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AeroMEDINA Al Gharbia Michael Stitt

AeroMEDINA Al Gharbia

This Thesis is Submitted in Partial Fulfilment for the Masters of Landscape Architecture Deakin University Student: Michael Stitt No.212578487


Persian Gulf

Dubai Abu Dhabi


Map Source:

Urban Planning Council, 2010,

Al Gharbia Plan 2030


Master plan

Bio-Agriculture R & D Business Park Residential ‘Petal’ 1

PALV Parking Logistics & Distribution

Airport Residential ‘Petal’ 2

Industrial Polymers Park

Residential ‘Petal’ 3 Residential ‘Petal’ 4 Residential ‘Petal’ 7

Residential ‘Petal’ 5

Residential ‘Petal’ 6

Master plan

Sports Centre Recreation

Offices & Apartments 1


Hotel & Conference Centre Offices & Apartments 2

Hotel & Conference Centre


Offices & Apartments 3

Offices & Apartments 4

Offices & Apartments 5

Sports Centre

Offices & Apartments 6

Central business district

Central business district

Research Unit 1


Distribution Centre 1

Research Unit 2 Distribution Centre 2

Green Houses

Research Unit 3

Research Unit 4

Bio-agriculture ‘petal’

“A city made for speed is made for success” Le Corbusier. (Kasarda J. & Lindsay, 2011)

The above mentioned quotation by Le Corbusier, expressed by one of the greatest of all architectural designers of the 20th century, encapsulates a design objective, which would emerge as an important requirement of an effectively functioning city in the 20th century, and would provide just as relevant to that of the airport-driven city of the 21st century.

Etchells, F. 1947 ,pp.176-177

Le Corbusier was primarily describing the role of the personal land vehicles, or “automobile”, and the influence, and the impact that would influence the development and growth of future cities. (Etchells, F. 1947) He incorporates airports in his ‘Contemporary City” concept design, and physically positioned an airport in the centre of a city, on the rooftop of “The Station”, and this would ‘form the aerodrome for aero-taxi’, which would ‘linked up with the main aerodrome in the protected zone”. (Etchells, F. 1947, p.170) Le Corbusier defines the importance of the centralised airport in the CBD, and the Protected Areas, and we can gather from this, the importance that he understood the role an airport functions in cities. Etchells, F. 1947 ,p.192

The importance of the airport, and the development of efficient distribution of good and services, both in terms of the relationship of the internal network of cities, and across the world, was recognised by Dr. John D. Kasarda. (Porada, B, 2013) (Kasarda J. & Lindsay, G, 2011)

The Aerotropolis concept was first conceived in an article of the issue of American magazine “Popular Science”, in November 1939, and developed by a New York artist Nicholas De Santis, (Saitta, D, 2012) Kasarda recognised and champion the notion of airport-integrated regions: Aerotropoli’s, doing business with other global cities. (Porada, B, 2013), (Kasarda J. & Lindsay, 2011) Kasarda recognised the advantage that some cities would have in economic growth, with the Aerotropolis model becoming a primary objective of many politicians and decision makers into the 21st century. (Kasarda J. & Lindsay, 2011) Kasarda considered the new economic and visionary thinkers of key economic and social thinkers of the 2oth century, including Hawley, Tom Friedman, Raymond Vernon, Gerhard Lenski, and Alvin Toffler. (Kasarda J. & Lindsay, 2011, p.159-178)

Many areas of expertise are currently and rapidly innovating in the 21st century, and this includes the aircraft industry. (Kroo, I, 2007) In 2009, the Dutch company PAL-V Europe NV, successfully concluded test flights of its flying car - the PAL-V (Personal Air and Land Vehicle). (, 2012) The PAL-V is a hybrid vehicle design – a cross between an automobile, and a helicopter. This recent innovative and successful design represents a milestone being one of the first commercially viable land and air vehicles. (, 2012) Although at present it is design for a single person, this technology has the potential to increase to four or more persons. It will potentially having far reaching implications on city design, conceivably almost as important as the first

