Survey will shape new Abu Dhabi communities

The results of the Urban Planning Council's "Style Your Life" survey are in and reveal the emirate needs more parks, playgrounds, shops and places to eat.

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ABU DHABI // The emirate needs more parks, playgrounds, shops and places to eat.

Who says so? The people who live here, in a survey of nearly 11,000 households.

Nearly two-thirds of residents in the Urban Planning Council's "Style Your Life" survey said they were missing these facilities in their area, according to data released yesterday.

Sixty-three per cent, or 6,907 households, said there was "unmet demand" for more community facilities. About 26 per cent, or 2,807 households, said they were very happy with the facilities.

The survey took place over six weeks, from late September in random households in a mix of urban, suburban and rural areas in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia. Nearly 30 per cent of the homes visited were Emirati.

"Comprehensive facilities within close proximity of residents are an integral component of creating viable, accessible and sustainable communities," said Falah al Ahbabi, the general manager of the UPC. "The findings of the survey will help us to develop an assessment of the emirate's future urban environment with regards to the residents' long-term lifestyle expectations."

A breakdown of the survey results showed that many residents - 22 per cent - would like shopping or eating facilities in their area. The second most-desired facilities, with 18 per cent of the vote, were places of entertainment, which could include parks and playgrounds. Facilities for health care (15 per cent), transport (11 per cent) and sport (10 per cent) also topped the list.

Healthcare facilities were particularly sought after in rural areas, the survey found, while sporting facilities were desirable emirate-wide.

Next, the UPC will collaborate with the municipality to develop more community facilities across the emirate. The results could also be used to help to shape a future Neighbourhood Planning Manual.