UTC Report: The Future of Doha

                                                              

UTC Report: The Future of Doha

 
Title of the Campus: The Future of Doha – Implementing the New Urban Agenda
Organizer(s) Names: Qatar Green Building Council
Partner Organization(s):
  • College of Engineering Qatar University
  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University ''HBKU''
  • Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors (RICS)
Date and Location: Monday 15 May 2017 to Tuesday 16 May 2017 -  
Doha / Qatar / Qatar National Convention Center "QNCC"
Urban Thinkers Campus in figures:

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Executive Summary

          

QGBC was awarded the right to host Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) in Doha as part of its mission to raise awareness about sustainable living in Qatar. UTC is part of the World Urban Campaign (WUC), an initiative of UN-Habitat, which aims to raise awareness of the UN’s ‘New Urban Agenda’ across emerging cities. The Campus entitled - The Future of Doha, Implementing the new urban agenda - brought together leading Urban thinkers, government decision-makers, members of the private sectors, members of academia, students, designers and consultants to gauge Doha’s current urban development potential and the way forward for a sustainable and intelligent Doha city. UTC-Doha main themes focused on intelligent Cities, Sustainable Neighborhoods, and Private Sector engagement.
 
QGBC organized the campus in collaboration with the Department of architecture and urban planning – Qatar university, Hamad Bin Khalifa University and the Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors (RICS) as strategic partners in addition to 13 supporting partners representing local and international stakeholders.
 
UTC-Doha was inaugurated on May 15th, 2017 with a keynote speech from Prof. Dr. Tarek Azmy El-Sheikh, Regional Representative for Gulf States, Director of U.N. Habitat Office in Kuwait. Over the course of 2 days the campus hosted 6 urban labs, 6 urban thinkers sessions and 3 round table discussions with a total of 130 participants representing 53 organizations and 24 countries.
 
UTC-Doha sessions were organized under 3 themes with each theme hosting 3 rounds of interactive discussion around the main topics. Theme 1: The Neighborhood we need, in round 1   it focused on Documenting the current urban design mechanism of neighborhood design in Doha. In round 2 it discussed the considerate sustainable urbanism challenges in policy, strategy and implementation. Concluding with round 3 that evaluated the current recommendations to transform existing neighborhoods. Theme 2: The intelligent City, in round 1 it discussed the city- level planning in the case of Doha. In round 2 it discussed the Smart solutions – the role of new and emerging technologies. Concluding with round 3 that explored the urban solutions for intelligent cities with local aspirations and global challenges. Theme 3: Role of private sector, in round 1 the focus was on the drivers of change towards knowledge based economies. In round 2  it discussed clean technologies, creative economies and drivers to build creative urban technologies. Concluding with round 3 that debated the livelihoods and social economies as drivers to build inclusive cities.
 
The first 2 rounds in each theme started with an urban lab of 2 key speakers and short presentations followed by an urban thinkers session for group discussion. The third round was a roundtable  discussion  that  focused  on  solution  areas  and  key outcomes  of  each  theme. The campus was concluded with a closing plenary where participants were briefed with the main discussion topics and the key findings and recommendations.
 
 
UTC-Doha Theme 1 – The Neighborhood We Need: Key outcomes
 
the neighborhood corporeal experiences and spirits within the built environment of Doha are being drastically alerting. This is also affecting the social structure of local characteristics in Doha which poses a challenge to the general quality of neighborhoods. Therefore, it was suggested that aspects of urban quality in neighborhood could be assessed and fostered to guarantee a well-functioning neighborhood structure, leading to a high quality of urban environment.
 
UTC-Doha Theme 2 – Intelligent Cities: key outcomes
 
The city needs a 2nd ‘wave’ of urban consolidation. Smaller, thoughtful interventions to retrofit the gaps between projects, connect and consolidate a high quality public realm throughout the entire city. With some careful planning Doha could become one of the world’s most livable cities. General concern that other modes of transport especially - walking, cycling, bus and rail are not being fully considered and integrated. Although there are plenty of best practice reports implementation lags. Funding needs updating with enhanced (revenue based) municipal finance, increased rates and collection and higher levels of service. Doha has  an IT platform to enable all providers to address the city’s ‘metabolic’    and increase stakeholder
 
engagement. TASMU -Smart Qatar platform by the ministry of transport and communication  in Qatar is a real game-changer in terms of future communication and exchange between stakeholders.
 
