Your chance to have your say

The Municipality is giving residents in the capital a say on how the city develops.

When we think about government, it’s often the federal and emirate authorities that come to mind. They are the levels at which laws are enacted and big decisions are made on matters such as foreign policy, defence, trade, security, health and education. While these things are vitally important to the country, the decisions that have the most direct impact on citizens and residents on a day-to-day ­basis are made elsewhere, at municipal level.

Municipal governments are responsible for the basic services that make the city function and add to its amenity: public sanitation services, parks and recreational facilities, roads, traffic lights and other local infrastructure. Officers of Abu Dhabi Municipality are constantly making decisions and setting policies that affect all our lives, and so it is only natural that they will receive a lot of public feedback, some of it positive, some of it not so positive.

As The National reported yesterday, the Municipality is not only welcoming that feedback, it is actively seeking it out through l­ocal forums. On Tuesday, there was a chance for those living in the Al Bateen Airport and Zafaraneh districts to have their say at one of the Municipality’s Al Multaqa forums. Topics raised by residents included the need for more green space and other urban-beautification measures, and a request for dedicated ladies’ and children’s days in local parks. Residents were also informed about community projects, including new children’s play ­areas, mosques and a kindergarten.

Al Multaqa forums are planned for other areas of the city, and municipal officials say they are keen to hear from as many residents as possible. It’s an invitation that anybody with an interest in where they live should readily accept.

In a city that is constantly in a state of change due to the demands of an ever-expanding population and a growing number of visitors, it’s good to know that residents’ basic needs are not forgotten. To borrow an online buzz­word, the Municipality is engaged in crowd sourcing – ­allowing residents to gather and giving them the chance to say how they want their city to evolve. Not everybody’s opinion will necessarily be adopted – but everybody’s voice will be heard about the issues that matter to them most.

Published: May 29, 2014 04:00 AM

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