ABU DHABI // The emirate is set to become greener and its citizens healthily leaner when nine public parks and 20 playgrounds open by the first quarter of 2014.
The programme is part of the municipality's plan to provide healthy environments and tend to communities' welfare, as well as that of the ecologies.
Safe mini-parks for families and children are part of the plan.
By the end of this year, the municipality will start building four parks each in Mohammed Bin Zayed City and Al Shamkha, and another in Al Adla.
"Five parks will be ready by the first quarter of 2014, four in Al Shamkha and one in Al Adla, while four parks in Mohammed Bin Zayed City will be ready by end of 2013," said Rashed Al Falasi, director of the municipality's parks and recreational facilities division.
The Urban Planning Council (UPC) surveyed the community to determine which areas were most in need of parks, Mr Al Falasi said.
He would not reveal the cost of the project.
The largest park planned will be in Mohammed Bin Zayed City, covering almost two hectares. The smallest, in the same neighbourhood, will be about 0.5 hectares.
Twenty playgrounds will be built in different areas of Khalifa City A and B, Officers City, Mohammed Bin Zayed City, Baniyas, Al Shawamekh and Al Falah.
Three parks are due to open by the end of this year in Khalifa City A, Mr Al Falasi said.
Residents of Mussaffah and Al Falah will have to wait a little longer. Although Mussaffah is densely populated, it will not be considered for park space until the next phase, he said.
Playground sites are decided in coordination with the UPC and other agencies. Then the community services department will survey residents to identify what sort of activities should be included in the playgrounds.
Abu Dhabi intends to develop parks at a rate of 25 square metres a person by 2015. The plan includes trees and landscaping.
The capital has about 20 sq metres per capita of green and open space, more than double the international standard of 9 sq metres recommended by the World Health Organisation.