Dubai’s planning for Expo 2020 in top gear

March 27th, 2014

ECO-FRIENDLY URBAN PLANNING TO MATCH POPULATION GROWTH

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Najeeb Mohammad Saleh

Dubai will be fully prepared to receive . 25 million visitors when it hosts the World EXpo 2020 in- ternational event in six’years.Officials are already seeing to every detail imaginable to pave the way for the smoothest pos-sible international hosting of an event that is expected to further clinch Dubai and the UAE as world-class destinations. In an interview with Gulf News, Najeeb Mohammad Saleh, Head of Planning Re- search Section, Planning De-partment at Dubai Munici-pality, discussed how Dubai expects to cope with the influx of new residents and visitors in 2020, and what measures the government is taking to ensure that the city is an efficient and sustainable one.

Different scenarios

“When we started to prepare, we first took into consideration how the city is going to grow and what its growth rate would be.We looked at three different sce-narios – low, medium and rapid … We have adopted the medium- growth scenario, and expect the population by 2020 to be about 2.8 million,” Saleh said.

In 2010, the Dubai Executive Council appointed a steering committee comprising Dubai Municipality, the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Author-ity, Dubai Civil Aviation, Lands Department, and Dubai Mari-time City.

These six government enti- ties have since been responsi-ble for planning, implement-ing and supervising the master plan for Dubai 2020. The city’s forward planning into the next decade was under way well before it submitted its bid to host Expo 2020, which was mainly aimed at handling the aftermath of the world eco-nomic downturn in 2008 and, in turn, to revise the plan of Dubai. The committee, Saleh explained, adopted the right approach as it expected a pop-ulation growth rate of 4.2 per cent per ‘year, which is close to the current rate at 4.1 per cent.

In 2010, Dubai recorded 1. 9 million residents and by the end of 2013 this had reached 2.23 million. Preparing the city “The existing urban area can reach up ‘to 93,106 hectares, which we feel is sufficient for us. And, by 2020, we expect to grow an additional 25,000 hec-tares. But even if the rate of the growth is faster than we expect, with a maximum of 38,000 hectares, the capacity of the city and its urban area can still hold that,” said Saleh.

TO prepare the city for up- coming projects, the committee has recominended that any in-vestment should not go beyond the border of Emirates Road (formerly known as Bypass Road), because there is enough infrastructure available in the city that can contain the ca-pacity and population growth within the area.  .

“To know which direction the city would. grow in, we adopted the scenario of a com-pact city, which has already been adopted and approved. So, all the upcoming projects, whether by the government

Source: Gulf News

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