Dubai Masterplan 2020

The Challenge

Dubai is an car-dependant city and where the city design is lacking a sense of uniformity and it is hard for pedestrians to walk freely.

 The Solution

Making people prioritised: reducing car-dependancy through public transport solutions and more focus on walkability/cycling with a TOD-friendly built environment.

In the middle of the 21st century, the Dubai master plan was created with the goal of compact growth with the development of a new road system, creating a new town centre, and creating zones for different land use around the town. After the construction of the bridge across Dubai Creek, which was completed in 1963, urban development started to blossom in Deira. But later, this development expanded towards Dubai and the areas close to the bridge in accordance to the compact growth strategy. Just a few years later Dubai started to expand with developments along the road towards Abu Dhabi located in the west, thus creating a linear city.


HISTORY & DEVELOPMENT

High rise buildings

Population (region)

Land area (km2)

The current plan includes the Dubai Emirate territories and sea areas 12 nautical miles out in the sea. It is said to be a flexible plan which stresses a sustainable and competitive approach to achieve a city of excellence. What an city of excellence is, is however not explained. Furthermore it is stated that the plan “seeks to optimise on existing government infrastructure investments; rationalise an integrated land-use and transport; protect key economic assets; and be flexible and responsive to the environmental challenges and constraints, and to the socio-economic transformations.” The past years, the government has pushed a lot of investment on the transportation and infrastructure sector. Like many cities have been focusing on lately, Dubai is trying to reduce the car-dependancy and promote public transportation. However, the capacity on the existing metro lines is limited and the expansion and investment on more public transportation has became an important task.

There are many challenges which have been found through the identification and analysis of the existing situation. Based on these challenges, but also opportunities, the municipality set out 8 strategic directions to work towards:

1. Protect and facilitate economic opportunities
2. Provide flexibility for growth
3. Consolidate development projects
4. Conserve natural systems
5. Facilitate social needs
6. Optimise infrastructure and services
7. Broaden connectivity, accessibility and movement
8. Promote a sustainable open space system.

The preferred spatial growth scenario was the compact city. The scenario is well fitted Dubai and has huge potential for betterment of neighbourhood facilities and public places. It also makes use of land more efficiently rather than spreading out the buildings and continuing the the urban sprawl which started all the way back to the late 1970s. Thus, the walkability and TOD directed towards creating stronger and more vibrant neighbourhoods is stressed. This is essentially a way to create a more environmental and sustainable Dubai.

WALKABILITY

Like other big cities in the Gulf countries, Dubai is a city which have developed in a linear way. Such strip developments have, without doubt, enlarged the car-dependancy in the city. In order to get daily products such as milk or water, the inhabitants could drive just a few minutes. By walking this would have been another story. The city that in the beginning had neighbourhood centres sprawled over large areas of land. Pedestrians face many physical barriers and have to walk long distances to get daily needs. However, now Dubai is trying to get back to it’s roots. Dubai’s greatest achievement regarding walkability would be the opening of Dubai metro in 2009. (For more read the magazine)

CYCLING

Like other big cities in the Gulf countries, Dubai is a city which have developed in a linear way. Such strip developments have, without doubt, enlarged the car-dependancy in the city. In order to get daily products such as milk or water, the inhabitants could drive just a few minutes. By walking this would have been another story. The city that in the beginning had neighbourhood centres sprawled over large areas of land. Pedestrians face many physical barriers and have to walk long distances to get daily needs. However, now Dubai is trying to get back to it’s roots. Dubai’s greatest achievement regarding walkability would be the opening of Dubai metro in 2009. (For more read the magazine)

URBAN FRAMEWORKS

For a summary of Dubai 2020 masterplanning process: Urban Masterplan 2020 Summary

For an overview of the Road and Transport Authority’s strategy plan see: Road and Transport Authority Strategy Plan

For a brief introduction to the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 see: Dubai Strategic Plan 2015

INTERVIEW

Place Dynamix

Place Dynamix, a rising and innovative small firm in Dubai, offered to assist us with an magazine interview regarding their work in the United Arab Emirates.

“Place Dynamix is a specialist consultancy providing planning, design, landscape and other services from a user-focused approach that has the objective of creating great places and lasting value. We are primarily concerned with the creation of sustainable and memorable places and the focus of our work uses methodologies and other techniques from a wide range of disciplines to inform the creative process of making unique and successful places.” (Placedynamix.com)

 

PlaceMaking

We were very happy that Nadine from Placemaking could contribute to our magazine with an article and interview where she shared her experience from working in the United Arab Emirates.

“Place Making is about using a human centric city planning and design approach to transforms spaces into places. It is an organization dedicated to helping developers and municipalities create and sustain liveable communities. Our pioneering approach help our clients transform their vision into vital vibrant and animated places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs using the blue ocean strategies.” (Placemaking.me)

Magazine

To learn more about the urban planning in Dubai, have a look at the exclusive magazine about United Arab Emirates.

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