UN under-secretary general discusses urban sustainability with Abu Dhabi UPC

Discussion also covered the city’s approach to housing provisions for UAE Nationals


Rapid urbanisation and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies were discussed, when Dr. Joan Clos, under-secretary general at the UN, met with Falah Al Ahbabi, director general of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC).

The two discussed the UPC’s best practice on strategies for sustainable urbanisation, such as its Estidama Pearl Rating System initiative. The system is a mandatory requirement for all new Abu Dhabi developments, and aims to create sustainable communities and enhance quality of life.

The initiative is based on four pillars of sustainability: environmental, economic, social and cultural. The UPC says these have been integrated into its framework and masterplans, with the goal of helping to preserve and enrich Abu Dhabi’s physical and cultural identity. This is said to be one of several urban sustainability and innovations deployed in Abu Dhabi.

Commenting on the meeting, Ahbabi said, “We were delighted to meet with Dr. Joan Clos to discuss concrete solutions to urban development issues facing cities around the world. It is important for us to increase international awareness of the UPC’s willingness to help achieve a global sustainable community.”

Another topic the discussion focused on was the UPC’s proposed theme of “sustainable resources for future cities”, which highlights that human capital, education, mobility, ideas and information are vital for sustainable urban development.

“We are proud to have contributed to many notable milestones, in accordance with the Abu Dhabi Plan. These achievements follow in the footsteps of the late Sheikh Zayed, whose vision for a sustainable future lives on today in the UPC’s policies and practices. The UPC will continue its efforts in promoting Abu Dhabi as a global centre for cultural exchange and sustainable innovation,” added Ahbabi.

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