For decades Saudi Arabia has been experiencing a remarkably high growth rate of its urban population as well as an ongoing rural exodus towards the cities. As development pressure and problems in the city, primarily in ArRiyadh, grow, so too grow the existing regional imbalances resulting from the migration. Without appropriate counteractions three trends are expected: further growing of the urban/ rural imbalance, decrease of personal development opportunities in rural areas and uncontrolled sprawl burdening the capital, society and environment.
The objective of the »Strategic Plan for the ArRiyadh Region« (SPAR) is to establish a regional development framework and settlement pattern which supplements Metropolitan ArRiyadh and helps to relieve the pressure it faces. Within the GTZ-led multidisciplinary SPAR-Team, comprising experts in the fields of economics, environment, governance, transportation planning, demography and tourism, AS+P was responsible for the analysis of development potentials in the region (»Regional Land Capability Assessment«) as well as for a concept to strengthen selected urban areas and establish attractive alternative cities (»Regional Settlement Development Strategy«).