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Waterfront | Dubai, UAE

studio LFA designed the Waterfront area based on the principles of Traditional Neighborhood Design, a development approach that reflects historic settlement patterns and town planning concepts such as interconnected streets, transect based codes, and an orientation of neighborhoods around pedestrian oriented “town centers.” Place-making, walkable, mixed-use areas are designed to bring a sense of community as an alternative to conventional suburban sprawl in the Dubai area.

The region contains one Urban Core (CBD), two Urban Centers, and multiple Neighborhood Centers.  Each of these types of centers represents a different level of urban density and services.  The Urban Core and two Urban Centers will serve as transit hubs and transfer points for the region and the city.

The Urban Core is located along the waterfront marina.  It will have the highest density, the greatest variety of uses and civic institutions of regional importance.  The block structure will vary in size to accommodate large-scale uses as well as intimate that will provide for small and medium scale uses.

The Urban Core will be the symbolic focus of the new City. The two Urban Centers will consist of high density and a mix of uses.  The two Urban Centers are designed to insure their proximity for all residents and also, to the employment and higher order services that it will contain.  In a city with a daily population of over 1.7 million it would be inefficient to concentrate all employment and services in just one area.  By providing two Urban Centers, the pressure on the Urban Core is reduced.

The first of the Urban Centers will form Stage I of the development.  Its proximity and quick access to the Sheikh Zayed Highway makes it the perfect first stage from which to sell the vision and brand.

The second Urban Center will be located along the Arabian Canal to provide easy access for residents to the east of Sheikh Zayed Highway to services and employment.  The Urban Centers will contain a few more residences than the Urban Core.

The rest of region will be composed of neighborhoods with just a 5-minute walk from its center to its edge. Dozens of neighborhoods will make up the urban fabric of the new city and they will vary in their density depending on their proximity to the Urban Core and Urban Centers. Each will have a Neighborhood Center where the residents from each neighborhood will have access to the daily services and needs.  The Neighborhood Centers will serve as the focus for pedestrian sheds allowing for an efficient citywide public transportation system.  This will reduce traffic congestion in the area and allow for a higher concentration of employment and services.  Neighborhood Centers will be connected to one another by Main Streets, which will contain a moderate density mixed-use development.

The project represents a joint effort between studio LFA leading the planning design in association with RobertsDay leading the planning forum, and a team of local and international consultancies.