New guidelines to make Abu Dbabi roads more pedesbian friendly

New guidelines to make Abu Dbabi roads more pedesbian friendlyImage Credit: Courtesy Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council

Abu Dhabi pedestrians could soon benefit from a new set of guidelines for the installation of underground utilities in the emirate's urban developments.

The Utility Corridors Desi&n Manual (UCDM), launched by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), aims to reduce the width of public right of way (street width) and potentially the distance pedestrians have to walk to cross roads, by making more efficient use of the space below the street.

Narrow design

The manual provides planners, developers and engineers with clear guidelines for the exact location and width of underground corridors, for utilities such as water pipes, storm water drainage, power cables, fibre-optic cables, sewage pipes and district cooling systems beneath new roads across the emirate.

Arranging these corridors into a narrower configuration will enable developers to design more pedestrianfriendly streets, with shorter distances to walk. The UCDM also oversees the provision of corridors for trees, streetlights and landscaping around new streets.

To produce the manual, the UPC collaborated with a number of stakeholders, including the Department of Municipal Affairs, Abu Dhabi City Municipality, Al Ain City Municipality, Western Region Municipality, Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council and the Department of Transport, as well as utility  companies and service providers.

The new provisions complement the standards and guidelines set out in the Abu Dhabi Urban Street Design Manual v1.1 (USDM) launched by the UPC in 2012 and the Public Realm Design Manual launched in 2011. Studies have shown that there is typically a 25 per cent reduction in the right of way when the UCDM, in conjunction with the USDM, is used to design street layouts.

Cost reduction

A financial evaluation of the design of new streets and the retrofitting of existing streets completed in November 2012 also demonstrated a 7-23 per cent cost saving.

Mohamed Al Khadar, Executive Director of Development Review and Estidama at UPC, said: "The UCDM will be added to our suite of planning policies, regulations, guidelines and manuals that drive our Complete Sustainable Communities initiative forward for the creation of more comfortable, liveable and sustainable communities."

Source: Property Weekly,


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