(Saitta, D, 2012)

flight itself by the Wright Brothers, on the December 13, 1907. The PALV concept has the potential far reaching implications on the lives of many people, including how we will commute — individually and on mass – in the skies, and most important of all, the implications for the future shape, configuration, and land uses within existing and new cities. This thesis considers the design of an AeroMedina, an Arabic city design based the physical layout and infrastructure, built around a centralised and integrated city airport. It will consider briefly the historical and economic factors that influence the desire to develop the Aerotropolis as a primary important city model. This study will also consider the potential emerging role the increase in personal mobility based around residents utilising Personal Air and Land Vehicles (PALV). The second part of this study will add some contextual realism in the design of an Aerotropolis design conceivably built in the arid desert of Al Gharbia Western Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The proposed design of this desert Aerotropolis, will explore the major influences taking into account climate, Arabic culture, regional and international economics, and technology, and will illustrate how this Arabic city of the future may appear in spatial, environmental, and economic form.

Urban Planning Council, 2010, Al Gharbia Plan 2030

“The rapid expansion of airport-linked commercial facilities is making today’s air gateways anchors of 21st century metropolitan development where distant travelers and locals alike can conduct business, exchange knowledge, shop, eat, sleep, and be entertained without going more than 15 minutes from the airport. This functional and spatial evolution is transforming many city airports into airport cities.” (Porada, B, 2013)

The an early concept of an “Aerotropolis” appeared in an article of the issue of American magazine “Popular Science” in November 1939, and developed by a New York artist Nicholas De Santis. (Saitta, D, 2012) In his future vision, the airport is depicted as being on an enormous skyscraper with rooftop devoted entirely as an airport within a major metropolitan city context. Zeppelin-like airships are depicted arriving, parking, and taking off from the top of a mega-skyscraper. An enormous size rooftop depicts large areas of runway and aeroplanes being the primary form of transport. Painted on top of the mega structure, is the word “Aerotropolis”, the first use of the word to describe a city integrated as airport. Nicholas De Santis may have been influenced by the much earlier futuristic, dystopic-visioned, silent film “Metropolis” by the then German film maker, Fritz Lang, by, some twelve years. “Metropolis’ is an extraordinary vision of the art deco design influenced world, dominated by human labour, robots and robotics depicting multistory high flyovers, and a skyline dominated by trains, and most relevant here - aeroplanes. An extraordinary work of art, “Metropolis’ was the “Blade Runner” of it’s day. The Nicholas De Santis “Aerotropolis” vision of a future world dominated by air travel must have had stirred up within the emotions of the viewer of his day, almost the same sense of curiosity, excitement and perhaps even skepticism, just as those who first watched The Jetsens on television, were fascinated by high technology and flying saucer-like mobility in the 1960’s. The Jetsens would the same tell-tale signs of the future city dominated by air travel. Business and residential structure developed into the skyline, but now depicting in the micro-city context of a small family with mobility that enables direct access, to and from their sky-tower residence, to other sky-tower entertainment and business related locaThe History of the Jetsens by, Youtube, Retrieved 20 November, 2013, <>

tions. In nearly all episodes, terra firma, is no longer part of the Jetsen’s existence.

In the last three decades, the Aerotropolis has been championed by Dr John D. Kasarda. (Kasarda J. & Lindsay, 2011)(Posada, 2013). The practical expression or design of Aerotropolis is more complex than the definition. Kasarda expressed a simple definition of an Aerotropolis:

[It] “Is basically an airport-integrated region, extending as far as sixty miles from the inner clusters of hotels, offices, distribution and logistics facilities…All kinds of activities are served by and enhanced by the airport. Whether it’s supply chain, whether it’s enterprise networks, whether it’s biosciences and pharmaceuticals and time sensitive organic materials, the airport itself is really the nucleus of a range of ‘New Economic functions’ with the ultimate aim of bolstering the city’s “competitiveness, job creation, and quality of life”. (Kasarda J. & Lindsay, 2011, p.174)

A key features of the Aerotropolis paradigm are expressed in a series of key words and phrases. “Survival of the Fastest”; “Supply chain and value chain”; “Frictionless”, “Survival of the Fastest” is a phrase Kasarda uses adopted from Alvin Toffler, to describe the imperative need for all levels of the production cycle and supply chain to have a rapid delivery so that it can compete against other regions in the competitive global market. (Kasarda & Lindsay 2011, 162, 174) Kasarda has considered a number of important factors in defining the characteristic of an effective Aerotropolis, they include: “1. Developments should cluster together—manufacturing in one place,

corporate offices in another, homes in a third, etc.

