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Urban Oman Exhibition Panel 13 - Manifesto



Manifesto for sustainable urbanization in Oman Economic sustainability …is understood as the capacity and ability of a practice to be able to put local/regional resources to productive use for the long-term benefit of the community, without damaging or depleting the natural resource base on which it depends and without increasing the city’s ecological footprint… Translated to urbanization in Oman economic sustainability can be achieved by: - respecting the naturally given environment (coastline, mountains, wadis) as determining limits of urbanization that would allow agriculture and fishery to develop and to stay an important economic factors in the country. - protecting the unique landscapes and habitats which form the basic resources for eco-tourism, another possible sector to diversify the countries economy. - exploring and investing into renewable energies (water, sun, wind) in light of the post-oil urbanization era. - reducing dependence on finite fossil fuels for energy supply, water desalination and transportation. - replacing car based mobility with a sustainable public transport system. - stopping the construction and expansion of road-networks leading to more traffic. - stopping the construction of poor quality buildings using unskilled labor, cheap materials, unsustainable construction methods resulting in poor quality buildings with a life-span of less than 20 years. Social sustainability …Refers to the fairness, inclusiveness and cultural adequacy of an intervention to promote equal rights over the natural, physical and economic capital that supports the livelihoods and lives of local communities, with particular emphasis on the poor and traditionally marginalized groups. Cultural adequacy means, in this context, the extent to which a practice respects cultural heritage and cultural diversity… Translated to urbanization in Oman social sustainability can be understood as the capacity and ability to: - develop the build environment in harmony with the landscape surrounding it. Traditional cultivation of land, preservation of water and land resources in the past have created a culture in sync with the climatic and ecological parameters of Oman. - sponsor socially responsive and ecologically integrated neighborhoods, learning from vernacular examples of architecture and urbanism - integrate all parts of society in the current urbanization process as social segregation creates social inequality and urban uniformity. Encourage mixed urban developments accessible to all parts of society to create resilient cities of the future. - discourage Integrated Tourism Complexes (ITCs) as they cater to a small and affluent part of society only yet graft onto expensive infrastructure projects paid by the government (roads, ports, airports). Ecological sustainability …Pertains to the impact of urban production and consumption on the integrity and health of the city region and global carrying capacity. This demands the long-term consideration of the relation between the state and dynamics of environmental resources and services and the demands exerted over them. Sustainability of the built environment concerns the capacity of an intervention to enhance the livability of buildings and urban infrastructures for ‘all’ city dwellers without damaging or disrupting the urban region environment. It also includes a concern for the efficiency of the built environment to support the local economy…. Translated to urbanization in Oman ecological sustainability demands to: - reconsider the current process of Urbanization fosters low-rise and low density neighborhoods including similar plot sizes, self-standing villas, separation of function and the strict road network that created a repetitive and mono-functional city. - develop strategies to re-densify and transform neighborhoods to become multifunctional and diverse, resilient and sustainable. - assess the real costs of urban sprawl on the environment, its inhabitants and depletion of resources. - channel rural-to-urban transformation processes without destroying the unique landscape and the characteristic natural scenery of Oman, including the cutting of mountains, leveling of hills and draining of wadis. - protect natural resources including habitats, land and fresh water resources. Political Sustainability …is concerned with the quality of governance systems guiding the relationship and actions of different actors among the previous four dimensions. Thereby, it implies the democratization and participation of local civil society in all areas of decision-making… Translated to urbanization in Oman political sustainability should include: - a responsible system of land-allocation different from the current model of land allocation by lottery. Instead, distribute land conservatively according to actual needs - a transparent decision making that encourages participatory and community based development - a strategic approach towards spatial development that promotes equal opportunities and fair conditions in all parts of the country - decentralized administrative structures that allow for locally adapted management -systematic monitoring of urban and rural development
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