UTC-Doha Theme 3 – Role of Private Sector: key outcomes
 
Overall, the discussions highlighted different ways through which private sector can play a critical role in building sustainable urban futures. Given the diverse background of panelists as well as their formations and professions, the sessions witnessed rich perspectives and fruitful discussions in order to make sure we have the city we need in the 21st century’s cities new urban paradigm, which will be guided by various principles identified by the UN Habitat’s World Urban Campaign. Among these principles, speakers in the urban labs often referred to three of them more than others: economically vibrant and inclusive cities; socially inclusive and engaging cities; and finally learning as well as innovating dimension. Based on these principles, speakers’ contributions revolved around various drivers of change
 
Way forward:
 
Professional talks, such as the Urban Thinking Campus and QGBC’s in-house trainings are complementary to the more human and personal campaigns such as the No Paper Day campaign, Green Life sustainability loyalty program and Qatar sustainability week, during which all members of the community in Qatar can learn about the small ways they can both benefit and contribute to the sustainability agenda. Policy, academia and the personal application of sustainability are complementary to each other. Government policies are essential to the accomplishment of a sustainable city, but these are pointless if they do not empower tangible improvements in the daily lives of people. Bridging this gap is of fundamental importance, and this is a vital part of QGBC’s role in Qatar given its mission to raise awareness about sustainable living in Qatar.
 
Qatar continues its rapid growth and development following a national vision with an emphasis on the economical, environmental, social and human priorities as the key pillars of development. It’s important to enable and increase the level of participation and partnerships that can promote productive community interaction and private sector involvement towards the efforts to the much needed urban consolidation.
 
The TASMU smart Qatar Program has a huge potential to become the needed platform to improve quality of life, enhance the delivery of public services and drive sustainable economic diversification across various sectors. TASMU can facilitate and empower community  interaction and private sector partnerships to contribute and innovate to co-create and prioritize relevant solutions and services with the various stakeholders across the board. Such goals can be achieved by stimulating the role of the governmental entities to promote and engage as a market- maker, public entrepreneur and catalyzing the demand for growth and development in response  to the stakeholders’ priorities.
 
 
UTC-Doha was an opportunity to explore and harness the principles of the New Urban Agenda  & the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs to provide implementable urban solutions that are economically feasible, replicable and scalable using the urban transformation of Doha city as a case study. Doha city is a good representative example of several emerging cities in the region, hence the importance to activate the TASMU smart Qatar program not only to tailor local urban solutions to Doha but also to capitalize on those solutions for regional and international application.
 
Through 2017 & 2018, QGBC will continue to utilize it’s established platforms like the annual Qatar Green Building Conference, Qatar Sustainability Awards and Qatar Sustainability Week in addition to UTC-Doha to facilitate effective communication channels between various partners and stakeholders. Such channels will be utilized to provide an ongoing feedback platform to monitor, assess, review, report and update the implementation actions and priorities of the new urban agenda in Doha. Additionally, QGBC will continue to explore new means of communicating with the members of the community to promote the new urban agenda while getting their priorities and feedback reported back to other stakeholders.
 
In the long term, UTC-Doha created an opportunity to explore and harness the principles of the New Urban Agenda & the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs to provide implementable urban solutions that are economically feasible, replicable and scalable using the urban transformation of Doha city as a case study. QGBC will continue to empower  collaboration among various stakeholders to promote and implement the SDGs in Qatar  through
 
it’s applied research, Education, awareness and outreach programs. Given its mission to raise awareness about sustainable living in Qatar, QGBC will continue to venture new partnership opportunities with international, regional and local stakeholders with the goal to facilitate knowledge transfer and lessons learnt to build the local capacity in driving the change towards realizing a resilient future.
 

Introduction to the Campus

Although Qatar’s urban development is a relatively young experience, with the first substantial urban settlement taking place in the 1940s, 99 percent of Qatar’s population currently live in cities. The country has taken encouraging steps towards creating a more sustainable and improved urban infrastructure. We have seen this take place as major neighborhoods, such as Msheireb Downtown Doha, Education City, Katara and Lusail City, have come to life. These major projects, may seem few in number, but are leading developments which have started to reshape Qatar’s urban landscape.
 
Doha’s urban life, despite the recent progress, faces major challenges. The increasing of waste production, the lack of regular recycling schemes, as well as an increased consumption of water and electricity, Urban sprawl, limited walkability, poor air quality and inefficient public transportation network, are some of the main challenges the government expect to tackle as part of its long-term urban development strategy. However, successfully tackling those challenges through an effective public and private sector stakeholder engagement can have a unique opportunity to drive Qatar to become a regional role model, providing that they abide by the precepts of sustainable urban development from the onset of their endeavors.
 

