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Smart design gains momentum in Middle East

The quest for smart urban design is rapidly gaining momentum in the Middle East, according to one designer who spoke at this past week’s Arab Future Cities Summit.

“We’re now seeing a strong appetite for world class urban development in both Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and it is approaching the right level of maturity for us to reach a crucial tipping point,” said Matthew Tribe, a design director with the consulting firm Atkins. “As clients really start to appreciate the art of the possible, it will lead to raised expectations for consistently high levels of urban planning and design.”

Developing truly smart urban environments in the Middle East will require collaboration, holistic thinking and careful planning toward a shared goal, Tribe told the summit audience.

“Successful urban development should add value at every level – socially, economically, environmentally and contextually,” Tribe said. “These needs are not mutually exclusive – they work hand-in-hand to create places which really work.”

Held April 7 and 8 in Doha, Qatar, the Arab Future Cities Summit — now in its third year — is aimed at identifying sustainable, intelligent ways to manage increasing urbanization in the Middle East.

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