(Kasarda & Lindsay 2011)

2. Manufacturing, warehousing, and trucking should be separate from other business areas and passenger flows. 3. Green space should separate developments. 4. Strip developments, such as strip malls, should be limited. 5. Expressways and express trains should connect the airport with major business and residential areas. 6. Truck-only lanes in busy areas would reduce traffic congestion and improve safety. 7. Businesses that use the airport the most should be closest to it. 8. Noise and emission-sensitive commercial and residential areas should lie outside high-intensity flight paths”. (Derewicz, M, 2011, p.27)

The structure and land uses of an Aerotropolis is very much in common with any other major city, except for the layout and emphasis on the integrated airport with other land use concept. The emphasis of this new city is no longer ‘Location, Location and Location’, but ‘Accessibility, Accessibility, and Accessibility’. (Kasarda J. & Lindsay, 2011, p.10) If we consider the Kasardian model of the airport integrated city, we would considering, inter alia, the following major closely integrated land uses:  The airport itself

 Logistics Area with a Free Trade Zone  Warehouse & Distribution Centre  Global Transparks including: Research & development Park  Convention & Exhibition Centre

 High speed Internet Broadband network  Light Industrial “High Technology” Parks  Residential areas with multimodality transport

 Hotel & Entertainment Park (Kasarda J. & Lindsay, G, 2011, from Grayscale image: “John D. Kasarda and Taoyuan Aerotropolis” page opposite p.213).

The major motivation and advantage for creating one or more Aerotropoli’s is to maximise the efficient trade of goods utilising air transport, especially during the current and future period of globalisation and international competition. (Kasarda J. & Lindsay, 2011). However, there have been a number of disadvantages associated with the Aerotropolis city design concept and these are primarily environmental factors. Stormwater and groundwater pollution, (Petzler, E, 2012), noise and air pollution are the two most obvious environmental problems. A significant issue of concern is the issue of the use of fossil fuels (hydrocarbons) and the impact on Climate Change (Charles, M, et al, 2007) Unlike the most common city layout where the airport(s) is located on a city’s outskirts, (and subsequently any pollution can be isolated away from the CBD and major residential populations), the Aerotropolis design paradigm requires the airport to be either central, or close to the other land uses including business parks, and residential areas. A key concern about the economic and environmental viability of the Aerotropolis model is oil cost, and whether it remain relatively inexpen-

sive and hence widely available in the future. (Charles, M, et al, 2007) Assuming this is not the case and there is a downturn in oil production, will this adversely affect Aerotropolises. Wikipedia: Charles, M. B., Barnes, P., Ryan, N., & Clayton, J. (2007). (Charles, M, et al, 2007, 1009-1028).

Another criticism of the Aerotropolis model is the overstating the number and types of goods that travel by air. (Charles, M, et al, 2007, 1009-1028). While many types of high-value goods, like electronics, tend to travel by air, larger, bulkier items will be transported by sea freight. (Charles, M, et al, 2007, 1009-1028). However, it is envisaged that with advances in technology and renewable energy uses, many of these identified problems will be overcome in time.