 
Qatar has committed itself to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (U.N. SDGs) as part of its ongoing development within the framework of Qatar National Vision 2030. An important testament to this commitment is the appointment of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, as one of the global advocates for U.N. SDGs.
 
From an international perspective, there has been several efforts to tackle the rapid increase of urban population and exponential negative impact the urban development is imposing on the environment. In light of the U.N. SDGs and UN-Habitat’s “New Urban Agenda”, tackling Qatar’s urban development challenges requires a cohesive cross-sectoral engagement strategy. What is currently lacking is comprehensive stakeholder coordination, effective public awareness and closer community engagement. Closer coordination among the key urban development parties, such as municipalities, private sector partners and public-sector institutions, is what is required to ensure these challenges are identified early on and tackled in a sustainable manner.
 
Qatar Green Building Council’s (QGBC) various initiatives including professional talks, training and education programs, public events, and outreach campaigns, provide effective ways for members of the public to learn about sustainability, get involved in campaigns, have their voices heard, and make the necessary behavior changes for a sustainable future.
 
QGBC was awarded the right to host Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) in Doha as part of its mission to raise awareness about sustainable living in Qatar. UTC is part of the World Urban Campaign (WUC), an initiative of UN-Habitat, which aims to raise awareness of the UN’s ‘New Urban Agenda’ across emerging cities. The Campus entitled - The Future of Doha, Implementing the new urban agenda - brought together leading Urban thinkers, government decision-makers, members of the private sectors, members of academia, students, designers and consultants to gauge Doha’s current urban development potential and the way forward for a sustainable and intelligent Doha city. UTC-Doha main themes focused on Intelligent Cities, Sustainable Neighborhoods, and Private Sector engagement.
 
The campus is an opportunity to explore and harness the principles of the New Urban Agenda & the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs to provide implementable urban solutions that are economically feasible, replicable and scalable using the urban transformation of Doha city as a case study. Doha city is a good representative example of several emerging cities in the region, hence the importance of the campus not only to tailor local urban solutions to Doha but also to capitalize on those solutions for regional and international application.
 
QGBC organized the campus in collaboration with Department of Architecture and Urban Planning – Qatar University, Hamad Bin Khalifa University and the Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors (RICS) as strategic partners in addition to 13 supporting partners representing local and international stakeholders.
 
Over the course of 2 days the campus hosted 6 urban labs, 6 urban thinkers sessions and 3 round table discussions with a total of 130 participants representing 53 organizations and 24 countries.
 

Summary of all sessions

UTC-Doha was inaugurated on May 15th, 2017 with a keynote speech from Prof. Dr. Tarek Azmy El-Sheikh, Regional Representative for Gulf States, Director of U.N. Habitat Office in Kuwait. Dr. El-Sheikh provided an overview about the world urban campaign and the urban thinkers campus goals and objectives. The keynote speech was followed by an executive panel that discussed means of achieving sustainable and resilient cities, focusing on Doha’s current urban development potential and the way forward for a sustainable and intelligent city. The panelists who were representing private sector, NGOs and philanthropies organizations highlighted the importance of active stakeholders’ engagement with the governmental organizations to deliver a resilient and sustainable future to our cities. Afterwards, 2 rounds of sessions took place under each theme before concluding the activities of day 1.

Day 2 of the campus was inaugurated on May 16th, 2017 with a keynote speech from Mark Walley,   RICS   Managing   Director,   EMEA.   Mr.   Walley   discussed   means   of advancing responsible business and preparing for future cities with a focus on business practices in land, construction and real estate use and investment. Mr. Walley’s speech emphasized the need for more consistency and standards to increase transparency and facilitate better collaboration between different stakeholders. The keynote speech was followed by the round table discussion of each theme before concluding with the closing plenary.

 
UTC-Doha Theme 1 – The Neighborhood We Need:
 
Round 1: Documenting current urban design mechanism of neighborhood design in the case of Doha (Governance - Planning & Design). The presentations during the urban lab showcase 2 examples of newly established neighborhood development projects in Msheireb and Lusail districts. Both case studies highlighted the challenges and opportunities in the current neighborhood planning in Doha. The urban thinkers sessions discussed means of understanding the Stakeholders, key players, governors, and structure levels that are managing  the neighborhood transformation. The discussion emphasized the need for a better collaboration on the municipality level with the community on the realization, transformation, and management of the neighborhood scale.
 
