Qatar is spending billions of dollars to prepare for the 2022 World Cup and some of that money will be used to expand Al Dhakira, a coastal city just 37 miles outside of the capital Doha that has protected mangrove forests to the north and south.
Italy’s RRC Studio has developed a master plan for Al Dhakira’s impressive expansion, which is expected to double the city’s size.
Coastal development throughout the Gulf region, including Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar, have had serious ramifications for the Persian Gulf’s ecosystems. Coral reefs have been wiped out, and mangrove forests have taken a hit as well.
Either Qatar seems to have learned from past errors, or RRC Studio has taken ecological matters into their own hands with a design that specifically makes room to leave the protected mangroves unharmed.
A continuous strip of green space will connect the two protected areas, creating a buffer zone between them and the city’s nucleus, which is organized around a renovated stadium and commercial district.
The design brief also calls for new housing units and villas that will be modeled after existing structures and the local landscape.
Density and a pedestrian-friendly layout are thought to be the holy grail of sensible urban design, but too much density often puts great strain on ecosystems.
RRC Studio has taken pains, at least in their plan, to ensure the density occurs away from the coastal area – further inland. Whether or not the rapid expansion will be able to keep pace with these honorable ideals remains to be seen.
:: Arch Daily