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Netherlands can help Qatar build smart cities: Envoy.

Ramy Salama


A thought leadership session on Urban Design and Architecture aimed at examining contributions of prominent architects and infrastructure firms from the Netherlands to Qatar's future development was organised by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Doha in collaboration with Philips at the Msheireb Enrichment Centre on Monday.

The event was attended by the Ambassador of the Netherlands HE Yvette van Eechoud and decision makers from Ashghal, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Aspire, Qrail, Msheireb properties and the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) as well as local architects and urban design professionals.

Speaking to Qatar Tribune, Eechoud explained that the event was envisioned as a sort of forum to discuss sustainable architecture and infrastructure, a central topic in light of the current stage of the nation's development and preparations for the upcoming World Cup in 2022.

The Ambassador said"we organised this meeting of people working in urban design and architecture so we can look together, the Qatari with the Dutch experts and participants, to see how we can organise the built environment to make sure we have livable and especially sustainable cities, and what we can learn from each other."

Eechoud underlined the added value Dutch urban designers and architects can offer for current and upcoming developments in Qatar, pointing out that executives from"the main architecture, construction and engineering firms in the Netherlands" were present at the session.

She added that"in order to build both an efficient and a pleasant habitat for citizens on limited land, you need to design smart cities. Dutch excellence in innovation originates from the fact that the Netherlands is a densely-populated country with limited available land and a lot of ambition. Dutch urban designers and architects have a unique way of combining the beautiful and the useful, introducing original and innovative concepts, and sparking dialogue with the urban environment and its dwellers."

The session also saw the interaction in a panel discussion between Architect Nasser al Amadi of the QMA, Ameena Ahmadi, Architect Manager at Qatar Foundation, the Chief Design Officer of Philips Lighting Rogier van der Heide and co-founder of UN studio architects, Caroline Bos, sharing their vision on building smart and sustainable cities.

Notably, Amadi underlined the importance of balancing maintaining the local character and identity and, as it were, future-proofing the country's architecture and infrastructure.

The panel discussion was followed by a live streaming of the TEDxBinnenhof in The Netherlands, a unique setting starring 10 young innovators presenting Dutch Solutions for Global Challenges.

The unprecedented TEDx format was broadcast simultaneously to 40 countries worldwide.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Apr 1, 2014
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