Round 2: Considerate sustainable urbanism challenges in policy, strategy and implementation (Monitoring and Evaluation). the urban lab presentations covered the principals of the transient oriented neighborhoods while highlighting the opportunities in integrating such model in a car
 
oriented city such as Doha. The second presentation traced the origins of the neighborhoods (Fareej) in Qatar and the region in an effort to recreate relevant principles that can influence the modern neighborhood planning. That was followed with the urban thinkers sessions discussing the set of policy and strategies that advocate the sustainable urbanism development. In addition  to evaluating and Comparing sustainable urbanism interventions in Doha and linking them to sustainable urbanism trends. Concluding and articulating the sustainable urbanism common ground indicators for the neighborhood unit in the case of Doha.
 
Round 3: Evaluating current recommendations to transform existing neighborhoods (Optimization of Urban Transformation process). The round table discussion conversed the integrated modification methodology (IMM) as a tool to drive urban transformation via understanding and becnhmarking the urban morphology, enviornmental performances and  energy use. Additionally, a new research by Qatar university was discussed that looks into the next generation sustainability assessment models. As a result the participants prioritized the set  of recommendations and guidelines for doha sustainable neighborhoods.
 

UTC-Doha Theme 2 – Intelligent Cities:

Round 1: City-Level Planning & Design, The Case of Doha. The round started with the urban lab during which, the discussion started with broader themes of master planning. In the case of Doha, the planning that has been completed recently (especially with regard to Rail and Mega-projects related to the FIFA Football World Cup 2022) will now need to be complemented with a second wave of development that will focus on the public realm, the spaces between the major large developments and the finer details  of  connections  between  major  areas  of  interest  in  the  city. Major themes were: place-making, retrofitting, urban infill, the role of regulation and management, and the need for improved transport. Through the urban thinkers sessions much of the discussion quickly came to focus on transport, a somewhat anticipated outcome, as most residents in Doha would note it as a major difficulty in their day-to-day living routine.  There   was concern that other modes of transport - walking, cycling, bus and rail are not being fully considered and integrated in planning.

Round 2: Smart Solutions – The Role of New and Emerging Technology. The presentations in the urban lab - two of which discussed the available technologies and the actual implementation of such technologies and one which argued for keeping people always at the center of development plans - inspired some lively debate on the role of technology in the development, monitoring, livability, and governance of the city. The urban thinkers sessions started with questioning whether smart phones and smart technology are actually dividing people, keeping them too attached to screens, rather than interacting with each other. While this was an acknowledged downside of the technology which permeates our lives, it was also recognized that new and developing smart technology is already and will continue to be extremely useful in supporting decision-making and managing key elements of daily living, such as transport, safety, logistics, and sharing of knowledge.

Round 3: Urban Solutions for Intelligent Cities – Local Aspirations and Global Challenges. The round table discussion started with 2 presentations that were very well received by participants and inspired discussion around the possibilities for interacting with and monitoring key elements of the city (health, environment, sports, culture, and economy) as well as monitoring sustainability through city indices such as the Sustainable City Index. Participants were greatly interested in the range of new initiatives coming through the TASMU program initiated by the Ministry of Transport and Communication in Qatar. The TASMU model is set to create a digital cluster that will attract ideas and investment from around the globe and act as an incubator for diversifying the economy. A main aim of the program is to make it easier for people to do business, interact with government, and have access to goods and services. The second part of  the discussion focused on KPI’s that are most useful for monitoring sustainability in the city. The main themes in this section were the selection of appropriate KPI’s and the scale at which it is suitable to measure and monitor sustainability, whether at neighborhood level or city level. Most agreed that both scales are important, first for comparing our city to others, but then neighborhood level for comparing between communities in the same city. One particular point was that indices may be too abstract and focus attention on symptoms rather than causes. Therefore,  it was  thought that awareness of  problems and potential  solutions,   communication (with stakeholders and with citizens), and knowledge sharing platforms may aid in understanding the complexity of various challenges faced in the rapid development of Doha.

UTC-Doha Theme 3 – Role of Private Sector:

Round 1: Sustainable Resources and Emerging Urban Technologies: Drivers of Change Towards Knowledge Based Economies. The speakers at the urban lab emphasized the importance of governance and partnerships as the key driver of change in implementing the new urban agenda. The key message of the panelists underlined the necessity of balancing the profit driven nature of markets with the environmental and social fabric of cities. Governance and partnerships have to generate impact on peoples’ lives, to be economically feasible, replicable and scalable, and influencing transformation. In this respect, the urban thinkers sessions discussed how the Public Private Partnerships could be considered as a viable option if they are designed effectively and executed in an efficient manner. In building sustainable urban futures, sustainable partnerships are key and they also do augment capacity building processes. The role of the markets and thereby the private sector should be to mediate between states and communities.

