WIT Press

Evaluating The Impact Of The Internationalisation Of Urban Planning On Saudi Arabian Cities


Free (open access)





Page Range

291 - 301




1,122 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


B. Alatni, M. Sibley & L. Minuchin


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has experienced change in the development of urban planning codes, the most recent being the 2010 planning codes. Every urban planning regulation and code is devised to implement the overall urban design paradigm most suited to the city in question. For instance, the demand for modern urban facilities, coupled with the need for better transport networks around cities, has resulted in the shift from limited storey heights for buildings to more liberal, limitless storey heights. From the 1970s to date, the Saudi Arabian government has been engaging internationally acclaimed designers and planners, such as Forster and Partners International Designers, and Henning Larsen Architects of Denmark, to work with Saudi Arabian experts in respect of the ‘internationalisation’ of urban planning. The main driver for the paradigm shift in the urban planning processes has been the population growth and economic development. This entails an increase in the demand for a new generation of high-tech and knowledge-oriented industries in order to spread public services more evenly and broaden the scope and effectiveness of development policies among regions. Given the potential of such an urban planning strategy to influence both the current and future urban form, this research assesses the impact of internationalisation of urban planning on Saudi Arabian cities. It concludes that planners themselves are not sufficiently appreciative of the requirement for urban infrastructure that accompanies the new planning regulations. Keywords: internationalisation, urban planning, urban form, sustainable urban centre, Saudi Arabia.


internationalisation, urban planning, urban form, sustainable urban centre, Saudi Arabia.