Introducing: Sharjah of the future
SUPC - Chairman Sheikh Khalid Al QasimiSupplied photo
Sharjah - The aim is to introduce Sharjah as a "raw world model" for a healthy city, with citizens and visitors at the heart of the planning process.
By Staff Reporter
Published: Wed 19 Aug 2015, 12:00 AM
Last updated: Thu 20 Aug 2015, 2:44 AM
Sharjah is putting in place state-of-the-art infrastructure that will enable it to attract investments and encourage business and tourism projects. The aim is to introduce Sharjah as a "raw world model" for a healthy city, with citizens and visitors at the heart of the planning process. In this interview with Khaleej Times, Shaikh Khalid Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Urban Planning Council (SUPC), details the projects that are being undertaken such as Google mapping, which will make Sharjah the second city in the Gulf region to be featured on Street View; the Dh526-million sewer system; and the postal code system.
When was the SUPC established and what are its main objectives?
His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, issued Royal Decree No. 5 in January 2014 authorising the establishment of the SUPC ... Among the main objectives of the SUPC are: Preparing a comprehensive urban planning strategy; planning for environmental infrastructure projects; and preparing an overall strategy enabling the setting up of databases related to fundamental studies serving infrastructure and environmental projects.
The jurisdiction of the SUPC involve: Urban planning; land utilisation; setting the standards for urban planning and development of remote areas; planning for infrastructure projects such roads, transportation, rail networks, electricity and water; planning for sewer systems; education; health; entertainment; social facilities and mosques.
The SUPC has signed an agreement with Google. Can you brief us on the details and significance of this agreement?
Last May, Google announced its partnership with the SUPC to launch Street View in Sharjah, a feature by Google Maps that allows users to virtually explore and navigate streets and neighborhoods through panoramic street-level images.
The Google car will begin mapping the streets of Sharjah, making it the second city in the Gulf to be available on a street level. Street View imagery is gathered by a vehicle equipped with advanced imaging technology, a camera mounted on the roof of a car that collects imagery and location data. After collection, the imagery is stitched together to create the 360-degree panoramic images that allows you to move around and explore locations as if you were there.
The SUPC is engaged in several mega projects such as the Sanitary System Project and others. Can you introduce these projects and their purpose?
We have major strategic projects to be executed in phases, a leading project of which is the sewer system. As you are aware, the Sharjah Ruler has approved a set of projects to upgrade the sanitary sewer systems and storm-water drainage in the emirate worth Dh526 million.
The project was sanctioned following an SUPC proposal ... The system aims to elevate the water treatment unit performance in the emirate and will include renovation of the main sanitary sewer system to considerably improve its efficiency, expand the main sewage treatment plant in Sharjah and establish additional drainage points while maintaining the highest international environmental standards.
Other similar projects are yet to come, such as the University City campus - particularly the campus road project designed to improve the quality of services.
You recently commenced the postal code system in Sharjah. Can you explain this system?
The project is planned to cover all of Sharjah and includes the design of direction boards compatible with the coding and location directions ... (It will also) ... meet the needs of the Post Distribution Department aiming to facilitate and expedite postal delivery ... all over Sharjah.
Phase one of the project has covered Al Majaz-2 and Al Rahmaniyah-5 areas. The postal code system is part of a broader perspective coding and directive project. It consists five easy-to-memorise digits standing for the emirate and the district codes, allowing acute identification of locations.
We have launched a marketing campaign promoting the system along with a relevant smart phone application. Fliers were also distributed to the citizens of the emirate for the pilot phase, highlighting the significance of the project.