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Mussaffah, Abu Dhabi

Revitalisation of Mussafah District in Abu Dhabi (2011)

Scheme design under consideration of Estidama and the Master Plan Abu Dhabi 2030

Study Background

Despite of foreign investment diminishing during the financial recession of recent years, Abu Dhabi remains as one of the largest real estate development sites world wide. In 2010, the Urban Planning Council of Abu Dhabi UPC invited The International Society of City and Regional Planners ISOCARP to explore redevelopment solutions for the industrial stie of Mussafah, located south east of the Abu Dhabi Island and just south of the of the future Capital District Core and Grand Mosque District. This exercise involved several workshops and training sessions with the participation of experienced international planners, academics and international young planners, as well as local Emirati young planners.

Current Land Uses in

Mussafah

Discussion and analysis of potential improvement Mussafah Mussafah District is today one of the industrial hubs of Abu Dhabi, together with Mafraq Industrial Zone, the high tech industrial park adjacent to the International Airport and the New Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone. Mussafah covers around 30 km². Its orthogonal street grid is a particular feature, with most large plots with a square shape of 1x1km. Despite of being heavy and light industry the main economic activity in Mussafah, the district has also an important number of habitation neighbourhoods scattered all around the area. This mix represents the hidden challenge of Mussafah, because most workers and residents are low income expatriates from North Africa and South-/ East Asia, mostly India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal. And their living conditions and quality of public space are comparatively insufficient. Discussion sessions with local planners Interdisciplinary discussion During the discussion and analysis process it became clear for the design team that so far in Abu Dhabi the applied approaches for urban design and sustainability have not an inclusive, large impact and is compromising the local identity and character of the culture and its people. Measures are rather oriented to follow global trends and have a high cost for the achieved impact yield. The team as well perceived that local values and the uniqueness of the place are not being successfully incorporated in the design solutions.

Vision

How can Mussafah be positively transformed, without losing its current economic functions Fortunately, the considerations pointed out during the discussion sessions have been meanwhile identified and included in the Master Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 under the approach "Estidama" (Arabic for Sustainability). Under these principles, our main vision for Mustafah revitalisation proposes two main points: 1 The preservation of Mussafah as an industrial hub for Abu Dhabi, incorporating solutions for improving its efficiency and environmental impact 2 Delivering inclusive solutions to improve the conditions of sectors for the habitation of resident workers and their families, reducing their exposure to the hazards of the heavy industry and improving their living quality and their public space quality. These solutions shall involve the conservation of the industrial character of the site with recycling and reusing existing structures, mixing local culture and values in the design ideas in a stepwise transformation. Five different approaches were developed, which in combination shall ensure that a mix of uses and activities progressively leads to a diversified economy, which provides enhanced living and working conditions for residents and workers, yet not challenging the main role of Mussafah as an industrial hub for Abu Dhabi.

1 District Mode

The district mode suggests to concentrate the industrial operation in Mussafah in an area covering around 65% of the existing peninsula, thus improving the efficiency of the use of space and reducing the amount of vacant and underused land (which makes around 20 - 25% of Mussafah today). In filling the gaps, particular requirements can be delivered under consideration of different plot sizes, accessibility, emissions, etc. Improving the use of space and infrastructure Reuse of resources and by-products (heating, cooling, energy, water, etc) with the combination of compatible industries (industrial symbiosis). Examples: Plants which produce heat in their manufacturing Industrial can be located close to plants where heat is needed for food processing, distillation, biological or biochemical reactions. This can include processes like bioremediation of contaminated soil from the oil industry, biogas production, water recycling, etc. Other proposed solutions for improving use of industrial functions A smart arrangement of related industrial plants may allow the allocation of shared spaces for (just in time) delivery of components and goods, despatch and staff facilities. Administration and staff catering may be outsourced and located in shared areas in midway sites, which may as well be less exposed to noise and other emissions. This arrangement may as well separate access roads for staff and goods, improving traffic and reducing the amount of impervious surfaces. Precipitation in Abu Dhabi reaches around 60 l/m²a. Plants with large roofs can be designed and arranged for collecting dew and rain water which can be used for irrigation or for industrial applications. Centralized grey water collectors can be connected to local tanks, filtered and used for irrigation or toilet flushing on site.

