At last its taken four years but its here. The National
New streets built in Abu Dhabi will be significantly more pedestrian friendly thanks to guidelines outlined by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council.
The guidelines, which appear in the Utility Corridors Design Manual (UCDM) that was launched yesterday, aim to reduce the width of public right-of-ways by making more efficient use of the space below street level. The manual provides planners, developers and engineers with guidelines for the location and width of underground corridors for utilities such as water pipes, stormwater drainage, power cables, fibre-optic cables, sewage pipes and district cooling systems beneath new streets across the emirate.
“It will ensure utility corridors are efficiently planned underground, which in turn will create more attractive and walkable streets above ground for the benefit of pedestrians,” said Mohammed Al Khadar, executive director of development review and Estidama at UPC.
For pedestrians, the changes will result in wider pavements. The new guidelines also allow for a wider space in front of businesses.
“The pavements, actually, are increasing. Today we have a huge right-of-way in Abu Dhabi, we have sometimes up to 160 metres, but the pavement sometimes goes to less than two metres, sometimes one metre,” Mr Al Hmoudi said.
The new standards will require pavements to be a minimum of two metres wide, generally, and three metres in high-density and high-traffic areas.
The UCDM guidelines will be applied to projects in Al Shawamekh, Al Shamkha, parts of Baniyas, Sector Z35 in Mohammed bin Zayed City, North Wathba Master Plan, Sila’a, Delma and Ghayathi in Al Gharbia. Many older streets will be retrofitted to meet these standards over the next 20 years.