Intensive Training Programme YYPs 2013/2014 in Abu Dhabi UAE

Abu Dhabi UPC Graduation Ceremony

In 2013 and 2014 ISOCARP – on request of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council – was conducting a training program “Introduction to Urbanism” for young Emirati planners. This was officially concluded on February 26th, when in the Eastern Mangroves Hotel in Abu Dhabi the official Graduation Ceremony took place. The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council was officially represented by Mr Abdulla Al Sahi, UPC Executive Director and Ms Hussa A. Khalfan Al Marzouqi, UPC Human Resources Manager. The event was also attended by ISOCARP President, Prof Milica Bajic-Brkovic, and Vice President for Young Planning Professionals, Dr Piotr Lorens, as well as by two of the program tutors, Dhiru Thadani and Daniele Vettorato. The entire ceremony was chaired by Mr Amal Mourad, UPC Corporate Communication Manager, and the organization was skillfully coordinated by Ms Sally Singleton from UPC. Unfortunately, the Scientific Coordinator of this project, Prof Zeynep Enlil, as well as remaining tutors: Ric Stephens, Nupur Prothi Khanna, Tomasz Majda and Yigit Evren, could not make their way to Abu Dhabi this time. But without their hard work this project could not have been concluded in a successful way. Special words of appreciation should be passed to Prof Zeynep Enlil, who carefully managed the entire process from ISOCARP side.

This official event was the opportunity to present the official certificates to the program participants – young Emirati planners. Final presentations of their projects took place in two rounds, one of which was organized in late November 2013 and the final one the day before the graduation ceremony. Both of these constituted the opportunity to discuss various issues associated with urban development in Abu Dhabi. Materials developed during this course will be included in the final report, which shall be completed soon and presented in a form of a CD publication.

Finally, during the event the ISOCARP delegation managed to conduct a series of conversations with UPC officials regarding a possible continuation of ISOCARP involvement in developing training programs for the Young Planning Professionals from Abu Dhabi. It is expected that later this year further arrangements regarding this project will be made and that the next round of training could take place in Abu Dhabi in early fall. Also, we were very happy to hear the words of appreciation of our work, which were expressed by Mr Amal Mourad, UPC Corporate Communication Manager. It was also exciting to exchange some ideas with him regarding developing the cooperation between UPC and ISOCARP also in other fields. We hope for further successful continuation of this project in the near future and to establish a long-run cooperation pattern between our organizations.

The celebration event was covered by the Emirati Press: Press_Release_Modern_Urbanism_Forum_Graduates_Press_Cutting_Report.

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Some background information

ISOCARP assisted the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) in conducting training programs for young Emirati planners as an ‘Introduction to Urbanism’. This collaboration with ISOCARP is seen an effort towards achieving the grand vision of the illustrious UAE leadership in making UPC a global centre of excellence and quality in the field of urban planning and design, based on the best experiences of local, Gulf and international practice.

Held as two distinct sessions, Cohort 1 in September and Cohort II in November of 2013 saw participation of Planners and related professionals from the Abu Dhabi Municipality, Al Ain Municipality, Department of Transport and Fujairah Municipality amongst others. The ten modules offered as part of the course elaborated on Planning for Abu Dhabi; the Regional perspective; Historic evolution of cities citing successful projects from the disciplines of Transportation, Urban Design, Economics and Planning Regulations amongst others. The central idea was to provide a holistic perspective to enable them to participate in the future shaping and development of the Emirate’s settlements. The participants presented papers on projects of their choice as part of Assessments for this training. The Cohort I was led by Ric Stephens (U.S.A) assisted by Nupur Prothi Khanna (India) and Yigit Evren (Turkey). Dhiru Thadani (USA) led Cohort II with Daniele Vettorato (Italy), Tomasz Majda (Poland) and Yigit Evren (Turkey). The programs were organised under the guidance of Zeynep Enlil and Piotr Lorens.

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