2 Dots Mode

Mussafah contains dispersed worker camps distributed around the industrial complex. These buildings are exposed to permanent emissions and do not provide proper conditions of privacy, hygiene and basic services. The dot mode proposes the distribution of service and amenity infrastructure for workers of Mussafah, which shall replace current insufficient accommodation camps. Services may include social, healthcare and legal advise, as well as facilities for sanitary use, catering, communication and religious purposes. The type of services can be chosen according to available site and location. Dots shall be accessed within 5 minutes walking time from working place. The dots mode as a smart area management option can be used to control built density numbers. Each dot will provide services and amenities for expatriate workers employed in Mussafah. Accommodation shall be concentrated in areas outside the industrial core (see patch mode), and be provided with improved conditions for workers and their families. Sketch of a proposed industrial brown site conversion into a local fair and information site. The conserved hall structure maintains the industrial character and provides shading for a cycling and walking path.

3 Strip Mode

Strips are proposed as transition buffers between heavy industry and other land uses, especially commercial, services and residential use districts. These zones combine light industry in small scale, services, green, parks and "special use zones" which will provide a flexible space for future and organic growth. Sketch representing how an underused industrial site can be adapted to provide rest and amenity areas as well as retail and catering space for visitors and workers. Xeriscaping is proposed to reduce watering and maintenance costs of green.

4 Edge Mode

The edge mode proposes a similar scale as in the strip mode, except that it contains mixed infrastructure of retail, services, some gastronomy, showrooms for some manufacturing industry in Mussafah (furniture, automobile and parts, machines, electronics, etc.) It has an advantageous location along the existing motorway which connects the international airport with the new Capital District and the neighbour cities south of Abu Dhabi. The edge will also be connected with the future regional railway and become an intermodal hub.

5 Patch Mode (Residential)

The purposes of the Patch and district mode are similar, increasing the use of available space for a more efficient population density. The patch mode has a strictly residential function, with related services and public space design. The patch incorporates as well the feature of traditional Arab communities: the Fareej (arrangement of buildings with an inner courtyard), Sikkak or narrow pedestrian paths which reduce solar heat and increase shadows are strategically distributed and oriented to provide a natural cooling effect to streets and buildings. Patch Mode Mix of public and private space The scheme (see sketch) proposes additional features: The patch shall be located along the coast line to take advantage of the cooling breeze and also to lead sea water into the neighbourhood in (1) small canals and water features for cooling purposes. The Fareej neighbourhood is designed with a (2) central transversal road which turns into a local high street. Parking facilities are distributed along this road in the underground, which releases space for public sites. The high street is within 5 minutes walk time from any place in the Fareej. The North-South Sikkak are oriented in an angle (3) that visually connects directly to the Grand Mosque. Commercial activity (mustard colour) is concentrated around the high street and Meyadeen, residential buildings and public facilities (orange), such as schools, kindergarden and healthcare are in close vicinity to residents Multi-family buildings are oriented to an inner courtyard, which may contain a water feature, vegetation or other shadow spending elements. Some inner courtyards are semi private and can be crossed by neighbours for more direct pedestrian connections. Ground floors accommodate public services, small scale cafes, shops, post office and other services. This allows the inner courtyards to be mostly open for local pedestrians, which increases permeability and walkability. Each Fareej contains a neighbourhood mosque surrounded by a Meyadeen, which is at the same time a gathering site for families and children. The high streets contain as well child care facilities, schools and shaded walking paths. New habitation architecture shall combine traditional building techniques with energy efficient materials and solutions. Thick external walls store sun heating and reduce heat transmission into the inner rooms. Small openings avoid hot air entering the living areas without reducing natural light gain. Convection lanterns and traditional wind catching (1) "Malqaf" (towers and openings) are combined with (2) evaporation cooling to create a natural ventilation inside the buildings, the way it has been done traditionally for centuries in the Arabic world. Shaded common areas on ground floor and vegetation in courtyards are meeting points for residents and neighbours, and roof gardens can also be used during the cool evenings. Proposed neighbourhood scheme, containing a main road with surrounding commercial activity and residential, multi-family buildings
REVITALIZATION
International ISOCARP Young Planners  Thomas Buhler, Belgium Madalen Gonzalez Bereziartua, Spain Zeynep Gunay, Turkey Niels Kropman, Netherlands Mira Milakovic, Serbia Wai Ki Pang, Hong Kong Rolf Schuett, Germany/ Bolivia Peter Vanden Abeele, Netherlands
© 2006 - 2015 Systemarchi

