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UPC hosts first Seychelles Strategic Plan charette

posted on 22/09/2014: 1560 views

Under the visionary leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the strategic direction of H.H. General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, to enhance bilateral relations and collaboration between the U.A.E. and Seychelles Governments, plans being drawn up by the Abu Dhabi Government and the Republic of Seychelles to secure sustainable growth for the island nation will be discussed tomorrow, 22nd September, at a progress meeting for stakeholders.

The first stakeholder charette for the Seychelles Strategic Plan will be held in Victoria, the Seychelles capital, the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) announced yesterday.

Entitled, "Where Are We Now?", the charette will reflect on work the UPC has undertaken so far to establish a baseline for the project and consider aspirations for the Seychelles. Stakeholders will also explore opportunities and constraints for growth, and begin discussions on where growth could potentially be located in the future.

Over the three days of the Charrette, stakeholders will work together to develop understandings and identify the key issues to be addressed by the Plan.

The Seychelles Strategic Plan, a collaborative project between the Republic of Seychelles and the Abu Dhabi Government, commenced with a formal kick-off meeting on 26th May 2014. The aim of the project is to develop a plan that will articulate a clear vision for the future of the Seychelles, a country spanning more than 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa.

Effective engagement with stakeholders and the community forms one of the cornerstones of the Seychelles Strategic Plan. It will enable a visionary yet deliverable plan to be developed which has buy-in from a broad range of stakeholders.

Stakeholders will examine the key findings in the Existing Conditions Report, which has been prepared by the UPC after a thorough analysis of issues relating to the economy, planning and land use, housing, community facilities, transport, utilities, heritage and architecture, the environment, climate change, flood risk and natural hazards, security and demographics.

By the end of the charette, stakeholders will understand the purpose of the project; they will have discussed and agreed the key issues that the Seychelles Strategic Plan needs to resolve, explored and agreed the vision, discussed the opportunities for and constraints to growth, and identified possible growth scenarios for the next phase of the project.

Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager, UPC, said; "The first Seychelles Strategic Plan charette will demonstrate the progress the UPC has made so far as we work towards a thorough development plan that considers all issues relating to the sustainable growth of a nation.

Success of the plan will depend on stakeholders engaging in its preparation so that it reflects their aspirations, can be delivered and that there is alignment across the public and private sector on the country's priorities. This charette is therefore an important opportunity to provide feedback on our proposals and ensure that the plan reflects the Seychellois context." Christian Lionnet, the Seychelles Minister for Land Use and Housing, commented; "Never before has a small island state benefitted from the preparation of such a detailed plan, which will no doubt set the urban development framework for sustainable growth of the Seychelles up to 2040. Once established, it will guide the decision-making process, identify development and investment projects and also provide clarity, direction and confidence while moving forward.

"The plan preparation process will enhance ownership and will provide Government Ministries with the necessary technical skills to implement and update the plan as and when necessary. I am very excited to view the end product," Lionnet added.

The Seychelles Strategic Plan will cover all of the islands that comprise the Seychelles, with particular focus on the main island of Mahe. A framework plan will be developed for Mahe and a detailed Master Plan will be developed for Victoria, the capital city of the Seychelles.

The plan will set out the urban development framework for the sustainable growth of the Seychelles over the next 20 years, and will address priorities for the nation, such as: facilitating economic growth and diversification, protecting the environment by ensuring development is undertaken in appropriate locations and in a sustainable manner, appropriate allocation of land for residential and economic use, protecting the character and heritage of the Seychelles, and preserving and enhancing its social and cultural aspects, to ensure a high quality of life for all. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


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