QGBC-logo-1-copy-704x307Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), is devising a guide ‘Doha: A Rough Guide to Healthy Cities’ on the importance of creating a healthy environment for its inhabitants.

Due to be launched later this year, the guide will tackle the issue of the environmental health of urban areas which is becoming increasingly important to the world’s population as a majority of people are shifting towards inner cities. The World Health Organisation (WHO) anticipates that by 2025, approximately 80% of global citizens will live in cities.

Qatar is currently witnessing unprecedented urban development, from the establishment of Lusail City and the development of Doha, to the inception of numerous infrastructure projects which have all harnessed the need to incorporate healthy living into their frameworks.

In light of this, experts at the Green Infrastructure Interest Group, a subcommittee of QGBC, has recently released an infographic preview of the guide. Engineer Meshal Al Shamari, QGBC Director, said:

QGBC works with a number of institutions to introduce innovative concepts to raise awareness about and respond to Qatar’s urban growth. The Green Infrastructure Interest Group has worked closely with Atkins, a founding member of QGBC, to design the first phase of the bigger guide. I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our members, the Green Infrastructure team and Mr Lee Allen, senior urban designer at Atkins, for investing their time and efforts to make this possible. We welcome everyone in Qatar to join QGBC and contribute to the nation’s growing sustainability and green building industry.’

QGBC’s Green Infrastructure Interest Group works in line with QF’s commitment to fostering knowledge about environmental best practices and encouraging sustainable development in Qatar on its way to achieving the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030. Senior Urban Designer at Atkins, and a member of the Green Infrastructure Interest Group, Lee Allen, said:

Doha is an ideal fit for the application of the ‘healthy city’ concept for a number of reasons. The fact that the development of the city is still in its initial stages allows us to incorporate the principles in the best way possible. There has been some progress in this regard. The Education City Campus, Msheireb Downtown, Lusail City and other selected development projects have considered a lean towards becoming a healthy city. The key for QGBC and other stakeholders is to foster education about this in creating a behavioural change in the process, which we hope this specific infographic becomes a good starting point.’

Highlighting the benefits of planning and designing a healthy city, the non-technical infographic provides design and planning professionals, senior school students and advocates of sustainable development, with interesting guidelines on how to create a healthy city. The infographic is available as a digital document on the QGBC website, which can be accessed at www.qatargbc.org/app/media/641.

A healthy city uses less energy, has good air quality, facilitates community interaction, supports active lifestyles and is generally a greener, more attractive and fulfilling place to live. These benefits directly contribute to the economy and desirability of Qatar as a place to live, work and visit.

Post-Doctoral Research Specialist at QGBC, Dr Cynthia Skelhorn, said:

A team of sustainability experts and urban planners at the Green Infrastructure Interest Group is working on creating a comprehensive guide to a healthy Doha, which is scheduled for later this year. The guide will explore the key design aspects of Doha’s green infrastructure, including the planning, energy, transport, water, waste and biodiversity in detail.’

The Green Infrastructure Interest Group was established in 2012 to foster development of green infrastructure as a national resource capable of delivering a wide range of environmental, economic and social benefits. The Group features leading experts from across Qatar’s economic landscape and takes on various awareness and research projects.