A long-term masterplanning scheme has just been unveiled by Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) to rejuvenate a 1,770 hectare site located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The Shahama and Bahia Revitalisation Master Plan is the product of meticulous communications with the Abu Dhabi Municipality, local residents (there are currently 26,950 individuals living in the region) and prominent members of the community, including a week-long charrette hosted by the UPC and a Community Day during which 140 participants – including community members and volunteers – voiced their desires and concerns for the scheme.
As a result of this intense engagement with the site’s primary stakeholders, five key themes arose which have been folded into the Shahama and Bahia Revitalisation Master Plan. These are: the formulation of town centres with an accessible transport hub and retail facilities; a range of residential developments connected by pedestrianised networks and numerous courtyards; a redefined coastal community with various amenities to densify under-developed areas; the creation of a systematic network of pathways and transit connections; and a strong focus on issues of sustainability, including water, energy and irrigation strategies.
H. E. Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager of UPC commented: “The community involvement exercise implemented by UPC for the formulation of this masterplan is in tune with our sustainability initiative, Estidama, which aims to inspire and increase citizen’s involvement by identifying the key motivations driving people to interact with the Abu Dhabi 2030’s sustainable vision to improve community, environmental, social, economic and cultural responsibility.”
Encompassing the areas of Al Shahama, Al Bahia and Al Bahia New (Coastal Bahia), the large-scale development will look to inject new life into the region by establishing an accessible community where pedestrianised walkways lead to a thriving network of health facilities, retail complexes, entertainment centres, educational hubs and social plazas. Green spaces also feature heavily, including a number of public parks each with its own unique theme, such as the Estidama Story Park which boasts an outdoor library to encourage active learning and provides examples of the four pillars of Estidama.