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Thu 19 Nov 2009 12:15 PM

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Doha 'needs to be more pedestrian friendly'

Leading architect urges changes to encourage families to relocate to city centre.

The Qatari capital needs to become more pedestrian-friendly to encourage more city living, a leading architect has said.

Families should be encouraged to move back into the centre of Doha to ensure the city continues to prosper, Tim Makower, Allies and Morrison partner, told a conference in London on Wednesday.

“We are witnessing Doha beginning the rebirth of its city centre. But to do this it needs to bring Qatari families back into the city centre and become more pedestrian-friendly,” he told delegates.

"The West Bay district of Doha is not very pedestrian-friendly and so it has become a car dominated area. We need to encourage people to spend less time in their cars," he said

Makower, speaking at the Human Habitation conference at the Royal Institute of British Architects, said $5.5bn plans to redevelop a part of Doha city centre would help encourage more people to walk.

“The Heart of Doha has beautifully designed compact city neighbourhoods, which favour and promote the pedestrian. People will have the conveniences of modern life. They will have cars but will use them less and less,” he said.

The Doha-based architecture firm worked on the design of several buildings in the 35-hectare mixed use project’s first phase.

The project will eventually be completed in 2016 in five phases.

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