Dubai, Ihab Nayal, La casa, Masterplanning, Masterplans, Smart cities

Dubai architects are working on better connectivity between pods of development says La Casa’s Ihab Nayal

Architects across Dubai are now working on creating connectivity between the emirate’s once-isolated pods of development, said La Casa’s principal designer Ihab Nayal.

“I think that there’s been a realisation that there isn’t much connectivity,” he said. “Now, developers are leaning toward more openness between different masterplans and they are starting to consider the impact their work has on a pedestrian level. We’re moving away from the Los Angeles-style, vehicle-dependent urban developments and are becoming more pedestrian friendly.”

Nayal explained that in Dubai, buildings and  developments are often built spread out from one another, rather than in compact configurations that help create shade and wind. Now, he said, architects are starting to consider how their buildings affect surrounding structures.

“When buildings are closely knit together, that makes the pedestrian the focal point,” he said.

Nayal added that masterplanning in the UAE will start shifting — if it hasn’t already — toward smart cities, and reducing the carbon footprint of developments even more.

“There are some masterplans that concentrate on that already, like Masdar City. I think in the next 10 years, it’s going to become a bit more common,” he added.

The full story with Nayal will be in Middle East Architect’s April issue.