GCC sus­tain­able cities and com­mu­ni­ties stu­dent com­pe­ti­tion win­ners an­nounced

Or­ga­nized by UN-Habi­tat and Dubai Real Es­tate In­sti­tute

Kuwait Times - - FROM THE ARABIC PRESS -

The United Na­tions Hu­man Set­tle­ments Pro­gramme (UN-Habi­tat) and Dubai Real Es­tate In­sti­tute (DREI) an­nounced yes­ter­day the two stu­dent that won from the univer­sity com­pe­ti­tion launched to uni­ver­si­ties in the GCC re­gion, fo­cused on gen­er­at­ing new and in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions for sus­tain­able pub­lic space in col­lab­o­ra­tion with ma­jor uni­ver­si­ties in GCC .

The col­lab­o­ra­tive di­rec­tion be­tween the two or­ga­ni­za­tions DERI and UN-Habi­tat is to con­tin­u­ously of­fer ed­u­ca­tional and lead­er­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties to both young pro­fes­sion­als and ex­perts up­dat­ing them with hous­ing poli­cies and trends, in-line with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards for the de­vel­op­ment of sus­tain­able cities and com­mu­ni­ties through sev­eral pro­posed ac­tiv­i­ties.

Ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude train­ing cour­ses, work­shops, ur­ban cam­paigns, ur­ban re­search on city pros­per­ity and af­ford­able hous­ing and ur­ban com­pe­ti­tions that pro­mote pos­i­tive change within cities and hous­ing com­mu­ni­ties for bet­ter qual­ity of life.

The ‘My City My Re­spon­si­bil­ity’ com­pe­ti­tion launched in Au­gust to all fourth years’ univer­sity stu­dents in the GCC re­gion, in­vited stu­dents ma­jor­ing in civil en­gi­neer­ing, ar­chi­tec­ture, and en­vi­ron­men­tal de­sign to ap­ply their projects ei­ther in­di­vid­u­ally or in a group.

The com­pe­ti­tion, un­der the ‘I am a city Changer’ cam­paign aims to uti­lize stu­dent’s in­no­va­tive tal­ents to con­trib­ute to re-think­ing pub­lic space for safe, con­nected, in­te­grated, healthy and re­silient fu­ture cities in at least six gulf cities. Cel­e­bra­tory event kicked off in the main the­atre of Dubai Real Es­tate In­sti­tute, the first Mid­dle-East Real Es­tate In­sti­tute and the ed­u­ca­tional arm of the Dubai Land De­part­ment.

The pub­lic schemes that won were se­lected and awarded based on key se­lec­tion cri­te­ria ‘in ur­ban sus­tain­abil­ity, such as in­clu­siv­ity, safety and ac­ces­si­bil­ity for women, chil­dren, el­derly and in­di­vid­u­als with spe­cial needs. The jury con­sisted of Ur­ban plan­ning and ur­ban de­sign ex­perts in­clud­ing Na­dine Bi­tar and Shadi Has­bini.

First prize with­held

Dur­ing the se­lec­tion process, the jury mem­bers de­cided to with­hold the first prize as due the sub­mis­sions did not push the en­ve­lope in terms of im­ple­ment­ing sus­tain­abil­ity pil­lars in the Gulf re­gion that is re­silient to harsh desert cli­mate change.

Each win­ner re­ceived a mon­e­tary prize from DREI and cer­tifi­cates for their par­tic­i­pa­tion from UN-Habi­tat and stu­dents will be given the op­por­tu­nity to in­tern at a top real es­tate firm with the pos­si­bil­ity to im­ple­ment their pro­ject de­sign with con­cerned city au­thor­i­ties.

The stu­dent win­ners in­clude one in­di­vid­ual and one group pro­ject

Sec­ond Place: The In­di­vid­ual pro­ject from stu­dent, As­maa Ab­dulla Al-Mu­laih, from the Univer­sity of Jeezan- King­dom of Saudi Ara­bia, has won a prize worth $3,000 from DREI with a cer­tifi­cate of ap­pre­ci­a­tion from UN-Habi­tat.