The importance of the Al Gharbia Western Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, was recently described by Mohamed Hamad Bin Azzzan Al Mazrouei Acting Undersecretary of the Ruler’s Representative Court in the Western Region, Director General Western Region Development Council (WRDC), and promoted the Al Gharbia Development Forum, 2013, (Al Gharbia Development Forum, 2013, p.3):

“Al Gharbia occupies an area of 40,000 square kilometres, which is 60% of Abu Dhabi’s land mass, and contains the overwhelming majority of the UAE’s oil and gas resources. A total of 184,508 people live in the region, most of them in its seven main cities: Madinat Zayed, Liwa, Ghayathi, Ruwais, Mirfa, Sila and Delma Island. Al Gharbia is one the richest regions in Abu Dhabi as more than 40% of Abu Dhabi’s GDP originates from Al Gharbia and the region forms the

western boundary of the UAE, providing the crossing point for travellers and freight from the Emirates to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and the northern and eastern parts of the Arab world. The increasing movement of people and cargo through this vital transport corridor provides an additional dimension to Al Gharbia’s role in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, the GCC and the wider Middle East”. (Al Gharbia Development Forum, 2013, p.3)

The development of an Al Gharbia AeroMedina is unlikely to significantly to compete with the regional and national airports at Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha, but to provide a complementary regional model that provides maximum flexibility for the economic growth and development of this sparsely populated region of the United Arab Emirates. Therefore it is to be stressed that Al Gharbia AeroMedina is not poised to be another regional hub that directly competes with Dubai, Abu Dhabi and in the neighbouring airport of Doha, Qatar. It’s role is to be regional bio -agricultural, polymers, and desalination research centre utilising the expertise of both Emirati’s and Expatriates. In defining an Aerotropolis for the Desert Al Gharbia Region, it is essential to define the economic role the city plays in the regional context of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and the United Emirates as-a-whole. The Al Gharbia AeroMedina will comprise a large range of primarily ‘clean’ industries. The production of Polymers, or plastics that can quickly transported to computer based companies in Europe, and Asia, and then hence be incorporated into computers in those regions, is a paramount objective. In addition to the production of Polymers, will be a research facility which is devoted to alternative water renewal technologies. A key part of the research will be desalination, and will work together with the primary desalination plants in the region.

Another major industry will be bio-agricultural sciences specialising in improving in the production of hybrid date palm species: the common and ubiquitous “Phoenix dactylifera”. Both the plantation of “Phoenix dactylifera”, and a bio-agricultural university for the study of Arabian plants, will also be incorporated into the Medina design. The major nearby settlements of Madinat Zayed, Mirfa, Ghayathi, Liwa, Ruwais, Sila'a, and Delma, are proposed to provide agricultural input into the new city bio-agricultural business. The Desert Western region of Al Gharbia is a harsh and dry landscape with high temperatures typical of this part of the Arabian peninsula. Designing an Aerotropolis for this region is unlike that of designing a city in a temperate region where water is abundant, and climate the climate is mild for it’s citizens. One of the considerations of designing the layout of the Medina is to consider the overall orientation.

Ebenezer Howard Model: Freestone, R, 1989, p.14, Model Communities: The garden city movement in Australia. Nelson.

There are at least two major considerations to be taken into account here. The first is the orientation of the airport and airport runways themselves. The second is the orientation for built environment to maximise overshadowing to the pedestrian streets. If we consider the airport and it’s runway, this is largely a fixed orientation based on climatic factors such as wind. When considering primarily land uses such as residential and business parks, we can use the Masdar City model and aim to design buildings with overshadowed pedestrian streets in as much as away from North-South arrangement as possible, with the ideal being North-East, or North-Western arrangement.

Google Earth, 2013

If we then consider the current and proposed design, the petal like residential arrangement will aim to maximise to the arrangement as possible. In defining the shape, network and overall design of the desert AeroMedina, we not only have to consider the economic and environmental constraints, but to understand the most efficient and appropriate design layout of the city. A key consideration is the location of the airport itself, but also the other necessary land uses including Logistics & distribution centres, business parks, residential population, and transport network linkages. The model design chosen for this thesis design is a hybrid of a circular garden city concept sketch created by Ebenezer Howard, that comprised a cluster of towns around a central city area, and other real-life developments recently constructed in the G.C.C. region. As part of this thesis, I have explored differing town and city layouts, including the traditional gridiron road network, and the early 20th century interest in the hexagonal townscape design. Within the scope of this thesis is the rejection largely in part a wide spread design based on the traditional model, on the basis to achieve clear and distinct neighbourhoods, and also a desire to encourage greater visual and physical dominance of vehicular transport as combined in the townscape. The other major inspiration is a real life major resort: “Durrat Al Bahrain” designed and developed by W.S. Atkins, located in the Persian Gulf, and the South-Eastern region of the Kingdom of Bahrain. This major resort development covers an approximate area of approximately 20 square kilometres, and comprises a series of islands, referred to as “petals” and “atolls” that are connected by a circular road course-way. (Atkins, 2004) The proposed population for the resort was expected to be approximately

