Public Realm Design Manual

Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Applied Expertise

  • Urban Design
  • Waterfronts
  • Visioning
  • Public Involvement
  • Design Standards
  • Policy Planning
  • Interpretive Planning
  • Comprehensive Planning


As a nation in the midst of planning for future development, Abu Dhabi has the opportunity to create world class cities that embody worldwide best practices while enhancing the culture and heritage of the Emirate. In anticipation of preparing a strategy for developing its two major cities, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, into destinations with world-class appeal the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) retained peter j. smith & company to prepare an urban design strategy.

The resulting Public Realm Design Manual (PRDM) is a technical and policy guide for development of all parks, streetscapes, coastal areas and public places. To facilitate understanding of the public realm, the manual breaks the public realm into a manageable system of typologies. Design guidelines for each typology link all of the elements of the public realm into the experience of the resulting monumental city.


2011 First Place for Excellence in the Category of District Planning/Urban Design, International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP)

2011 Honorable Mention for Urban Design, Canadian Institute of Planners

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