RIBA moderates a masterplanning roundtable with HRH The Prince of Wales

peter oborn story

RIBA Vice President International Peter Oborn moderated a roundtable discussion in Oman this week in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales. The event was part of the Prince's official visit to the Middle East. 

The roundtable was convened to consider how the 11 principles developed by RIBA Competitions and their client Omran, for a new city in Oman, engage with the New Urban Agenda, adopted following the Habitat III held last month in Quito. Called Madinat al Irfan, the proposed 5.6 million square metres city on the outskirts of Muscat was masterplanned by British architect Allies & Morrison in collaboration with engineers Arup and landscape architect, Kim Willkie.
The 11 principles followed at Irfan are:

1. Learn from the past to inform the future
2. Create places of distinct character
3. Create a comfortable environment for pedestrians
4. Provide an integrated transport system
5. Create active mixed-use places
6. Create an integrated, sustainable community
7. Celebrate the natural landscape
8. Embrace quality and diversity in its buildings
9. Complete at every stage
10. Adopt a SMART City concept
11. Provide a catalyst for change

The roundtable was attended by senior Omani politicians and advisors including the Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Planning, HE Sultan Al Habsi, the Omani Ambassador to the United Kingdom, HE Abdulaziz Al Hinai, and the Omani Minister of Transport, HE Dr Ahmed Mohammed Salem Al Futaisi, who accompanied HRH The Prince of Wales during the event. 

Speaking on Sunday, Peter Oborn said: 'Today’s roundtable couldn’t have been better timed, coming as it has barely two weeks after Habitat III in Ecuador and the day before the opening of the UN's climate change conference (COP22) in Marrakesh. The New Urban Agenda and COP22 are both critically important if we are to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 11, which is to 'Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable'. These are all issues which the Prince has championed and spoken about so powerfully in the past. The lessons from Oman remind us of the importance of engaging with these issues right now as the cities of tomorrow are being designed today and we were delighted by the level of engagement from all those who attended the roundtable.'

Posted on Wednesday 9th November 2016
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