23,500 residents and visitors including 2,900 employees. (Atkins, 2004, p.14). The circular island design layout terminates to the north and south on a large semi-circular cusp that is the resorts central entertainment and service facility.

The expected population of the resort has changed overtime, but any early concept design estimated the resident population as approximately 26,400, mostly of G.C.C Nationals (Atkins, 2004). The third inspiration for the Al Gharbia desert Aerotropolis design is the non-carbon producing city currently under construction in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi: Masdar City. The aim of the city is to be one of the world’s sustainable non-carbon producing city. (Masdar City, circa 2010) It also has been designed to be socially sustainable as possible, for example the major means of transport within the city is electrically powered small cars that are driverless, and are all underground. The advantage of the underground transport system is the reduction in pedestrian and vehicle conflicts, including accidents. Thus Masdar City is built on two levels, an underground transport network, and an upper pedestrian townscape.

When combining the Durrat Al Bahrain and Masdar City model of city design, the Al Gharbia Aerotropolis is to be physically defined in the following form and structure:  A medina comprising a population of approximately 35,000 people.  The population comprises a combination of both Emirati’s

and Expatriates  The residential design caters mostly large villas for the expected larger family size of the local Emirati’s, and predominately apartments for the Expatriates.  Both Emirati’s and Expatriates will be no more than 70-100 metres to an underground transport hub. Access to PALV’s will be the same distance criteria.

 All residents will be walking distance from essential services including local shops, Mosques, kindergartens, small healthcare centres.  A circular shaped road and rail network that has an airport in the centre.  The northern half of the circular formed road network has the airport, logistics, storage, patron PALV parking and other associated airport facilities and support.  The bio-agricultural research facilities and other business park will be located both to the north-east and west of the airport.  The Polymer’s park will be located to the north-east area of the AeroMedina.

To the southern side of the circular shape road way and of the airport itself, are a series of self-contained residential ‘petal’-shaped residential area. Each area is a predominately self-contained community with most community facilities located within walking distance to a resident.

The areas are defined as two essential layers. The bottom or “basement” level is the transport and PALV parking level. The upper level is the pedestrian or townscape level. To service transport within each community area, an electric “People mover” car system moves residents within the designated residential petal area underground. Those residents who wish to travel outside their residential area have the choice of utilising their personal PALV, or take the “People mover” rail system which moves along the circular road system. Access to the “basement” transport level is along a series of evenly spaced station points throughout each residential community. The residential land use comprises eighteen U-shaped ground + four story apartment buildings arranged in groups of two offset from each other. At the centre of each pair is a wind-tower which aims utilizes both the wind and a recycling movement of water which sprays and cools the two courtyards. Close to each of the apartments and clustered predominately to the northern tip of the petal are two story villas, mostly occupied by Emirati’s. The apartments are expected to house the expatriate population. Each petal will have a population of around 33,400 people.

UPC, 2010

Each residential petal is a self-contained community which includes are the necessary community facilities such as shops, post office, schools, kin-

UPC, 2010

dergarten, banks, prayer rooms, and Jumah (“Friday”) Mosque for Friday prayers. In addition, there is a wide range and distribution of parks of many sizes, including small pocket parks. The following community facilities have been provided for the development based on the Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council’s Community Facilities requirements (2010):  Local Mosques  Jumah Mosque

UPC, 2010

 Local parks  Local shops including supermarket, hairdresser, doctors clinic, dentist, grocery shop, cafe restaurant, pharmacist etc.  Kindergartens

 Primary School (Girls), incl. sporting facility  Primary School (Boys) incl. sporting facility  High School (Girls) incl. sporting facility  High School (Boys) incl. sporting facility