Round 2: Clean Technologies, Creative Economies and Drivers to Build Creative Urban Technologies. The urban lab provided examples of how another driver of change, namely, education and technology, could facilitate the interaction between states, markets and communities. For instance, a corporate social responsibility project, entitled “E-Nature” by SASOL, launched a web application to educate students on the different types of species in Qatar. It has also merged with many school competitions organized in tandem with  SASOL  and students competed to prove their competency and knowledge in the education hub cultivated by SASOL. Through the urban thinkers session the discussions indicated that states, markets and communities need to form a synergy to make their cities more competitive given that today’s demand is to attract talented people who exhibit high levels of creative thinking.

Round 3: Livelihoods and Social Economies: Drivers to Build Inclusive Cities. The round table discussion started with interventions that looked into the driver of change that is tightly  connected with economy and livelihoods. Both panelists illustrated that urban spaces need to be more cognizant of real examples of how communities get together and overcome the obsessive tendencies to interact through digital spaces. Urban communities need more spaces that help protect community spirit and social awareness to common challenges that their cities are facing.


Key outcomes of the UTC

Given the themed structure of UTC-Doha, the organizing committee decided to keep the key outcomes grouped under each theme.
 
UTC-Doha Theme 1 – The Neighborhood We Need:
 
The neighborhood corporeal experiences and spirits within the built environment of Doha are being drastically alerting. This is also affecting the social structure of local characteristics in Doha which poses a challenge to the general quality of neighborhoods. Therefore, it was suggested that aspects of urban quality in neighborhood could be assessed and fostered to guarantee a well-functioning neighborhood structure, leading to a high quality of urban environment.
 
The key finding for “The Neighborhood We Need” can be summarized under three main categories:
 
  1. Governence and policy, where it was emphasized that there is a missing policy in including Public Private Partnerships (PPP), it was recommended to introduce private incentives for funding the missing amenities within the neighborhood boundary. In addition, there is no clear participatory framework to include the neighborhood community in the decision-making process. However, the participation process was recommended to be through an expert body creating a two-way channel between residents and municipalities. Endorsing the participatory planning process having in mind the negative side that it consumes longer time thus might result in changing the initial demands of the users. Therefore, there is a need for transparency of the overall framework structure from the planning authority. This can be achieved by creating a mechanism to facilitate the engagement of neighborhood inhabitants in the decision-making integration process and by creating an awareness for the public to gain their buy-in for the enhancement of the neighborhood performance.
  2. Quality of the physical built environment characteristics of neighborhoods.Starting from the macro level, there is a lack planning for the overall neighborhood structure throughout of Doha. however, on the micro level, the public realm and street design has clear design guidelines as per the policies provided by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and the Public Work Authority (ASHGHAL) but these guidelines have no action map for implementation. Due to this deteriorated quality of the public realm there is also a deficiency of livability standards within neighborhood public spaces and absence of walkability in specific. therefore, there was a clear outcome in assessing livability performance and defining people places within the neighborhood that has a direct impact on creating a sustainable urban canvas. Furthermore, stressing the recommendation to increase the stakeholders’ engagement to identify neighborhood priorities.
  3. Neighborhood identity and culture, highlighting the issue of the broken link between the traditional neighborhood (FAREEJ) and the newly developed neighborhoods of Doha. current contemporary neighborhoods lack the cultural connection with their own residents, thus impacting the sense of place, ownership and responsibility to maintain and enhance the neighborhood qualities.
UTC-Doha Theme 2 – Intelligent Cities:
 
The key finding for “the Intelligent City” can be summarized under three main categories:
 