Third Place: Group Pro­ject from stu­dents, Ab­dul­rah­man Al-Ateeqi, Ah­mad Al-Saf­far, Dalal A-lNoumas, Ra­haf Al-Dab­bous, and Sha­had Al-Awadhi, and Danah Al-Olaimi all from Kuwait Univer­sity- Kuwait have won a prize worth $2,000 from DREI with a cer­tifi­cate of ap­pre­ci­a­tion from UN-Habi­tat.

The jury re­viewed the pro­ject win­ners based on six eval­u­a­tion cri­te­ria, which are: the abil­ity to re­solve en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues, the abil­ity to gen­er­ate busi­ness of scale, group ef­fort, re­solv­ing is­sues re­lated to peo­ple with spe­cial needs, women, el­derly, and chil­dren, the abil­ity to re­solve so­cial is­sues; in­clu­sive and safe, as well as in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity.

The awards were dis­trib­uted as part of DREI cel­e­bra­tion of UAE In­no­va­tion week and rec­og­niz­ing the im­por­tance of in­no­va­tion and re­search as key driv­ers of sus­tain­abil­ity .Guests in­cluded Lead­ers from the Real Es­tate Sec­tor. Stu­dent win­ners ac­com­pa­nied by their par­ents, the Deans and pro­fes­sors who taught stu­dents in sus­tain­able cour­ses re­lat­ing to the com­pe­ti­tion.

New ex­pe­ri­ences

Dr Tarek El-Sheikh, the Re­gional Di­rec­tor of UN-Habi­tat said, we be­lieve that all the par­tic­i­pants of this com­pe­ti­tion has de­vel­oped new ex­pe­ri­ences and learnt new ideas about trans­for­ma­tive ur­ban set­tle­ments that are in­clu­sive, safe, re­silient and sus­tain­able. There­fore, their learn­ing process will not stop here, but rather, they will in­vest and built on it af­ter their grad­u­a­tion and when they join the work field, we will wit­ness their pos­i­tive ac­tions in their coun­tries.

It is worth men­tion­ing that there is a grow­ing con­sen­sus about the need to work to­gether to ad­dress the im­pact of cli­mate change and achieve the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment goals as stated in the GOP meet­ing in Paris last Septem­ber.

As a re­sult of this global de­mand of cli­mate change, UN-Habi­tat plan of ac­tion in Kuwait is to pro­mote the New Ur­ban Agenda rat­i­fied by more than 192 coun­tries rep­re­sen­ta­tives in HABITATIII, Quito, 2016 and achieve 2030 SDGs specif­i­cally Goal 11: sus­tain­able cities and com­mu­ni­ties and Goal 17: Part­ner­ships (PPP) as habi­tat be­lieves cre­at­ing part­ner­ship plays a cru­cial role in the over­all de­vel­op­ment of so­ci­eties. Mah­moud Al-Bu­rai, The Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Dubai Real Es­tate In­sti­tu­tion, con­grat­u­lated all the win­ners of the com­pe­ti­tion and en­cour­aged those who did not win to par­tic­i­pate in the fu­ture com­pe­ti­tions or­ga­nized by both DREI and UN-Habi­tat, adding “I con­grat­u­late the win­ners wish­ing them a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in which they can im­ple­ment their knowl­edge of New Ur­ban Trends.”

He ended by say­ing, I am ex­cited to see what the fi­nal­ists have come up with to pro­vide their ideas for a vi­brant sus­tain­able and liv­ing fu­ture in their re­gion, en­cour­ag­ing us to do a pub­lic dis­play in our fu­ture com­pe­ti­tion to show case the vi­sion of Gulf state youths in what con­trib­ute to re­vi­tal­ize their ar­eas and make them more sus­tain­able.

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