Mussaffah, Abu

Dhabi

Revitalisation of Mussafah

District in Abu Dhabi (2011)

Scheme design under consideration of Estidama and the Master Plan Abu Dhabi 2030

Study Background

Despite of foreign investment diminishing during the financial recession of recent years, Abu Dhabi remains as one of the largest real estate development sites world wide. In 2010, the Urban Planning Council of Abu Dhabi UPC invited The International Society of City and Regional Planners ISOCARP to explore redevelopment solutions for the industrial stie of Mussafah, located south east of the Abu Dhabi Island and just south of the of the future Capital District Core and Grand Mosque District. This exercise involved several workshops and training sessions with the participation of experienced international planners, academics and international young planners, as well as local Emirati young planners.

Current Land Uses in

Mussafah

Discussion and analysis of potential improvement Mussafah Mussafah District is today one of the industrial hubs of Abu Dhabi, together with Mafraq Industrial Zone, the high tech industrial park adjacent to the International Airport and the New Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone. Mussafah covers around 30 km². Its orthogonal street grid is a particular feature, with most large plots with a square shape of 1x1km. Despite of being heavy and light industry the main economic activity in Mussafah, the district has also an important number of habitation neighbourhoods scattered all around the area. This mix represents the hidden challenge of Mussafah, because most workers and residents are low income expatriates from North Africa and South-/ East Asia, mostly India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal. And their living conditions and quality of public space are comparatively insufficient. Discussion sessions with local planners Interdisciplinary discussion During the discussion and analysis process it became clear for the design team that so far in Abu Dhabi the applied approaches for urban design and sustainability have not an inclusive, large impact and is compromising the local identity and character of the culture and its people. Measures are rather oriented to follow global trends and have a high cost for the achieved impact yield. The team as well perceived that local values and the uniqueness of the place are not being successfully incorporated in the design solutions.

Vision

How can Mussafah be positively transformed, without losing its current economic functions Fortunately, the considerations pointed out during the discussion sessions have been meanwhile identified and included in the Master Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 under the approach "Estidama" (Arabic for Sustainability). Under these principles, our main vision for Mustafah revitalisation proposes two main points: 1 The preservation of Mussafah as an industrial hub for Abu Dhabi, incorporating solutions for improving its efficiency and environmental impact 2 Delivering inclusive solutions to improve the conditions of sectors for the habitation of resident workers and their families, reducing their exposure to the hazards of the heavy industry and improving their living quality and their public space quality. These solutions shall involve the conservation of the industrial character of the site with recycling and reusing existing structures, mixing local culture and values in the design ideas in a stepwise transformation. Five different approaches were developed, which in combination shall ensure that a mix of uses and activities progressively leads to a diversified economy, which provides enhanced living and working conditions for residents and workers, yet not challenging the main role of Mussafah as an industrial hub for Abu Dhabi.

1 District Mode

The district mode suggests to concentrate the industrial operation in Mussafah in an area covering around 65% of the existing peninsula, thus improving the efficiency of the use of space and reducing the amount of vacant and underused land (which makes around 20 -25% of Mussafah today). In filling the gaps, particular requirements can be delivered under consideration of different plot sizes, accessibility, emissions, etc. Improving the use of space and infrastructure Reuse of resources and by- products (heating, cooling, energy, water, etc) with the combination of compatible industries (industrial symbiosis). Examples: Plants which produce heat in their manufacturing Industrial can be located close to plants where heat is needed for food processing, distillation, biological or biochemical reactions. This can include processes like bioremediation of contaminated soil from the oil industry, biogas production, water recycling, etc. Other proposed solutions for improving use of industrial functions A smart arrangement of related industrial plants may allow the allocation of shared spaces for (just in time) delivery of components and goods, despatch and staff facilities. Administration and staff catering may be outsourced and located in shared areas in midway sites, which may as well be less exposed to noise and other emissions. This arrangement may as well separate access roads for staff and goods, improving traffic and reducing the amount of impervious surfaces. Precipitation in Abu Dhabi reaches around 60 l/m²a. Plants with large roofs can be designed and arranged for collecting dew and rain water which can be used for irrigation or for industrial applications. Centralized grey water collectors can be connected to local tanks, filtered and used for irrigation or toilet flushing on site.