Master planning and Design: The Qatar National Master Plan was prepared in 2011 (adopted2015), towards the end of a ‘1st wave’ of rapid and huge scale development now more or less complete. Doha has emerged as a series of master planned stand-alone mega projects.
  • Disconnect between policy, design and implementation. The general urban environment is based on out-of-date, often poorly framed regulations, low levels of investment and maintenance. The city needs comprehensive and uniform standards of design, implementation and maintenance across all providers.
  • Doha has some incredible landmark buildings and projects that are of international standing but archaic land laws, outdated plot regulation (setbacks, height,) and lacks urban management tools - eminent domain, land assembly. Overall it is at high risk from climate change.
  • Development control and urban management resources need to be significantly increased and improved. More integrated and transparent processes, staff and  institutional capabilities are needed to ensure that design, planning and land are all considered ‘in the round’. Future developments also need to provide planning ‘gains’ to correct and connect the gaps.
  • Great cities are collaborative. Development management needs much greater engagement with stakeholders and the public to enable participation and citizen responsibility. The public/users, can provide feedback, ideas and solutions to assist government to nurture an internationally recognized “sustainable livable” city.
  • Regulations, procedures, guidance, best practice, news updates – development information could all be made more transparent via IT.
  • Rail – Station apron areas must provide transport integration and attractive accessible public realm for passengers. Beyond the project’s boundary, connectivity may dissolve unless a truly integrated transport strategy is developed that seamlessly connects the city. To achieve this there needs to be much greater coordination between multiple agencies.
Adopting technologies for future cities: After considerable  debate,  general  agreement  that ‘smart’ cities will bring about efficiencies and improvements. Smart tech will be a good thing but on its own won’t make the city sustainable, resilient or livable. A sustainability agenda and framework needs to be established to focus smart city initiatives.
  • Smart-tech will sense and enable reaction to problems more efficiently but an intelligent city needs to provide a raft of improved capabilities in governance, finance, decision making, participation, support to natural systems, social inclusion and livability.
Monitoring and Evaluation: Based upon a clear policy to enable a publicly available platform for effective IT in all government communications and activities. With results already happening it is geared to support innovation and enable third party  users and providers to add other services and improvements.
  • Sustainability indices are valuable for comparison to other cities, to benchmark their progress and identify and prioritize particular points where the city can be improved.
  • Concern that indices may be too abstract and focus attention on symptoms rather than causes. Proviso is - take care how indices are used and note that specific communities or neighborhoods where improvements are needed may not show up without more granular data.
 
UTC-Doha Theme 3 – Role of Private Sector:
 
The sessions revolved around governance and partnerships, technology and education and finally economy and livelihoods. Naturally, solution areas were highly influenced by these areas. Referencing  to  the  World  Urban  Campaign’s  solution  areas,  three  sessions  suggested     that “Financing tools and promotion of social capital: How to finance the City We Need” would be the first solution area. Most participants underlined that solutions have to embrace a strong deal of partnerships between governments, markets and communities that offer strategic dimensions. How communities are going to cope with their lives in a context of reduced resources.
 
Solutions are precisely at the heart of communities and social networks that have been depending on mostly hydrocarbon resources, but as panelists indicated, in searching for a common good, an essential key to The City We Need is to think collectively and collectivize efforts. Perhaps, the second item, “social capital” has been referenced frequently by all of the panelists, for instance, during the third session building community spaces for engagement to activate social capital has been suggested as a critical alternative for the vision of the cities we need.
 
In a similar vein, empowerment in the urban space for the disadvantaged groups and enhancing the wellbeing of these groups could be seen as a solution that panelists pinpointed in a rather indirect way. If functioning, active and strategic partnerships between governments, markets and communities can exist, then citizens will be empowered to better access the city and yield   great
 
returns to communities at unanticipated scales. Empowering people uses various vehicles from education to art. For instance, education is highlighted as a solution mechanism for the youth, as “E-Nature” by SASOL, a CSR project that builds an application and makes it publicly accessible for the use of schools and offering a platform to make it an entertaining and attractive learning platform is a good example of how different drivers of change and solution areas intersect.
 

Conclusion & Way forward

UTC-Doha was concluded with a prioritized action plan that can be summarized as follow:
  • The city needs a 2nd ‘wave’ of urban consolidation.  Smaller, thoughtful interventions  to retrofit the gaps between projects, connect and consolidate a high quality public realm throughout the entire city. With some careful planning Doha could become one of the world’s most livable cities.
  • General concern that other modes of transport especially - walking, cycling, bus and rail are not being fully considered and integrated. Although there are plenty of best practice reports implementation lags. Funding needs updating with enhanced (revenue based) municipal finance, increased rates and collection and higher levels of service.
  • It has been considered crucial to start as soon as possible a retrofitting process of the existing neighborhoods as an initial stage of a phasing process for configuring policies, plans and projects able to meet the requirement delivered by the people.
  • In particular, it has been emphasized the importance of walkability policy implementation in order to achieve a higher level of livability and to increase the road safety. But more in general it has been highlighted the need to facilitate local accessibility and proximity by walk and bike as an essential resource to promote a healthier lifestyle.
  • At present, most of the neighborhoods in Doha are not pedestrian-friendly and do not support sustainable development aspects. It important to consider that the actual lack of such infrastructure affects community wellbeing and has a significant impact on the perceptions to be part of a community and creates a lack of neighborhood spirit on what historically the local communities founded their own identity
  • Doha has an IT platform to enable all providers to address the city’s ‘metabolic’ and increase stakeholder engagement. TASMU -Smart Qatar platform by the ministry of transport and communication in Qatar is a real game-changer in terms of future communication and exchange between stakeholders.
  • Participation of the community, and its partnerships with other stakeholders, has been highlighted as crucial component of all possible programs and projects to better off the environmental quality, safety and identity of the existing neighborhood.
  • The strong impact of the migrants and the temporary residents seem to booster the process of lack of identity of the neighborhood. Hence an implementation of public spaces, sidewalks, green areas and playground at the neighborhood scale must be considered as a main driver to rebuilt a stronger neighborhood identity that channel the social interaction between families and individuals.
  • The current neighborhood fragmentation is increasing social disintegration, resulting in an increase in social exclusion and decline of social cohesion. New participation policies addressing subsidiarity of decision-making processes, as well as enabling  the neighborhood community to discuss aspects that affect their livability, should have the potential to generate new sustainable communities in which decrease demands on energy resources and infrastructure, while promoting community interaction and pedestrian accessibility.
  • As it is identified in World Urban Campaign, the cities we need should offer an open space for partners and in the case of private sector involvement, it is the necessity of offering solutions that are co-produced by different constituencies and partner organizations to positively contribute to a new urban paradigm.
 
