Dubai’s New Futuristic Urban Community
Expo 2020 closes with a flourish
As one door closes, a spectacular window to the future opens. The site of Dubai Expo 2020 (held in 2021-22 due to the global pandemic) will now evolve into Urban Community District 2020. The futuristic urban community will spotlight new models for health and wellness, sustainability initiatives, and the future needs of workers and residents.
But, first things first. The spectacular closing ceremonies for Expo 2020 on March 31, 2022, will feature Christina Aguilera, Norah Jones, and Yo-Yo Ma. Much like the Olympics closing ceremony, the ‘baton’ will be passed to the next Expo city, Osaka Japan in 2025. The celebration will spread across more than 20 giant screens, many of the country pavilions, and Al Wasl’s centerpiece dome, home of the world’s largest 360 degree projection.
The infrastructure of the site will live on in District 2020, including more than 260,000 square feet of LEED Gold and Platinum structures. The site will become a combination of cultural, residential and commercial neighborhoods. It aims to be a blueprint for a human-centered smart city.
The buildings have been designed to make the most of the abundant solar energy in the desert, and the paucity of fresh water, using 50% less than common buildings. Sustainability, wellness, and livability are the goals.
The planning incorporates a concept of the 15 minute city… everything that you need to live and work here should be within a 15 minute walk or bike ride. “You could be working in one building, living in the next, and then going down in the evening to your favourite restaurant, which is probably in the building after,” explains Sanjive Khosla, senior vice president at District 2020
Following a short re-purposing and transition period, District 2020 plans to begin its hand over to future occupants by Q4 2022..