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Abu Dhabi University Organizes its First International Urban Planning Conference

The Department of Architecture and Design at Abu Dhabi University (ADU), organized its first-ever international urban planning conference under the theme ‘Constructing an urban future: the sustainability and resilience of cities including infrastructure, communities, and architecture’.

The two-day conference was headlined by frontline speakers including Eike Sindlinger, Associate at Arup’s Integrated City Planning Unit in London and Professor Shams Eldien Naga, Founder of Naga Architects, headquartered in Dubai. Drawing the participation of researchers, practitioners, from government, architects, and designers as well as ADU’s students and faculty, the event addressed some of the common challenges surrounding urban planning in an era of migration and displacement of populations, rapid urbanization and dramatic surges in the global population.

Speaking on the occasion, Mohammad Elkaftangui, Assistant Professor, Architecture and Interior Design at Abu Dhabi University, said: “The two-day conference highlights some of the key global challenges faced by people in urban environments such as population growth, urban sprawl, pollution, and congestion. The experts outlined that a multi-sectoral approach needs to be implemented in achieving the priority areas of urban planning – buildings, urban mobility with reliable and affordable public transportation, clean energy generation from local sources, waste management resource recovery, among others.

“This event has been a revelation to our students and served as a platform for the experts and stakeholders to network and share best practices and stay up-to-date with new developments in the field. Our students have benefitted considerably from this learning experience outside the classrooms. Events such as this one allow them to understand the real-life challenges in this dynamic sector.”

The 2014 edition of the United Nations’ World Urbanization Prospects report stated that by 2050, 66 percent of the world’s population will live in urban environments. Already in that year, some 54 percent of the global population lived in cities.

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