UPC, 2010

 Medical Centres

(UPC, 2010)

Note that the petal population does not warrant the need for a hospital, and such a major facility is located in the Central Business District. Public open space includes a central formal space surrounding the Mosque, but also, having regard to the Arabic traditions of medina design, incorporate major (Wikipedia, Gemasolar, 2014)

elements into a new Arabian AeroMedina design should include, inter alia, Barahas and Meyadeen. The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council defines a Barahas and a Meyadeen, respectively, as: “…are small semi-private spaces programmed primarily for passive use. They are located between homes to support the surrounding residences. They are located in a traditional neighbourhood system or fareej”. (Abu Dhabi Public Realm Design Manual, Chap7 p.61) “…are small semi-public gathering spaces programmed primarily as central meeting areas. They are located between homes to support the surrounding residences. They are located as focal points in a traditional neighbourhood systems or fareej. Meyadeen are facilities for meeting and gathering within the community. The main outdoor space within residential developments, Meyadeen provide formal spaces for community discussions and events”. (Abu Dhabi Public Realm Design Manual, Chap7 p.97) Both Barahas and a Meyadeen would be incorporated into the Al Gharbia AeroMedina design.

Each petal is partially powered by a circular, reflector-based solar system modelled after the Gemasolar power plant located near the city of Fuentes de Andalucia, Seville Spain. The process works through a combination of solar energy that concentrates the suns ray from solar reflectors to a 140 metre high tower, and the energy is stored within a molten stage system. (Wikipedia, Gemasolar, 2014)

The Spanish based Gemasolar power station is approximately 185 hectares, and produces 19.9 MW of power (110GW per year, sufficient power to supply 27,500 homes. (Wikipedia, Gemasolar, 2014) While this insufficient in size to generate enough energy to power each petal, the technology is continues to improve and can help each community have itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own determination of energy. In addition, is a sewerage settlement plant to help generate drinkable water.

The Central Business District of the Al Gharbia AeroMedina design provides a combination of offices, two hotels, inner-city residential apartments, entertainment, a major hospital, and other retail related facilities. The heights of the buildings are designed to graduated lower the closer one gets to Airport runway. A series of linear spread, geodesic-shaped domes, and hyper-domes are located close to the office towers, to ensure entertainment, including sports, but all housed for cool climatic conditions during the approximately summer-like months. The CBD is planned with pedestrian boulevards that are spatially designed to a single focal point, close to the airport, where commuters have the option to fly their PALV to a centralised point and take an Industrial lift moves their PALV into the basement parking level. The alternative to flying is for residents of the Petals to drive their PALV under the lower basement plinth to park under the CBD. They access the upper flower towers and other facilities via a series of equally spaced stairs and lift facilitated stations. Polymerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plant Taiwan, all.htm

The AeroMedina airport is the primary land use element and has a crucial role to play in making the Arabic Medina an economically viable factor in regional development. Both the airport and the runway have been designed on a 10 metre above ground plinth, and deigned to international standards. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s function is primarily to serve the Arabian and Asian regional markets, but does not exclude Europe, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region. Thus the airport aims to provide direct flights to any destination in the world, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s facilities including the runway are of sufficient length and width and capacity to cater for all sizes of aircraft including Boeing 777â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s , the new Dreamliner, and A380s. On the fringe of the airport and the airport runway, are aircraft service facilities included for fuel depot and aircraft hangers for maintenance, and refuelling.

Unlike the residential petals distributed along the circular major triple carriageway road, the Northern region of the AeroMedina is characterised by specialist high-technical bio-agricultural land uses, and Industrial Polymers production, and business R & D. Other than the airport, the Northern business-focussed petals are built directly on the ground level. Each petal, like the resident petals, are powered by a circular reflector solar system. A brief description of the land uses of the petals are:

Polymers Park An industrial park comprising large plots that enable large-scale clean and where necessary, lesser-clean industrial waste. The Polymers part has been intentionally sited on the North-Eastern side of the AeroMedina, so as to allow the winds to blow directly out to the desert. The plastics produced are manufactured to service predominately the computer industry, and local UAE demand. The produced items can then be quickly distributed to the Logistics park and then flown out to their International destination.

