UPC launches pdated version of USDM
- United Arab Emirates: Sunday, February 24 - 2013 at 15:05
- PRESS RELEASE
In September 2012, the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) launched an updated version of the Abu Dhabi Urban Street Design Manual (USDM). The Manual is based on key design principles including safety for all street users and the acknowledgement that all great street designs begin with pedestrians and ensure universal access and environmental sustainability, as illustrated through the incorporation of the overarching principles of Estidama.
As concrete examples of the USDM's street retrofitting strategy in action, a number of new pathways, speed tables and landscaping enhancements have been implemented in Ghayathi, Al Gharbia.
The newly improved streets emphasise high quality urban design and cater to all modes of transport, making Al Gharbia a better and safer place to walk, cycle, and take public transport.
Following the roll out and implementation of the Urban Street Design Manual (USDM) in accordance with the guiding principles of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 which call for safer, more comfortable and aesthetic street environments across the Emirate, several areas in Al Gharbia are starting to apply the new standards and guidelines.
"Our Urban Street Design Manual has been implemented in Al Gharbia by successfully using the guidance it offers; including increasing movement options, offering more efficient access to destinations, and enhancing the quality of the public realm to make walking safer and more enjoyable," said Eng. Amer Al Hammadi, Executive Director, Planning Policy & Infrastructure, UPC.
"The rapid economic growth we have witnessed in recent years and the projected population boom have resulted in Al Gharbia's infrastructure becoming inadequate to meet the needs of the population. Having the foresight to plan for infrastructure ahead of time is the trademark of Vision 2030 and this street revitalisation project embodies the strong principles and practical guidance set out in the USDM, in addition to the use of in-depth research and planning, conducted in close partnership with the Western Region Municipality," he added.
HE Saif Saeed Al Mazrouei Executive Director, Infrastructure, at Western Region Municipality said, "Western Region Municipality is committed to implementing sustainable planned designs to complete the cycle of successful projects in close collaboration with our strategic partners and stakeholders."
The Urban Street Design Manual pays particular attention to streetscapes and has given the Western Region Municipality the tools to ensure that all of the elements that make up the area between the curb and building fronts are in the right place and are the right size for the context. The recently added section in the Manual that covers the retrofitting of existing streets has been used to full effect.
New pathways have been strategically placed under existing trees to provide safe, shaded routes that connect pedestrians to their homes and existing community facilities. Speed tables have been constructed to slow vehicle speeds and allow easier crossing for pedestrians. The speed tables are equal to the curb height and are aligned with pedestrian pathways, resulting in a continuous path that is comfortable for all users.
Landscaping improvements include the use of high-quality, slip resistant materials, attractive planting, and the strategic use of existing mature trees, in addition to the planting of new ones, to provide shading. The project not only utilises USDM principles, it also seamlessly integrates the principles of the Abu Dhabi Public Realm Design Manual, highlighting how the UPC's manuals work in a complementary manner.
A number of the revitalised streets serve lower density residential neighbourhoods in the region, therefore, they have been designed for low traffic speed with safe pedestrian crossings to encourage walking to local services and to provide quiet environments for families.
The new streetscape is being designed in tandem with the overall development of the Emirate as stipulated in Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 and many of its elements are inexorably linked to community regeneration projects and the creation of new residential and commercial projects across Al Gharbia, in line with the strategic direction provided in 'Plan Al Gharbia 2030' Regional Structure Framework Plan, which supports a movement towards more vibrant, sustainable and pedestrian friendly streetscapes.
The key benefits for local communities in Al Gharbia are to secure high standards development for the future generations and provide valuable new infrastructure assets with high specification standards that match the standards outlined for future investments in other parts of the region.
The revitalisation programme of Ghayathi's streets is a true example of how the UPC's Complete Sustainable Communities (CSC) initiative can work successfully. Through the use of two of the suite of policy, standards and guidance tools that the CSC initiative is comprised of, namely the USDM and PRDM design standards, safe, attractive and walkable streets have been created that are central to the principles of both CSC and Plan Al Gharbia 2030.
"These improvements are just the first phase in creating sustainable settlements across the region that will drive Al Gharbia's economic growth, encourage social interaction, preserves our cultural values and reduces environmental impact," Al Hammadi commented.
The Urban Street Design Manual was developed by UPC in close cooperation with the Western Region Municipality (WRM), the Department of Transport (DoT), the Department of Municipal Affairs, the Traffic Police, Abu Dhabi Civil Defence, Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and other relevant agencies, highlighting the collaborative approach of Abu Dhabi's Government entities. All future projects implemented by Abu Dhabi Government entities will be developed in line with USDM standards and guidance to gain the maximum benefit from its strategies and approaches.
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