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New planning standards introduced in Abu Dhabi.

Every resident of Abu Dhabi will enjoy easy access to high-quality community facilities and services over the coming years under new standards unveiled by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC).

The new Abu Dhabi Community Facility Planning Standards (CFPS) set out the specific social, educational, cultural, recreational and healthcare facilities that must be provided in new and existing communities across the Emirate.

Depending on the size, demographics and needs of a development, these might include police stations, sports centres, schools and hospitals, amongst others.

The document provides policies and guidance for government agencies, developers and planners as to the required number, type and location of community facilities in project proposals.

For example, it stipulates that a community of between 6,000 and 10,000 residents must have access to a 'neighbourhood centre' consisting of a community centre, a police point, an early-learning centre and a small medical clinic.

A 'district centre', comprising a post office, a large health clinic, a library, a sports centre, municipal offices and a community support centre, must be provided for larger developments of 30,000 to 40,000 residents.

The document states that a 'sub-regional centre' must be provided for every 80,000 residents. This would contain a community support centre, a cultural centre and a multi-purpose hall, in addition to all the amenities found in a neighbourhood centre and a district centre.

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Eng. Amer Al Hammadi, executive director, planning and infrastructure sector, UPC, said: "The launch of our Abu Dhabi Community Facility Planning Standards is another important milestone for the UPC and for the future development ofthe Emirate in line with Vision 2030.

"The government recognises that successful, healthy and sustainable communities are well served by a full range of community facilities that are appropriate to residents' needs and which are accessible to all. The standards set out how this will be achieved.

"The CFPS will ensure that community facilities are considered right from the start of the planning process so that everyone in Abu Dhabi has equal access to community facilities, which is a clear direction from our leadership. This direction has resulted in a truly collaborative process with all stakeholders involved."

Any new development of at least 2,000 permanent residents will be expected to abide by the CFPS. The standards would be applied on a case-by-case basis to existing communities as and when they are undergoing revitalisation work, said Eng. Al Hammadi.

Under the guidelines, the provision of facilities such as schools, police and petrol stations will be calculated according to the demographic breakdown of the particular development proposal. For example, schools will be based on the number of children in the area, while civil defence stations will be determined by analysis of need and existing response times.

The CFPS requires that community facilities are delivered in line with the development of a neighbourhood - so schools and clinics, for example, will open up as a community is being developed rather than waiting until it is fully occupied.

The new standards were drawn up following a thorough consultation process. The UPC surveyed 11,000 households across the Emirate to ask them about their use of community services and what specific facilities they would like to see in their areas.

The UPC also collaborated with 12 government agencies, including the Department of Municipal Affairs, Abu Dhabi Education Council, Health Authority - Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, to produce the CFPS.

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Publication:Construction Week
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Sep 7, 2014
Words:587
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