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UN-Habitat to celebrate 10 Years of Cooperation for Sustainable Urban Development in Kuwait
February 5, 2018, 3:11 pm

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme UN-Habitat and Boulevard under Al Salmiya Group for Enterprise Development Co. has announced on 5 February the successful signing between the two organizations to launch an engaging celebratory event on Public Space on 15 and 16 March at Boulevard Park. The signing ceremony was held at Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah building and was attended by Dr. Tarek El-Sheikh, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Acting Head of Office UN-Habitat Dr. Ameera Al-Hassan and Adwan Al Adwani, Chairman of Al Salmiya Group.

This year’s celebrations marks the theme, 'Public Space for Peace', a celebratory event bringing communities together to show appreciation for Kuwait’s coalition countries by having an 'International Tasting Bazaar' and celebrating the importance of having an open public space around Kuwait districts that is socially engaging and impactful.

Boulevard Park is considered sustainable due to its multipurpose setting with a library, shopping mall, and restaurants as well as serves as a beautiful open out-door space that creates a sense of holistic well-being for visitors to finish and enjoy their daily activities.

Boulevard Park has been selected due to its commitment in promoting and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals specifically SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities advocating that a well-planned city-wide public space system with natural green areas that are well connected and can create networks to regenerate ecological systems and tackle challenges posed by climate change.

The UN-Habitat and Boulevard cooperation aims to bring together people. It represents the culmination of the cooperation between the private sector and UN organizations along with the participation of all sectors of the society. Bringing in cultural diversity by enriching residents experience with a variety of international food dishes, representing different regions of the world, and achieving creating cross-cultural friendships.

Adwan Al Adwani, Chairman of Al Salmiya Group, said bringing forward this initiative to Boulevard aims to raise awareness of the importance of having an open public space around Kuwait districts that help to achieve a compact, connected and integral inclusive in Kuwait future cities.

United Nations Resident Coordinator Dr. Tarek El-Sheikh, further added, this is part of our mandate to update and inform all residents of Kuwait on the international pillars of what makes a community sustainable by promoting both the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). 

In order to generate more awareness of what is ‘open public space,’ a youth competition will run simultaneously during the second day of the bazaar geared to students in private schools who offer the UN curricula to showcase their creative talents in either drawing or design a model of what they need and want in the sustainable “My Future City Model” competition. 

Mr. Adwan added that Boulevard Park was designed in a way to promote a unique offering of a mix of indoor and outdoor services, activities, and facilities to empower families by contributing to the local community and making it accessible and convenient for both families and kids.

Strategically located at the heart of Salmiya, Kuwait’s most vibrant district, Boulevard stands as an urban hub for recreational, social, commercial, natural, and touristic attractions in which visitors can enjoy an array of activities.

Dr. Ameera Al-Hassan- acting head of UN-Habitat office stated that as a shopping mall with an open space, Boulevard provides its shoppers with a multipurpose park, where each family member enjoys a safe and environmental friendly open space, the youth can also practice sports and intellectual activities, which leads them to become a more creative and productive generation, and that in its essence achieves the UN-Habitat New Urban Agenda objectives and at the same time it achieves the economic growth of the city.

Al Hassan, further added that the interesting part is that Boulevard design places in consideration of all kinds of shopper’s access requirements including infants, people with special needs and elderly making it easier for nearby commuters.

El-Sheikh emphasized the UN role which is tasked to help raise awareness and create a place that empowers residents to be involved in decision-making processes in order to meet their general demand as set by Agenda 2030.

Messages from 'Public Space for Peace' celebration will promote the five pillars of what makes a Sustainable Public Space:- 1) creating adequate public space that serve an inter-generational mix of diverse people and cultures since communities are key to sustainable development; 2) Public space should be people-centered empowering residents to participate in the urban planning process ; 3) Public Spaces should be sustainable spaces that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable;  4) Partnerships with private sector is critical and essential in advancing sustainable practices and ensuring the global messages are reached effectively through demonstration projects and lastly; 5) Effective Local level leaderships (at the Mokhtar level) together with empowered Governorates makes our future better and our needs met effectively. 

It is worth noting; Public art performances in public spaces can celebrate and validate a sense of community, identity, belonging and well-being. The more that our cities architecture and urban design is admired and loved by the public, the longer it will be cared, adopted and sustained.

Boulevard Shopping is the one-stop shopping destination that embodies a diverse array of retailers, cafes and restaurants. The entire mall is equipped with a full range of facilities that guarantees convenience of both its visitors and tenants.
•  2000+ parking spaces
• Free Wi-Fi
• Special Needs Facilities
• 24/7 Security services
• Banking & ATM Services
• Sultan Center Hyper Market
• A Huge Shopping Mall
• Jarir Bookstore
• Best Electronics (Opening Soon)
• Kids Entertainment
• 7 gates overlooking 4 main streets
• Prayer Rooms

Public Space is the banner of urban community where people perform a number of functions that are shared with all and when planned efficiently public spaces can;
1) Generate income of investment and wealth creation
2) Producers of environmental sustainability
3) Increases transportation efficiency and enhances Safety
4) Improves Public Health
5) Act as promoters of equity and social inclusion
6) Opportunities for generation citizen involvement
7) Generators of great cities.

UN-Habitat is the UN agency for Housing and Cities that support sustainability in urban areas for more than 40 years UN-Habitat has been working in human settlement programs throughout the world with a focus of building brighter future for developing villages, towns, cities of all sizes, which are in need of support in guiding the process of urbanizations.

It is worth mentioning, the collaboration between UN-Habitat and Boulevard will educate and inform youths about the benefits of public space for sustainability and how this plays a strong impact for societies to thrive in Kuwait. Teaching residents and youths the added benefits of having an open public space and investing more into attractive outdoor communities are 50% more likely to achieve high levels of walking which help slow global warming and its role to shape urban development communities.

Dalal Al-Radhi, Partnership & Advocacy Associate at UN-Habitat ended by saying, Green public space must be a key consideration in urban planning for the health of the city and its people, considering world’s most famous cities are known for their open space as for their culture such as, Barcelona La Rambla tree-lined pedestrian or the Bukit Timah Nature Preserve in Singapore.

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