The Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities (DPM) which will organize the World Urban Forum (WUF10) in February 2020, introduced the ‘Al Shabab (Youth) WUF10 Ambassadors Program’ at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) this week. The Al Shabab WUF10 Programme will see the appointment of 20 young Emirati men and women who are making outstanding contributions to the regional conversation on the future of urban development as Ambassadors for promoting the 10th edition of the World Urban Forum (WUF10).

WUF10 will play a key role in implementing the UN’s New Urban Agenda, which sets out how cities should be planned and managed to best promote sustainable development. Abu Dhabi strongly supports the New Urban Agenda as it is closely aligned with its own vision for creating a sustainable Emirate encompassing the four pillars of economic development, social development, cultural development and environmental protection.

The DPM will assign Ambassadors to each of the four pillars of the DPM framework who will be working to spread awareness of the DPM’s initiatives relating to these pillars amongst the key constituencies of WUF10, combining their expertise and resources to help the DPM mobilize participation at WUF10.

H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the DPM said: “We have created this programme to help drive collective action for WUF10. It is the youth of today that are shaping Abu Dhabi's future. Our Emirate is recognized as a leading regional benchmark in terms of urban development. Since 2007, we have initiated various programmes which engage with communities at every level and which explore urban challenges and sustainable solutions. Through the Al Shabab WUF10 Ambassador programme we will be motivating people across Abu Dhabi and beyond to engage with the four pillars of the DPM framework for sustainable urban development and the goals of the World Urban Forum.”

At a special ceremony during the DPM Press Conference, H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi – DPM Chairman - presented a WUF Trophy to Dr. Alamira Reem Bani Hashim, the first Ambassador to be appointed for the Al Shabab WUF10 Ambassadors Programme. Dr. Alamira Reem Bani Hashim is a young DPM urban planner and author of "Planning Abu Dhabi: An Urban History". Her book, which is making its debut at ADIBF, traces the different approaches of each Ruler to urban development and charts the expansion of the city pinpointing the establishment of the Urban Planning Council in 2007 as a milestone in managing the city’s growth while asserting Abu Dhabi’s value proposition as the place of choice to live and visit.

H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi praised the young Emirati for her dedication and passion to her job and her city, saying: “I am constantly impressed by the dynamism and enthusiasm of our young people. Reem is an inspiration to the new generation. Her book highlights our holistic approach to the development of Abu Dhabi and some of our key priorities such as protecting and enhancing our Arab culture and its development while embracing contemporary living and respecting the diverse cultures of the residents of our city. Our initiative illustrates and supports the vision of our Leadership that aims to create a strong, cohesive society - one that will allow people to participate in all the opportunities that are being created”.

The DPM will call upon WUF10 strategic partners for nominations for Ambassadors including the Office of the Minister of Youth, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, Masdar, Abu Dhabi Global Market, Department of Community Development and the Department of Economic Development, among others. Under the WUF umbrella, this initiative aims to inspire the new generations and increase their involvement by identifying the key motivations that will make them interact with the full scope and essence of urban development projects in Abu Dhabi.

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