2 Dots Mode

Mussafah contains dispersed worker camps distributed around the industrial complex. These buildings are exposed to permanent emissions and do not provide proper conditions of privacy, hygiene and basic services. The dot mode proposes the distribution of service and amenity infrastructure for workers of Mussafah, which shall replace current insufficient accommodation camps. Services may include social, healthcare and legal advise, as well as facilities for sanitary use, catering, communication and religious purposes. The type of services can be chosen according to available site and location. Dots shall be accessed within 5 minutes walking time from working place. The dots mode as a smart area management option can be used to control built density numbers. Each dot will provide services and amenities for expatriate workers employed in Mussafah. Accommodation shall be concentrated in areas outside the industrial core (see patch mode), and be provided with improved conditions for workers and their families. Sketch of a proposed industrial brown site conversion into a local fair and information site. The conserved hall structure maintains the industrial character and provides shading for a cycling and walking path.

3 Strip Mode

Strips are proposed as transition buffers between heavy industry and other land uses, especially commercial, services and residential use districts. These zones combine light industry in small scale, services, green, parks and "special use zones" which will provide a flexible space for future and organic growth. Sketch representing how an underused industrial site can be adapted to provide rest and amenity areas as well as retail and catering space for visitors and workers. Xeriscaping is proposed to reduce watering and maintenance costs of green.

4 Edge Mode

The edge mode proposes a similar scale as in the strip mode, except that it contains mixed infrastructure of retail, services, some gastronomy, showrooms for some manufacturing industry in Mussafah (furniture, automobile and parts, machines, electronics, etc.) It has an advantageous location along the existing motorway which connects the international airport with the new Capital District and the neighbour cities south of Abu Dhabi. The edge will also be connected with the future regional railway and become an intermodal hub.

5 Patch Mode (Residential)

The purposes of the Patch and district mode are similar, increasing the use of available space for a more efficient population density. The patch mode has a strictly residential function, with related services and public space design. The patch incorporates as well the feature of traditional Arab communities: the Fareej (arrangement of buildings with an inner courtyard), Sikkak or narrow pedestrian paths which reduce solar heat and increase shadows are strategically distributed and oriented to provide a natural cooling effect to streets and buildings. Patch Mode Mix of public and private space The scheme (see sketch) proposes additional features: The patch shall be located along the coast line to take advantage of the cooling breeze and also to lead sea water into the neighbourhood in (1) small canals and water features for cooling purposes. The Fareej neighbourhood is designed with a (2) central transversal road which turns into a local high street. Parking facilities are distributed along this road in the underground, which releases space for public sites. The high street is within 5 minutes walk time from any place in the Fareej. The North-South Sikkak are oriented in an angle (3) that visually connects directly to the Grand Mosque. Commercial activity (mustard colour) is concentrated around the high street and Meyadeen, residential buildings and public facilities (orange), such as schools, kindergarden and healthcare are in close vicinity to residents Multi-family buildings are oriented to an inner courtyard, which may contain a water feature, vegetation or other shadow spending elements. Some inner courtyards are semi private and can be crossed by neighbours for more direct pedestrian connections. Ground floors accommodate public services, small scale cafes, shops, post office and other services. This allows the inner courtyards to be mostly open for local pedestrians, which increases permeability and walkability. Each Fareej contains a neighbourhood mosque surrounded by a Meyadeen, which is at the same time a gathering site for families and children. The high streets contain as well child care facilities, schools and shaded walking paths. New habitation architecture shall combine traditional building techniques with energy efficient materials and solutions. Thick external walls store sun heating and reduce heat transmission into the inner rooms. Small openings avoid hot air entering the living areas without reducing natural light gain. Convection lanterns and traditional wind catching (1) "Malqaf" (towers and openings) are combined with (2) evaporation cooling to create a natural ventilation inside the buildings, the way it has been done traditionally for centuries in the Arabic world. Shaded common areas on ground floor and vegetation in courtyards are meeting points for residents and neighbours, and roof gardens can also be used during the cool evenings. Proposed neighbourhood scheme, containing a main road with surrounding commercial activity and residential, multi-family buildings
REVITALIZATION
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