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Sun 1 Jun 2008 06:11 PM

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Public realm key to Abu Dhabi plans, says Urban Planning Council

More user-friendly street design is key component in plans for the larger scale Abu Dhabi, says executive.

More user-friendly street design is a key component in plans for the larger scale Abu Dhabi, an executive of Abu Dhabi's Urban Planning Council told Commercial Outdoor Design in a recent interview.

The public realm is of major importance in future development plans for Abu Dhabi, Jamal Al Hosani, executive director of the Urban Planning Council, told COD.

"One of the things we are focusing on is the public realm," he said. "Abu Dhabi today is dominated by cars. The design of streets does not allow people to live in the streets. Street design is very important in our planning. We want to encourage people to walk before they ride any other means of transport."

"That will be achieved by creating a nice environment for the people to walk outside the buildings. Having the right mix of residential and office space so that people can live where they work and entertain. Providing all the neighborhoods and areas with the essential needs so people won't have to travel long distances," he added.

Abu Dhabi is expected to triple its population of approximately one million people today in the next 20 years in line with new development initiatives in the capital.

Plans include the expansion of existing downtown, and the creation of a new downtown, unveiled at last month's Cityscape.

The changes are part of The Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, a framework for development of the capital.

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