Polycentric cities are more sustainable and Dubai stands out among the global cities as it has a number of clusters that are clearly separated from each other, an industry executive said during a conference in Dubai on Sunday.
Dubai currently has 6 clusters – Downtown Dubai and Business Bay, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Lakes, Al Satwa & DIFC, Barsha Heights and Deira – with 309 buildings of 100-metre plus and combined height of 56,471.6 metres.
While addressing the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Conference in Dubai on Sunday, Mounib Hammoud, CEO, Jeddah Economic City, said mega cities with 10 million population struggle to keep pace with demand. While hyper-cities suffer from ability for positive improvement.
“If we can give mega cities polycentricity with local amenities, they will be more sustainable. Dubai is truly a polycentric city. Thanks to its quality transport infrastructure, it is easier to get from one place to another which is necessary for a polycentric city. There are lessons that we must learn and continue,” he said.
“Cities cannot live without both soft and hard infrastructure. It is necessary that infrastructure keeps up with the demand as the world will see unintended effects on the cities from climate change.”
He noted that other key requirements are walkability for residents and sustainable and friendly environment which allow human ingenuity to flourish in a quieter environment.
Hammoud noted that e-commerce, e-banking and other new-age technologies will make everything accessible for people living far from main cities in the near future.
Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman, Emaar Properties, praised Dubai Creek Tower, which will be the tallest tower in the world on completion, for its elegance. “I still believe that Burj Khalifa is a very elegant and beautiful building. We owe it to the society and people we work with to do something special.”
Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO, Thyssenkrupp Elevator, said Dubai is definitely one of the key centres as it sees a lot of construction of tall buildings.
“Dubai has a very polycentric as well as horizontal approach. Dubai is more special because it tries out new things. If you go to Hong Kong and New York, it is a traditional style structures; people are more focused on what has been built. But innovators power is more seen here in Dubai,” he added.
Schierenbeck noted that skybridges and connecting buildings are becoming new trend as buildings become taller. “If you are building horizontally, then walking for long distance is not very practical and developers want to connect towers. So we propose what are new technologies that can make that possible,” he said on the sidelines of the conference.
The company has developed a new lift without cable. “Normal lifts can go up to 600-700 metres and you have to change it but its new product can go as high as you want. So it’s not limiting how high you can go vertically.”