Sustainable Economic Development Plan, Emirate of Fujairah, U.A.E.  2013

ID.HH Shiek Hamed3The Emirate of Fujairah is strategically located on the Indian Ocean, allowing the UAE to export its crude oil and import food without the imposing threat from traversing the Straits of Hormuz.   This is causing Fujairah to expand its seaport and airport, receive an oil and gas pipeline, plan for a transnational railroad and build the country’s strategic grain storage.  The Emirate’s current capital includes mineral resources, fresh ground water, tourist quality beaches, and is famous in the maritime industry as the largest bunkering port between Singapore and Rotterdam.  Crane Associates was asked to complete a Sustainable Economic Development Plan that would direct these opportunities so that all of society would benefit for the long term.   We conducted a detailed model of the Emirate’s international competitive advantage by preparing an industrial cluster analysis, a 20-year forecast of population, an analysis of key demographic characteristics, a robust study of current and forecasted employment trends and job skills demands.  We completed our report with 72 detailed strategies for securing an internationally competitive employment base, recommending strategic economic development policies, and monitoring progress with a range of economic indicators.   The Plan was presented to His Highness Sheik Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah, (pictured) who has requested additional advice from Crane Associates.   Client: Emirate of Fujairah, UAE.

Environmental Economist, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, UAE 2012

Urban Planning.Cover.jpegAbu Dhabi was voted the most livable city in the world in 2012 by International Livable Communities.   It is also one of the fastest growing cities in the Middle East, expecting to double in 20 years, and therefore at risk of sprawling into natural environments and increasing GHG emissions.  The Urban Planning Council of Abu Dhabi directs all development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and hired Michael Crane to provide advice on a range of sustainable development options.  Worked included: economic analysis of 4 major master plans for developments ranging from 200,000 to 1.1 million people; affordable housing policy; feasibility analysis of large commercial real estate projects; and forecasting population and employment to the year 2030.

Water Infrastructure Development Plan, Fiscal Feasibility Study, Iraq Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works, 2011

Iraq.Economic Imact Assessment of Water.Ribbon CuttingThe Government of Iraq embarked on an ambitious infrastructure improvement plan based on our recommendations from a previously completed Strategic Plan.  To determine the fiscal impacts of this project, we completed a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework model to determine the cost and benefits of implementing this 10-year, 600 million dollar program to build water and sewer infrastructure in Iraq.   The analysis included projections of maintenance, operations, and capital cost and debt for two different development scenarios.  The project resulted in a capital improvement programs to build or repair 40 water and wastewater treatment plants throughout the country.  Client: Government of Iraq, Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works.

Sustainable Governance of the Iraq Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works, 2011

Iraq.Sustainable Governance.Group PhotoIn Iraq, central government control from the previous regime is still operating under a new constitution and entirely different socio-political environment.  This causes internal conflicts and extreme government inefficiency.  Crane Associates served as Project Manager for the “Iraq-Public Sector Modernization Program,” a multilateral effort to increase administrative efficiency in several Iraqi Ministries.   We coordinated a team of experts in water engineering, finance, Iraqi law, and economics to design long-term sustainability of municipal water and sewer services throughout Iraq by reforming government operations.   The Work involved detailed policy discussions with a wide range of stakeholders from all ethic groups, civic organizations, and relevant government institutions.  We secured agreements with the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works, Municipality of Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government on the correct model of governance.   Project resulted in a more transparent structure of government; modernized administrative policies and procedures; a financial model that increases revenue and reduces costs; and a Strategic Plan (Road Map) to modernize government service delivery functions. Project won $38mUSD of implementation funding.  Client: United Nations (Iraq)

Master Plans for Four Cities in Salah ad Din Governorate, Iraq. 2010 -2012

BaladCityPlanProject Director.  Budget: $4.8millionUSD. Comprehensive Master Plans for the cities of Tuz, Bajii, Sharquat, and Al Dour in the Salah ad Din Governorate.  Plans include analyses of transportation, sewer and water infrastructure, housing, economy, land use, and socio-economics. The deliverables include: 20-year demographic and economic projections and growth forecasts in each city and, growth and development plans for the next 20 years, including a 5-year adjustable, capital infrastructure budget. Client: Governorate of Salah ad Din.