Way forward:
Professional talks, such as the Urban Thinking Campus and QGBC’s in-house trainings are complementary to the more human and personal campaigns such as the No Paper Day campaign, Green Life sustainability loyalty program and Qatar sustainability week, during which all members of the community in Qatar can learn about the small ways they can both benefit and contribute to the sustainability agenda. Policy, academia and the personal application of sustainability  are  complementary  to  each  other.  Government  policies  are  essential  to the accomplishment of a sustainable city, but these are pointless if they do not empower tangible improvements in the daily lives of people. Bridging this gap is of fundamental importance, and this is a vital part of QGBC’s role in Qatar given its mission to raise awareness about sustainable living in Qatar.

Recommendations to National Governments

Qatar continues its rapid growth and development following a national vision with an emphasis on the economical, environmental, social and human priorities as the key pillars of development. It’s important to enable and increase the level of participation and partnerships that can promote productive community interaction and private sector involvement towards the efforts to the much needed urban consolidation.
 
The TASMU smart Qatar Program has a huge potential to become the needed platform to improve quality of life, enhance the delivery of public services and drive sustainable economic diversification across various sectors. TASMU can facilitate and empower community  interaction and private sector partnerships to contribute and innovate to co-create and prioritize relevant solutions and services with the various stakeholders across the board. Such goals can be achieved by stimulating the role of the governmental entities to promote and engage as a market- maker, public entrepreneur and catalyzing the demand for growth and development in response  to the stakeholders’ priorities.
 
UTC-Doha was an opportunity to explore and harness the principles of the New Urban Agenda  & the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs to provide implementable urban solutions that are economically feasible, replicable and scalable using the urban transformation of Doha city as a case study. Doha city is a good representative example of several emerging cities in the region, hence the importance to activate the TASMU smart Qatar program not only to tailor local urban solutions to Doha but also to capitalize on those solutions for regional and international application.

Monitoring

1.  How do you intend to monitor the achievements and progress in the implementation of your action plan approved at your Campus (success indicators and other measures of achievement should be proposed)?
Conduct follow up sessions/workshops and seminars
  • Success criteria: include relative session(s) in Qatar Green Building Conference 2017 & Qatar Sustainability Week 2017
Increase means of communication with the members of the community to promote the new urban agenda
  • Success criteria: translate the report into Arabic and share with relevant stakeholders.
2.   Explain how you intend to share the results of your action plan with the WUC community and other partners in order to jointly implement the New Urban Agenda?
Short Term (1-2 years):  Through 2017 & 2018, QGBC will continue to utilize it’s established platforms like the annual Qatar Green Building Conference, Qatar Sustainability Awards and Qatar Sustainability Week in addition to UTC-Doha to facilitate effective communication channels between various partners and stakeholders. Such channels will be utilized to provide an ongoing feedback platform to monitor, assess, review, report and update the implementation actions and priorities of the new urban agenda in Doha. Additionally, QGBC will continue to explore new means of communicating with the members of the community to promote the new urban agenda while getting their priorities and feedback reported back to other stakeholders.
Long term (up to 2030 to implement the SDGs)
 
In the long term, UTC-Doha created an opportunity to explore and harness the principles of the New Urban Agenda & the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs to provide implementable urban solutions that are economically feasible, replicable and scalable using the urban transformation of Doha city as a case study. QGBC will continue to empower  collaboration among various stakeholders to promote and implement the SDGs in Qatar through it’s applied research, Education, awareness and outreach programs. Given its mission to raise awareness about sustainable living in Qatar, QGBC will continue to venture new partnership opportunities with international, regional and local stakeholders with the goal to facilitate knowledge transfer and lessons learnt to build the local capacity in driving the change towards realizing a resilient future.

