GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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The Future of Sustainable Public Transit in Abu Dhabi
Paper Proposal Text :
The emirate of Abu Dhabi is setting the stones of its new urban framework and transportation policies; as crucial step in achieving Abu Dhabi Economic Vision for 2030. The new urban framework recognizes the need for public transit, to meet the travel demand of the anticipated three million residents in the city of Abu Dhabi as well as commuters from neighboring cities. Ongoing work is focused on improving the connectivity and mobility of the Central Business District (CBD), while future work will involve the development of a second pivotal center, a Capital District, along with setting the boundaries for the capital industrial zones.
The Capital District is positioned around major new Emirati neighborhoods, it will become the name of face of Abu Dhabi as the government and knowledge center, while the CBD transforms into a finance and commerce center, furthermore High-Tech and clean industries will concentrate east of the Capital District, around the airport. The centers will carry similar weights of jobs and office space; distributing the jobs between two employment centers, both surrounded by residential districts, will redirect the traffic flow into two several direction, and avoid traffic congestion. The capital growth will be limited by a Sand Belt that stretches along the east axis to Dubai and the south axis to Al Ain, both axis branch-out of the Capital District. The Emirati neighborhoods surrounding the capital are built around high dense commercial nodes, most of the neighborhoods are of low densities, but higher density alternatives are also included, to provide variety in housing choice. The proposed new residential neighborhoods are mixed used developments, the urban design is configured for family housing clusters that encourage walking.
This study advocates for a transit-oriented development in the new Capital District and its suburbs. In order to support this claim, the study examines the historic and future urban growth trends of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in relation to transportation demand, and analyses them against external and internal factors that affect transit travel demand; to detect possible trends that would encourage further transit developments in the new area.
An important external factor to transit demand is fuel price, and in alignment with the recent elimination of the fuel price subsidy in the UAE, the study examines the potential effect of fluctuating fuel prices on Abu Dhabi transit demand; by analyzing the trends of cross-elasticities of transit demand with respect to fuel price for a number of urban cities around the world.
The study also examines policies and legislations that could encourage Abu Dhabi vehicle users to use the public transit network, by studying the land use and congestion pricing policies applied in the city of New York; a city of similar geographical and economic activity, the study examines how congestion policies influence transit-oriented development in Abu Dhabi can.
The study aims to help the policy makers in Abu Dhabi as well as other cities of similar condition in the region, develop sustainable cities using transit oriented development, by presenting some of the economic incentives and the implementation tools that are important in realizing such development.