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Anticipating the Unknown: How Thoughtful Design Creates Future Resiliency

Cities and towns around the world are working quickly to adapt to new challenges, including facing issues of economics, public health, education and safety. They are also struggling to maintain a sense of community. Thoughtful design in Placemaking helps communities adapt to current demands, as well as preserves the history and culture that strengthen the community of tomorrow.



June 29, 2020
IBI Group, in collaboration with Colliers International, were commissioned by The Ministry of Defense Pension Fund (MODPF) to prepare the concept master plan for a mixed-use development in Al Bandar, Muscat.

Al Bandar: A new community, a new district.

Rising from the desert outside the bustling city of Muscat in Oman, the Al Bandar mixed-use development seeks to create a framework that not only improves the quality of life of its residents and visitors, but integrates wellness, culture, identity, community, variety and heritage to create a neighborhood that will adapt for the future.

Al Bandar features a connected environment that is built around mobility, walkability and access to remarkable amenities such as heritage components and natural open space. It connects commercial, entertainment, residential, and education districts – all linked through a pedestrian network.

An integrated approach.

Resilient design has to address all facets of society and how people interact with places in order to ensure adaptability to meet unanticipated future needs. The foundation is a well-designed public realm that creates a system of connected spaces where people want to spend time engaging in social, civic and recreational activities that promote a sense of cultural identity and pride.

This is supported through active and defined commercial and residential districts, with “green corridors” that provide connectivity between public spaces (parks, trails, plazas) and surrounding architecture.

Al Bandar Development Master Plan.
  • Movement: The public realm will build a well-functioning street and pedestrian network that supports and sustains social, economic and environmental priorities. Streets will fit comfortably within the built environment and reflect local identity, allowing easy travel through multi-modal streets and open space systems that encourage walking, connectivity to the outdoors, biking and easy links to transit.
  • Employment: The public realm has coordinated pedestrian connections to ensure that economic clustering and access for adjacent uses and amenities are in place. Districts are clearly defined with links to commercial and community cores that define the area’s identity.
  • Culture: The pedestrian connections and spaces have created attractive and engaging environments within the public realm such as streets, parks and open spaces that highlight culturally significant symbols and themes. This integration creates beautiful and memorable spaces.
  • Institutions: Placemaking has been developed to create partnerships with hospitals and schools to ensure that indoor and outdoor spaces are reflective of a culture of innovation and learning.
  • Environment: Where possible, natural features are preserved and enhanced to encourage connection with, and appreciation of, the environment. Spaces are designed with comfortable cooling and shading elements in place to ensure weather is not an impediment to engaging with the public realm. They also contribute to healthier air, lower temperatures and economic savings.
Al Bandar Development Master Plan.

Through enhanced view corridors and features like parks and open space, public art, and gateways, design helps to create a community identity that deepens the connection between users with the natural environment, and with each other.

View Al Bandar Development Master Plan project

Al Bandar Development Master Plan

Muscat, Oman

IBI Group, in collaboration with Colliers International, were commissioned by The Ministry of Defense Pension Fund (MODPF) to prepare the concept masterplan for a mixed-use development in Al Bandar, Muscat, which is to be developed over three phases.

Phil Colleran has directed a range of urbanmixed-use development projects, community planning, and site design in the U.S. and abroad. He has significant experience with complex projects and large teams in the Far East, the Middle East and North Africa. In his work, he is responsive to environmental and civic concerns, and has deployed ground-breaking design strategies suitable to climate and project conditions.

Headshot of Phil Colleran

Written by Phil Colleran

Associate Director | Placemaking Lead, U.S. East
Boston, MA
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