Climate Mitigation: Feasibility Study for Light Rail Transportation in Sulaymaniah, Iraq, 2010

Iraq.Sulaymaniah.Light RailSulaymaniah, Iraq is the cultural capital of Kurdistan.  It also suffers from traffic congestion and air pollution.  A 25 mile light rail was proposed to address the problem. Crane Associates was asked to serve as lead economist to determine the market feasibility for this $22millionUSD public transportation project.  We completed demand analysis for public transportation and 20-year forecast of ridership on light rail throughout the city, (pop.900,000). The work included ridership and revenue projections, analysis of employment and residential units by socio-economic factors, traffic counts, and maps the routes most likely to receive the highest ridership. The work was part of a larger climate change mitigation program.   Client: Private Consulting Firm

Samarra City Plan, Samarra, Salah ad Din Governorate, Iraq 2010

Our Story.Samara MinaretSamarra is an ancient Islamic Capital city of great historic significance.  It is the location the Al Mutawakkil Mosque, the largest at the time it was built in 851 with arguably the most unique minaret in the world.   It is also home to the Al- Askarī Mosque one of the holiest Islamic mosques for the Shi’a built in 944.  UNESCO called Samarra, “the finest preserved example of the architecture and city planning of the Abbasid Caliphate period[9th Century].”  The Al-Askarī mosque was bombed and significantly damaged in 2006 causing tensions between ethnic groups.  The City’s Mayor ask Crane Associates to provide recommendations on how to plan the modern day city that respects the historic layout, is sensitive to ethic groups, and allows for modern day growth and economic development.  The work involved site visits with tight security in dangerous conditions, interviews with key community leaders, and consensus building exercises.  The work resulted in a land build out scenarios with slow and strategic integration of ethnic groups over the next 20 years.  Client:  Mayor’s Office, City of Samarra, Iraq.

Climate Change Advisor, Office of Governor of Salah ad Din Province, Iraq, 2010

Climate Change Advisor, IraqProvided education and advice to policy makers at the regional level in Iraq on the benefits of complying with the Kyoto Protocol.  Informed them of the role of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and the technical assistance provided by the IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  Developed and managed a governmental panel Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Kyoto compliance.



Senior Economic Development Advisor, US Department of State, Tikrit, Iraq, 2009 – 2010

Iraq.Tikrit. MDC on TVServed as an advisor to Executive level government officials in Tikrit including the Governor, Deputy Governor for Technical Affairs, Governorate Council leaders, and General Directors of several departments.  Provided advice in job creation, public administration, infrastructure budgeting, sustainability planning, and governance.  The project resulted in a series of coordinated policies to promote sustainable development.  Michael Crane presented these policies at a major development conference and on Iraqi National Television.    Lived on US Army base (COB Speicher) and facilitated relationships between US military and Government officials in Salah ad Din Governorate.  Client: United States Department of State.

Eco-Tourism Feasibility Study, Kurdistan, Iraq 2010

Our Story.MDC and friend ski.KurdistanKurdistan is a semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq that is safe, tolerant to other cultures, and rich with historic and natural resources.  However, because it is located in Iraq, public perception is that it’s unsafe to visit.  Visitors to the region are numerous but are primarily business related.  Crane Associates was hired to conduct a market feasibility study of developing and marketing eco-tourism related products and services throughout Kurdistan.  The work involved explorations of white-water rafting, backcountry skiing, mountain hiking, birding, and cultural tours.  It also involved extensive interviews with relevant business owners and potential tour guides. The project was featured internationally on BBC, CNN and National Public Radio and drew the attention of international tour operators.  The project resulted in a report to President Talabani’s office where detailed follow-up is occurring. WATCH THE VIDEO…