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Urban Planning Council (UPC) Annouces New Community Design Guidelines Through Estidama

The Test Phase Will Apply To Selected Community Projects In The Emirate Of Abu Dhabi That Are Being Reviewed By The Urban Planning Council (UPC)

The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) through Estidama, the Sustainable Buildings and Communities Program, invited building developers as well as consultants and selected government entities to evaluate the updated interim community guidelines as part of an ongoing pilot program. The test phase will apply to selected community projects in the emirate of Abu Dhabi that are being reviewed by the UPC. Uniquely, the new guidelines will be the first in the Middle East to be specifically tailored to meet the region’s environmental, economic, social and cultural requirements. The Estidama program as a whole is made of three key projects: the Estidama New Building Guidelines launched May 2008, the Estidama Community Guidelines and the upcoming Estidama Building Guidelines. The goal of the Interim Estidama Communities Guidelines (IECG) is to establish a set of voluntary community planning guidelines to assist in the review of major development proposals across the Emirate. The guidelines will address issues that relate to sustainable community design such as Development Patterns, Alternative Energy, Mobility, and Water Conservation. H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager of the Urban Planning Council, which is leading the Estidama initiative, said: “Following months of careful planning and research, we will begin to test the draft guidelines with developers and governmental entities, in the near future. This is a vital first step to ensure we build a strong foundation for sustainable urban planning addressing different sustainability concerns from a building scale to a selected community as a whole.” “Community design is an essential element of the Estidama program which is the first of its kind to incorporate relevant social and cultural factors into sustainable urban planning. This unique, phased and tested approach will ultimately deliver against the strategic vision set out by Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 to improve quality of life across the emirate,” he added. The Estidama project management team will consult with various stakeholders such as developers, partners and concerned governmental entities to evaluate their feedback from the trial. The IECG will be revised and final Estidama guidelines are scheduled to be published early 2009. The Estidama management team is also working on publishing the third key project of the program, the Estidama Existing Building Guidelines. It will also use a pearl rating system similar but not confined to the system that was launched in May 2008 alongside the New Building Guidelines. The pearl rating system will be used throughout the program but will be tailored for each of the key projects.

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