Control of urban growth and development in Saudi Arabia
The fast and in most cases uncontrolled urban growth, in Riyadh and other Saudi urban areas, has created many deficiencies such as land speculation, urban sprawl, lagging public services and utilities, along with other developments that are inconsistent with the development plan. The purpose of the study was to identify these problems of inconsistency and provide solutions to avoid them. In order to achieve the main objective of the thesis, the problem is briefly introduced by explaining the existing urban growth problems. A review of relevant theoretical literature background was carried out, particularly on development plans, control of development, and plan policy implementation, mainly in developed countries. In order to understand the local situation the economic and social factors affecting Saudi urban growth and land development were identified. Also the procedures and government institutions involved in the planning process and the control of urban growth were introduced an d their role explained. As infrastructures and public services are one critical component of any urban development process, their scale and distribution in Riyadh were assessed. In addition a description of land ownership, local and legal rights of development, the effect of Saudi planning in developing land, the common practice and the perceived weaknesses of control of development were presented. To get some clear idea of Riyadh urban growth during the case study period (1977 - 1992), an analysis of the various land use activities and scale were conducted for that period. Then an assessment and examination of these developments was carried out to determine and identify the developments that are inconsistent to the Development Plan, and explain the causes of such inconsistencies. At the end, based on the analysis of the thesis, a suggestion of possible alternatives to control development and urban growth is given, and the thesis is concluded by recommending proposals for more effective control of development and more efficient plan policy implementation.