Dubai’s blueprint for growth based on sound principles of urbanisation, says paper

DUBAI: If urban planning were to be an idea buffet, Dubai is laying out a splendid spread as it readies itself to welcome the Expo 2020. Its blueprint for growth is based on sound principles of urbanisation, a phenomenon that when understood correctly, implies calibrated expansion rather than unchecked proliferation, a local newspaper remarked today in an editorial comment.

“The secret to the successful expansion of any city, irrespective of its size, composition and population, is when it is able to place services and facilities within reasonable reach of people,” the Dubai-based English language newspaper Gulf News said.

“The larger the gap between the two, the more ineffective is the true purpose of urbanisation. Let’s examine some of the fundamental operating principles at play in Dubai’s forward planning for 2020: environmentally friendly city growth, greater emphasis on public modes of transport, Transit Oriented Development (TOD), cap on urban area expansion, increasing office and retail space and a medium-growth scenario that addresses all these. Each of these factors has a critical role to play in making a city a poster example of purposeful development.” Noting that with its population pegged at 2.8 million by 2020, the paper added that Dubai has chosen to meet the needs of this growth with pragmatism. It further said that the emirate’s plans to maximally mould its urban spaces and embed facilities in them by 2020 are guided by realistic assessments. Dubai has chosen to maximise its plans on the urban hectares already built up. This is a great example of best practices for effective growth. Its choice of a medium-growth scenario, as opposed to a low- or high-growth, is more evidence of Dubai’s commitment to sustainable development.

“Public modes of transport are another large part of the 2020 plan. The best cities in the world work towards creating an intimate synergy between its people and their ability to get around using public transport, an advantage also critical for the environmental health of a city. In this regard, The TOD plan is a great ally for this outcome. Looked at from any angle, Dubai’s forward plan for 2020 is a best practice at work, the Gulf News concluded.