NAT DMO KARAMA 1-1635432691544
Artistic impression of the sustainable urban project to redesign Al Karama , one of Dubai's densely populated areas. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Municipality and the C40 Network announced that ‘Studio Dar’ from the American University in Dubai (AUD) has won in a competition to develop a sustainable urban project in Al Karama area.

The contest, launched in January in cooperation with the General Secretariat of the Executive Council, is part of the ‘Reinventing Cities’ global competition for university students.

The global competition organised by C40 and 18 global cities is dedicated to transforming cities in the face of climate change by driving an active collaboration between cities, students and academia. The initiative seeks to reimagine how urban areas can be planned and designed for a more sustainable and inclusive future. More than 1,000 students from 150 universities participated in redesigning 18 areas in 18 cities.

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Urban solutions

As one of the cities within the C40 network, Dubai was invited to propose a specific area where participating teams can propose urban solutions and designs. University students from across the world were later invited to participate in developing sustainable urban designs and ideas that contribute to the development of Al Karama area. The competition to revitalise the Karama area attracted the participation of a number of teams from prestigious universities in England and Dubai.

Abdullah Mohammad Al Basti, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai and Vice Chairman of the Steering Committee of the C40 Network for South and West Asia, said: “We continuously seek to strengthen Dubai’s position as a global hub for innovations and solutions, especially in the field of environmental sustainability, in alignment with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to place sustainability at the heart of the development process.

Al Basti added that involving youth in finding solutions to present day challenges, especially climate change, will contribute to achieving a better future for next generations.

Global position

Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said: “At Dubai Municipality, we are always committed to strengthening the country’s regional and global position in innovation and various other developmental fields, including sustainability, as per the directives of the leadership to prepare for the next decade.”

Al Hajri added that Dubai Municipality is keen to learn from the various experiences and knowledge of all community segments. The competition launched by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group seeks to encourage cities to adopt sustainable urban designs, he added.

Shruti Narayan, Regional Director of the C40 Network for South and West Asia, said: “Nine months ago, C40 Network with 18 cities from around the world identified a number of areas that could be rehabilitated. So, university students were invited to participate in designing the right solutions, and it was great that more than 1,000 students from 150 universities responded to this call globally, sharing their vision and ideas to promote green and thriving neighbourhoods.”

The winning project

“The winning project in Dubai was particularly inspiring as it provides an integrated vision that prioritises the needs of residents, and contributes to accelerating the transition towards a sustainable future with significant reductions in carbon levels. We are confident in the vital role that students and academic institutions play in joining cities in the fight against climate change, and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group is proud to support Dubai Municipality in this pioneering initiative,” she said.

The winning team was able to present a set of creative ideas and designs for a sustainable urban project in the Karama area. ‘Studio Dar’ stood out due to their ability to propose modern designs that meet the needs and sustainable requirements of the area.

The team addressed the importance of implementing bicycle paths as well as seating areas and walkways, in addition to adding vital activities and more green spaces.