Complex Made Simple

MENA Center for Transport Excellence holds “Preparing Leaders of Urban Transport Planning Forum”

The MENA Center for Transport Excellence is hosting ‘Preparing Leaders of Urban Transport Planning Forum’ during the period 7-13 June 2014 at the Meydan Hotel in Dubai. The event, which is supported by a host of reputed international organizations including the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai, World Bank, UITP (MENA), Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), Korean Green Trust Fund, and the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility, drew a wide participation of planning & urban planning experts from several countries in the region and farther afield.

The Forum aims at uplifting leadership capabilities and aptitudes in urban planning in view of the importance of the leadership in this vital field and the role it plays in achieving the objective mapped out for establishing a wide-ranging, advanced and solid mass transit network that meets demographic, economic and urban growth requirements. The event also aims to diffuse the awareness about the requisites of planning an integrated public transport network, along with the components of such plans and how to put them in their proper perspectives.

This international Forum will deliver to the participants a practical educational methodology through optimizing the benefit from case studies applied in plans for constructing urban transport networks, as well as carrying out collective drills, self-learning sessions and technical visits to a number of RTA’s public transport sites. All of these activities focus on establishing a solid link between various components of the urban transportation system.

Self-learning sessions will include a number of key aspects including diagnosing key problems faced by cosmopolitan cities, systematic methodology of urban planning, roads and lanes management, planning for public transport and assessment of alternatives, role of governments & finance, and the public private partnership.

Prominent international speakers took part in the event including Jose Gomez- Ibanez from Kennedy School of Government and Harvard University in America, Dr. G C Kim from the Korean Transport Institute. From the World Bank attended Ajay Kumar, O P Agarwal, and Samuel Zimmerman, in addition to Abdulaziz Malik from the MENA Center for Transport Excellence, and Kaan Yildizgoz from the UITP.

Abdul Aziz Malik, Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee of the MENA Center for Transport Excellence delivered an elaborate working paper entitled: The Evolution of Urban Transport in the Emirate of Dubai covering five aspects including RTA’s governance model, integrated transport plan in Dubai, key components of short-term plan and projects, key results, and success factors.

Malik started his paper by giving a brief account about Dubai in the past along with the challenges encountered by entities responsible for undertaking infrastructure and public transport projects, and also touched on the number of population of the UAE in general and the Emirate of Dubai in particular. He highlighted the importance of this demographic aspect to the proper urban planning for establishing a solid network of public transport in the Emirate of Dubai; which is viewed as the vibrant business hub of the UAE.

The paper delivered by Malik also reviewed RTA’s governance model where it touched on a number of key internal audit aspects which are directly overseen by the Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, strategy and corporate governance, documenting frameworks, corporate administrative and technical services, and the service level agreements. These core aspects play crucial roles in shaping the performance levels of RTA’s agencies i.e. traffic and roads, public transport, rail, licensing and the Dubai Taxi Corporation.

The integrated transport plan aspect included a number of key points such as the eight strategic goals of the RTA i.e. the integration of Dubai, Dubai for residents, customers first, from vehicles to public transport, safety and environmental sustainability, financial sustainability, RTA advancement and asset management. It also covered the 26 objectives of the RTA in addition to the master plan of the intelligent traffic systems, cargo, taxi transport, roads, bicycles, pedestrians, rail, public buses and marine transport.

“Holding and participating in this Form has a positive bearing as the MENA Center for Transport Excellence is always keen on keeping abreast of the latest developments in public transport and modern strategies adopted in organizing and establishing authorities and organizations responsible for proper urban planning, and regulating entities tasked with the operation of public transport in modern cities worldwide,” added Malik.

“After wrapping up the sessions of this Forum, we will carry out a comprehensive assessment of the results and lessons learnt from hosting it with a view to considering the possibility of organizing it on an annual basis over the forthcoming years, particularly as the event commanded the attention of two prominent international entities.