Robin Cheeseright and Rony Eappen were pleased to attend the CTBUH Annual Conference in Dubai and Abu Dhabi this October.
This year the conference was titled Polycentric Cities and focused on the idea of large cities being or becoming decentralised, with ‘several cities within a city’, in order to offer the best and most sustainable future for the inhabitants of these cities and those who move to them. Various cities have already developed this way such as New York with areas such as Downtown and Midtown.
The host city of Dubai is a key example of a Polycentric city with its various districts, Downtown Dubai; Business Bay; Dubai Marina; Festival City; Palm Jumeirah to name a few, and many other centres being added, arguably allowing Dubai to grow as quickly as it has in recent decades.
The conference was held in Dubai for three days. The first day held off-site workshops, as well as various meetings for CTBUH Leaders and working groups, ending with the evening reception at Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. During the first day, Robin Cheeseright, CTBUH Vertical Transportation Working Group Chair, detailed intended outcomes for the group and outlined future plans and outputs.
The following two days consisted of symposiums, presentations and panel discussions with 8 key themes running throughout including facades, skybridges, tall timber, polycentric urbanism and advanced construction and engineering. Under the smart tall buildings theme, Robin was pleased to chair the session on Smart Tools with panellists Karl-Heinz Bauer, CTO, Schindler, Shonn Mills, Global High Rise Director, Ramboll Group, and Marty Doscher, Vice President AEC Marketplace, Dassault Systèmes. It was a fascinating session whereby Schindler discussed the use of robots for elevator installation, Dassult Systems discussed the potential of simulation software, not just for building design but building operations; and Ramboll took a significant step into the future by discussing the potential of data collection within a building and its occupants and how this could change the traditional landlord tenant model.
On the final day in Dubai, delegates visited various buildings and sites as part of the off-site programs, before travelling to Abu Dhabi the next morning.
In Abu Dhabi, delegates enjoyed the opportunity to experience the city through a program that explored the city’s premier developments, infrastructure hubs and cultural sites with formats that ranged from presentations to tours, site visits and technical demonstrations.