Abu Dhabi Climate Resilience Initiative

The Abu Dhabi Climate Resilience Initiative is a part of a citywide public realm improvement initiative that focuses on increasing pedestrian comfort levels in an outdoor desert climate through tactical interventions. The Initiative is one example of the type of design that could help cities around the world to deal with extreme heat. 

By approaching the project through the lens of climate science, extensive research, and rigorous testing, the initiative deploys a combination of climatic strategies to effectively reduce the urban heat island effect in an environmentally responsible way. The body of knowledge accumulated, and the methodologies developed, offer a new paradigm for public space design for all places that face urban heat issues.

As part of the program, three climate intervention pilot projects were delivered, with the potential to expand the implementation of these interventions wider where they are proven to be successful. One of the pilot projects, a pocket park, draws on the age-old design of a “sikka,” a traditional Middle Eastern pathway between buildings that is oriented to maximize breezes. Overall, the pilots are designed with a careful layering of strategies that provide “cool spots” to extend the time that people will feel comfortable outdoors during the shoulder months and shoulder hours of the day. 

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