A green parking plan could become part of many Dubai buildings if a recommendation by an Abu Dhabi-based environmental and energy consultancy firm is taken up by Dubai Municipality and Dubai Energy and Water Authority. "We've been working with the Dubai Municipality on green building strategies and one of the ideas we've put forward is parking strategies to encourage the use of low-emissions vehicles," says Simon Clouston, technical director of WSP Middle East.
WSP was commissioned by the municipality in 2008 to develop green building regulations for the city, covering planning, design, energy efficiency and outdoor environmental quality. "Similar to car park developments with disabled parking spaces close to the entrance, we've put forward the idea of preferred parking spaces reserved for low-emissions vehicles to encourage their use." The idea was put to the municipality "this time last year", says Clouston. However, given the impact the economic slowdown has had on Dubai's construction industry, a decision has not yet been made on whether this proposal will be taken up in future building projects.
The firm also won the Greater Helsinki Vision 2050 International Ideas competition in 2007 for an entry called "Emerald". This was the design for a high density maritime city surrounded by a network of small villages and rural eco-villages with efficient, green transport as an important part of the design. Small towns were all situated as close as possible to train stations to encourage trains as the main mode of transport.
"The vision was to come up with mixed mode transport to include local cars, buses, trains, pedestrian routes and cycleways, multi-modal transport that is as clean as possible," says Clouston. "It is a master plan project based around enhancing public transport infrastructure with outlying districts, known as islands, connecting to each other and to the main hub." firstname.lastname@example.org