Estidama sustainability programme in the spotlight at International Ecocity World Summit

ABU DHABI, 10th October 2015 (WAM) – The blueprint for Abu Dhabi’s sustainable urban development will be centre stage at the world’s foremost international summit on ecological city design.
Hundreds of academics, government officials and civic planners will convene at the Ecocity World Summit Abu Dhabi at ADNEC on 11-13 October for talks on how to build cities that are sustainable, healthy and attractive places to live, within a challenging arid environment.
Abu Dhabi was selected to host the highly prestigious international event after winning a competitive bid against a number of other cities, with the UAE now the first Middle Eastern country in which the summit has been held. Abu Dhabi’s success in winning the bid lies in its commitment to promoting environmental sustainability through leading the development and application of various environmental programmes, such as its marine and mangrove protection initiatives, in addition to promoting higher energy efficiency, and spearheading numerous natural resource conservation schemes.
With the conference theme ‘Ecocities in Challenging Environments’, the UPC has been actively involved from the outset in shaping the agenda of the Ecocity World Summit, with several senior members of staff participating on different organising committees, including the Strategic, Host City and Technical Aisory Committees.
The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) will play a prominent role at the summit, showcasing its Estidama sustainable development framework to an international audience and leading high-ranking talks on ecological urban growth.
“The UPC is proud to be involved in the Ecocity World Summit, which is instrumental in bringing together government officials and industry experts to discuss issues that affect our cities, the challenges our communities face, and how we can change and develop them for the better,” said Falah Al Ahbabi, Director General, UPC.
“Abu Dhabi is a relatively young city, and we are evolving at a tremendous pace as we work towards Vision 2030, under the guidance of our Leadership in line with their goal to become the leading sustainable and modern city.
“Ecocity encourages city representatives and specialists from around the world to share information on the very latest in international sustainability planning methodologies and processes to enhance our efforts in planning for our future generations. This summit presents an opportunity for us to put Abu Dhabi on the world stage as a benchmark for sustainability in the MENA region,” concluded Al Ahbabi.
First held in 1990, the Ecocity World Summit (ECWS) is the world’s longest-running series of meetings on sustainable cities. The biennial event will serve as a platform from which Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the Middle East can carry their eco-city visions forward. By showcasing local initiatives, it will build on the UAE’s credibility as a “serious player in sustainable development”, and will support the development of sustainable growth strategies at the city scale, both regionally and globally.
UPC officials will lead discussions involving the world’s leading eco-thinkers, leaders of private and public sectors, academia, industry, government and the wider community. The UPC’s Estidama initiative will feature prominently. Meaning sustainability in Arabic, Estidama forms a key part of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030. One of its main components is the mandatory Estidama Pearl Rating System for the sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings, villas and communities.
Yasmeen Al Rashedi, Programme Manager of the Estidama Department, Urban Development Estidama Sector at the UPC, will jointly lead a panel discussion on October 11 entitled ‘Sustainable Urban Indicators and Frameworks’.
Eng. Abdulla Al Shamsi, the UPC’s Executive Director, Strategic Affairs Sector, will moderate a session entitled ‘Taking the Vision Forward: Regional Examples’. It will provide an insight into how Abu Dhabi is turning an overarching visionary intent into tangible ecological accomplishments.
It is envisaged that the summit will result in the preparation of a tangible and actionable plan that answers to the many challenges of urbanisation in desert climates such as that of the UAE. Furthermore, it is hoped that the Summit will kick-start a number of new partnerships and major projects in the MENA region – harnessing the momentum of the event.
WAMbashir