UTC key speakers

 
UTC-Doha 2017 Team:
 
Core Team - QGBC
Shireen Obeidat, Marketing & Events Officer
Hamoda Youssef, Head of Communications
Support Team - QGBC
Meshal Al Shamari, Director
Dr. Alex Amato, Head of Sustainability
Muneera Al Quhtani, Administrative Officer
RICS Coordinator
Mairead Hughes, Business Development Manager, Middle East and North Africa
Theme 1 Coordinator
Eman Abdel Sabour, Researcher & PHD candidate, Architecture and Urban Planning Department Qatar University/Department of Architecture, Built environment and Construction engineering. Politecnico di Milano
Theme 2 Coordinator
Dr. Cynthia Skelhorn, BSc Environmental Engineering, MSc Geographic Information Science, PhD Physical Geography, Research Specialist, QGBC
Theme 3 Coordinator
Dr. Mohamed Evren Tok, Program coordinator of the Public Policy in Islam Program & Assistant Professor for the Faculty of Islamic Studies Hamad Bin Khalifa University HBKU
Notetakers
Sara Zaina, Samar Zaina, Reem Youssef Awwaad, Lubna Adnan Sadeq, Mooza Saqr AL-Mohannadi, Nehal Ibrahim, Salma Elsherbiny, Seema Mukherjee, Heba Yasin, Wafa Trad, Ndeye Ngom, Reem AL Mohammed, Mairead Hughes, Nadia Khan, Madhavi Indraganti, Ahmed Al Sayegh
 
Topics of discussion:
 

List of Participants: 

 

List of organization represented: 

  1. ABHAIF - Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development
  2. APPLUS + VELOSI
  3. Arab Academy for science and technology
  4. Arab Engineering Bureau
  5. Arcadis
  6. Architectural Lines Engineering Consulting Office
  7. ASHGHAL – Public Works Authority
  8. ASQUS
  9. ASTAD
  10. BG2 Global Solutions
  11. BTCC
  12. Carnegie Mellon University
  13. CH2M
  14. CICO Consulting Engineers
  15. Contraco
  16. EGIS Rail
  17. Gerry & Brown
  18. Hamad bin Khalifa University
  19. Hilson Moran Qatar
  20. Lusail consultants
  21. Makower Architects
  22. Manateq
  23. Ministry of Municipality and Environment
  24. Ministry of communications and Transport
  25. Politecnico of Milano
  26. PRO Property/University of Alabama, USA
  27. PWA Qatar
  28. Qatar Armed Forces
  29. Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI)
  30. Qatar Consulting Engineering Center
  31. Qatar Foundation
  32. Qatar National Library
  33. Qatar Natural History Group
  34. Qatar Solar Technologies
  35. Qatar University
  36. Qatar Green Building Council - GBC
  37. RAF Foundation
  38. Rail Qatar
  39. Richer Environments Ecological Consulting
  40. Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors – RICS
  41. RMIT University/CNA-Q
  42. SAITEC
  43. Sidra Medical and Research Center
  44. Siemens WLL
  45. SQTC Projects
  46. Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy
  47. The Architects' Hub
  48. Thomson Reuters
  49. Trays engineering
  50. UNMGCY Habitat III
  51. U.N. Habitat Office in Kuwait
  52. USM
  53. Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar

List of partner groups represented: 

  1. Business & Industries (inclusive of professionals & practitioners)
  2. Civil Society Organizations
  3. Foundations & Philanthropies
  4. Local & Sub-National Authorities
  5. Research & Academia
  6. Children & Youth
  7. Media
  8. Women

List of countries represented:

  1. Albania
  2. Algeria
  3. Australia
  4. Bulgaria
  5. Canada
  6. Egypt
  7. France
  8. Greece
  9. India
  10. Indonesia
  11. Iraq
  12. Ireland
  13. Italy
  14. Jordan
  15. Netherlands
  16. Pakistan
  17. Philippines
  18. Qatar
  19. Saudi Arabia
  20. Spain
  21. Sudan
  22. Sweden
  23. Syria
  24. United Kingdom
  25. United States of America

UTC Photos

#UrbanThinkers: The Future of Doha

UTC Video


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