Bio-Agricultural petal The Bio-Agricultural petal comprises a series of â&#x20AC;&#x153; Phoenix dactyliferaâ&#x20AC;? and experimental variations, in as a series plantations that are grown for commercial and research purposes. The park comprises four major research facilities and a series of green houses where other commercially viable plants are grown for long term commercial production.

Logistics, Warehouse Storage and Distribution.

A petal has been dedicated as a logistics warehouse and distribution of all incoming and outgoing goods. Goods from other nearby towns and cities across the Al Gharbia region can be stored here too. The Logistics petal plays an important function in ensuring that all goods are efficiently stored and eventually transported to the airport. All transport either from the airport, or to the airport, can be covered in minimum time of less than 10 minutes.

Efficient transport is essential for the economic viability of the AeroMedina. Goods and services that are produced need to easily loaded on Aeroplanes and transported to the destinations. A key factor which need to be resolved in the design of the AeroMedina, was how commuters from the residential petals and the CBD can pass over the airport runway without conflicting with horizontal aircraft transport, and more importantly, not breaking traditional rules of air transport safety requirements.

The solution found has been to raise both the airport, and the runway above ground to a height of 10 metres. PALV can either travel as a motor vehicle along a central spine directly from the CBD to the rear of the Airport directly to the northern petals. Alternatively, a PALV commuter can fly under the runway on either the far North-Western end, or the South-Eastern end. The ground has been lowered to a height of five metres, making the total airspace to travel under the runway fifteen metres. It is expected that the clearance will be easily sufficient for the PALVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to fly through this space. Otherwise the PALV can travel along the circular road to the North.

The objective of this design project has been to explore and consider a viable alternative to a traditional grid-based city based around an airport, of which the later is the primary basis of transporting good and services to key destination around the world. The basis of this alternative spatial model has been to provide flexibility and identity to the needs of future city mobility dominated by individual citizens requiring air transport as part of their daily working and leisure lives. Kasarda & Lindsay (2011) have demonstrated that efficiently designed cities play an important basis of a countries economic viability as economic centres of trade. (Posada, 2013)

In this example an attempt has been made to consider an Arabic Aerotropolis, or what I define here as an AeroMedinaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;an Arabian based city which is economically competitive to global markets, but still considers the harsh climatic (environmental) conditions of the Arabian desert that incorporates both passive and active design elements, in order to encourage quality and comfortable conditions for itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s residents. The design has been predominantly conceptual, and much detail of the micro-elements of making a city work, has yet to be done, however, I hope I have demonstrated a viable conceptual model that can be applied in multiple forms and hybrids adaptable and highly economically competitive across the Arabian, and potentially other international arid regions.

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Trimble Sketchup Models incorporated into the design British Airways Boeing 747-400 by “-Nix15-”,

Boeing 747-400 Qantas by “WilliamT”,

Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (on the ground) by “SAEin”

Islamic Grille by “SwerveUT”

Quawanni by “drsancho”

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia


A330-343X (New Livery 2013) by “STONE de Taiwan”

( by

Persian City by “LordGood”

Geodesic Pillow Dome by “Taffgoch”

The Community Oasis

Ground Circulation

Basement palv Circulation

Basement palv Circulation

Palv flying Circulation

Residential Petals: 10 metre high basement with access to PALV via stairs and Industrial lift

Residential perspective views

Residential perspective views

Residential land use

Parks & services

Prayer room

Access to parking & basement

UPC, 2010

UPC, 2010

UPC, 2010

UPC, 2010

basement Circulation

Business Park Variation Business Plots

Industrial Plots Retail shops Parks & Green belt


Bio-agriculture ‘petal’

Desert hyperdome

Desert hyperdome

Desert hyperdome


Urban Planning Council, 2010, Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 - Abu Dhabi Public Realm Design Manual, Urban Planning Council, Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE.




Thesis AEROMEDINA by Michael frank Stitt - fiinal