Reinventing urban spaces critical to smart city development

Dubai Landscaping

Across the globe, cities have grown at a rapid rate to meet the demands and needs of the soaring urban population. Cities were designed to be urban growth places, however, with urban development ramping up over the years, and the rise in skyscraper and high-rise tower construction has vastly reduced the share of public spaces and green covers, including public parks.

To maintain a social environmental balance, there remains a pressing need for cities to reinvent urban spaces. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined in 2015, comprises of 17 goals to be achieved by 2030 across the globe, a few of which focus on public spaces. In building a smart city, urban designers need to bear in mind the sustainability aspect, and follow a human-centric approach in design.

A significant amount of importance is attributed to how the availability of public spaces improves the quality of life for its residents. Designers are following the concept of placemaking, using a holistic approach to understand how people use places and developing spaces that are functional. Landscape and public realm play a key role in driving the quality of life in the city.

In Dubai, projects such as City Walk, Kite beach, Boxpark and the most recently launched, Bluewaters are some of the most noteworthy examples of creating an activity-driven environment that builds a community, promotes the happiness and well-being of the residents. Landscape-centric spaces make for vibrant public areas, gathering the attention of its residents and making it a popular spot.

In following a citizen-centric and landscape-first approach while designing a city, cities thrive tremendously. There is a great demand for creating sustainable projects within the Emirate of Dubai. The Government of Dubai has deployed various technological solutions to achieve its smart city ambition and is very keen on promoting smart sustainable city.


Under the theme, ‘building healthy natural environments and sustainable communities”, this region’s largest and most prominent landscaping conference – the Middle East Smart Landscape Summit, being held on 18-19 March 2019 at Hotel Roda Al Bustan, Dubai, will emphasize on the different approaches and practices to be followed in designing a sustainable and smart city.

For more information, log on to Follow the Summit on social media with the hashtag #MELAND.