Dr Anna Gritching is seen with her students on a field trip in Qatar. As part of her teaching and research at Qatar University, she is looking at Food Security as a new paradigm for Urban Planning and Design. This involves examining how to integrate the production of food into the architectural, urban, and landscape design and also to design more productive landscapes.

Just as change doesn’t necessarily imply a change for the better, movement does not always denote a forward escalation in a progressive direction. Similarly, while urban development is a positive step forward, there are aspects which can add impetus to the thrust and value to the larger picture and make the pace of progress even more progressive.

Glance anywhere in Doha and there is one uniform feature that remains constant throughout the landscape — construction is everywhere, in one form another, as far as eye can see! Urban development and progress are more than just mere terms in Qatar’s environment yet sustainability is striving hard to become more than just a cliched term.

That Qatar is developing by leaps and bounds, there is no doubt! What remains to be seen is whether the movement is going forward in the targeted direction with desired results achievable at the expected time. What also remains to be seen is whether urban development and sustainability can have a lasting marriage in the Qatari landscape and a genuine commitment to each other will be far more important than mere intention.

One amongst the many germs of progressive ideas floating is the study of Urban Development and Sustainability at Qatar University’s Department of Architecture and Urban Planning.

While a few years ago the concept of working towards recycling plastic, glass and aluminum was gaining momentum in the international arena, followed by the trend towards ‘going green’ and ‘Green building’, the world has progressed way beyond to now ‘thinking in systems’ to address the current needs and tackle the pace at which the planet is needing corrective measures.

Just ‘going green’ is no longer cool, the new buzz word is Blue! “Blue Design” creates places that go beyond Carbon Neutrality and add back to our world, in a new symbiosis between buildings and landscapes.

Symbiosis is the interaction and mutually beneficial relationship between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both.

Read more of this article from the Gulf Times in Qatar

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