainable planning can design vibrant, exciting and environmentally friendly places to live. An inter-school competition to design a small community will be set up during the year to enable children to put what they have learnt during the sessions into practise.
As stated by Mohamed Al Khadar, Executive Director for Development Review and Estidama, UPC: "Awareness, education and knowledge are the main drivers that empower behavioural change and changethe mindset of individuals towards sustainable living. Children will play a pivotal role in ensuring that Estidama gradually and positively impacts our environment and this explains the importance UPC is placing on this initiative. Our objective is to encourage the younger members of our community to consider how they will live and work in the future. Estidama covers multiple facets of the Emirate's development; urban design, environmental health and safety, building development, zoning and planning. Our mission is to preserve our cultural, societal, economic and environmental assets for future generations while improving the lives of the current citizens of Abu Dhabi."
The theme selected to illustrate the UPC's participation at the WFES is 'Sustainability through the Eyes of the Future'. To illustrate this credo and to champion the Estidama School Programme, the UPC has collaborated with Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA) to use 'Hamdoon', their highly popular cartoon character, as the charismatic emblem to promote the programme, in line with its 'Find out how we're creating our sustainable future'slogan.
"Sustainable living is a culture that goes beyond mere environmental awareness, it is very important to get to the grassroots level and develop good habits early on," said Nilay Ozral, Director - Aldar Academies.
"Implementing this programme together with the UPC will be a great initiative - education is not only about academics, and we at Aldar Academies are always looking to pilot new ideas with different partners in Abu Dhabi. These initiatives are very useful to developour students'sense of sustainability, and help ensure they grow up to become responsiblecitizens who lead by example," he added.
The programme has been designed to incorporate modules that follow a number of the UPC's key standards and guideline manuals. Module 1 covers mobility, street and infrastructure design and will use the Urban Street Design Module as a base. Module 2 will explore housing and the creation of complete communities that offer a range of community facilities, in line with the Community Facility Planning Standards.
The third module will encourage students to consider parks and recreational areas - what kinds of parks and play areas they would like to see and how existing areas can be improved, as per the Public Realm Design Manual.
Module 4 will examine industrial development, under the guise of Economic Vision 2030 to ensure students think about job creation and economic diversification within the Emirate. The fifth and final module will focus on schools and education facilities - students will have the opportunity to design their own schools and the kinds of courses they think will be beneficial in the future.
The Estidama School Programme will be supported through multiple communication channels and tailored tools to maximise the impact of the campaign. As a primary example to illustrate the approach, the UPC is unveiling today a new video designed for several applications (internet, iPad, etc.) to promote the CSC initiative.
Al Khadar concluded, "Estidama is an aspiration for achieving a sustainable way of life in the Arab world and a manifestation of visionary governance that puts emphasis on carefully and responsibly managed development. To reinforce Abu Dhabi's long-term commitment to sustainability principles at large, all of our outreach programmes ensure that sustainability is continually addressed through four pre-defined angles : environmental, economic, social and cultural. This approach gives Abu Dhabi the edge through a distinctive framework for promoting and measuring sustainability with a greater degree of accuracy. The Estidama School Programme that we have jointly developed with Aldar Academies demonstrates the importance the UPC places on stakeholder involvement and it complements our 'UniverCity' initiative to ensure the full commitment and engagement of Abu Dhabi's young people. These programmes support Abu Dhabi Vision 2030's overarching principles with practical and meaningful sets of educational tools to advocate sustainable living to local audiences and position Abu Dhabi as a benchmark for sustainable development in the MENA region."
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