Riyadh Regional Plan

Riyadh Regional Plan was developed by the Royal Commission for Riyadh City to address various development issues in Riyadh Region based on a futuristic vision for the next 20 years.

Governorates in Riyadh region

Governorates in Riyadh region

Actually, the Regional Plan is a long-term plan aiming to achieve integration among provinces and centers of Riyadh Region and promote balanced development and distribution of population and services. The Regional Plan also seeks to integrate the national plans regionally and locally.

Methodology and Approach

Built on a thorough analysis of up-to-date information, Riyadh Regional Plan developed a futuristic vision to guide the future trends of all development sectors in the Region. This process was carried out in coordination with all relevant stakeholders including officials and residents from all provinces, taking into account the existing national and local plans and strategies.

Phases

Regional Plan’s works were divided into three phases as follows:

Phase One

During this phase, information and data relevant to Riyadh Region were collected, and all the relevant government agencies were briefed about the project. The government agencies were required to provide any relevant spatial and/or statistical data in their possession to be incorporated into an integrated information system for Riyadh Region that includes maps and up-to-date data within a GIS program.

This phase was a result of an initial vision for the future of the Region, which was then presented to the participants to provide their feedback and contribute to the final version.

Phase Two

Part of the work of second phase in regional plan for Riyadh

Part of the work of second phase in regional plan for Riyadh

Work started with a round of extensive consultations during which the “initial vision of the future of the region” was discussed with the relevant bodies in both public and private sectors.

By the end of Phase Two, three approaches for regional development were developed representing viewpoints of all participating bodies. These approaches were then evaluated and the best one was chosen for further improvements as outlined in “The Strategic Framework for the Future of Riyadh Region Till 1445H”.

Phase Three

This phase witnessed preparation of development plans for the Region and listing needs of the development centers, in addition to drafting the Execution Program.

Main Components

First: Futuristic Vision

The futuristic vision underlying the Regional Plan focuses on transforming the Region into a multifunctional economic zone, an investment magnet, and a home for geographically and demographically balanced development. Moreover, this vision promoted cooperation and coordination among public/private sectors working in the Region.

Second: Demographic Development

Population growth estimates‎ that during the next two decades population would reach about 9,201,000 by 1445H, with only 2.8 million outside the city of Riyadh. The Regional Plan seeks to attract 1.4 million of the future population increase to the rest of the other provinces of the Region by creating a tide of reverse migration to alleviate demographic pressure on the city.

Three: Urban Development Strategy

Clusters of development centers in Riyadh region

Clusters of development centers in Riyadh region

Urban development strategy is tailored to achieve decentralized and balanced development outlined in the National Urban Strategy. The Regional Plan selected five clusters of development centers to transform them into regional planning clusters of variant population sizes. Each development cluster stretches over a number of provinces in Riyadh Region according to general criteria, developed in cooperation with the relevant authorities, to achieve balanced development, and better efficiency of the Region’s provinces.

Clusters of Development Centers:

  • Central Cluster of Development Centers: It includes Riyadh City, and provinces of Diriya, Dharmaa, Al-Muzahimiyah, Huraimela, Thadik, and Ramah.
  • Northern Cluster of Development Centers: It includes provinces of Al-Zulfi, Al Majmaah, and Al-Ghat.
  • Western Cluster of Development Centers: It includes provinces of Shaqra, Al-Dwadmi, Al-Qwai’iyah, Afif, and Mrat.
  • Southeastern Cluster of Development Centers: It includes provinces of Al-Kharj, Hawtat Bani Tamim, Al-Hariq, and Al-Aflaj.
  • Southern Cluster of Development Centers: It includes provinces of Wadi Al-Dawasir, and Al-Salil.

Fourth: Economic Development Strategy

Industrial cities in Riyadh

Industrial cities in Riyadh

Riyadh Economic Development Strategy seeks to improve the competitiveness of the region, create employment opportunities, and achieve balanced development.

Based on analysis of the targeted growth in the economic sectors, it is expected to create about 630,000 new jobs by 1445H, 60% of which are provided by the private sector. It is also expected that employment in the region would grow by an average annual rate of 3.4%.

The region’s economic strategy focuses on achieving an effective partnership between private and public sectors to create an enabling environment to increase private investments outside Riyadh City. This partnership between the public and private sectors would be achieved through regional programs in three fields:

Production environment: It includes various development programs focusing on the agricultural sector, private institutions, natural environment, tourism and housing.

Employment: It promotes employment opportunities in the Region through training and education support programs, wage subsidies, and business incubator centers.

Regional infrastructure: It depends on programs for development of industrial cities, transport infrastructure, water recycling, high-quality health and educational services, etc…

The funds required by such programs would come from budgets of government agencies, involved in development activities, as well as the state-owned funds.

Fifth: Infrastructure Strategy

Infrastructure Strategy covers transportation, water, drainage, electricity and telecommunications sectors as follows:

Transportation: Regional Plan targets improving significant sections of the existing road network, and establishing a network of the main regional roads to connect different areas of the region and reroute traffic towards outer areas of city of Riyadh. Additionally, the plan recommended establishment of regional roads linking the region’s development centers with the region itself and the neighboring regions.

The official railway network (North-South & East-West) would be utilized via new stations to serve cargos and passengers from the development centers along the network.

Given the relatively large distance between development centers, the existing network of civil aviation will be boosted with new regional airports to connect the Southeastern and the Northern Clusters.

Water: Water is very important to the region and its future. The Regional Plan addressed this issue from two aspects; the agricultural uses, which consumes more than 80% of the Region’s water resources, and the urban (house and industrial) uses. As for urban uses, the plan focused on improving drinking water services and ensuring their availability to all the development centers in the required quantity and quality. As for the urban clusters situated on the Arabian Shield, water supplies are fetched from formations to the east of the Arabian Shield. On the other side, desalinated water is used to meet the needs of some development centers within the Central and the Northern Clusters, but this requires reaching levels of water consumption consistent with the costs.

On the other side, the strategy focused on development of water resources management plan for agricultural uses throughout the vast region, which includes the main water formations in the Kingdom.

Sewerage: Sewerage disposal services will be expanded to cover all development centers across the Region to serve all developed areas at all levels by the end of 1445H. Nevertheless, reliance on vacuum trucks and septic tanks in some places, especially the rural areas, would continue, because establishment of sewage disposal system in such areas would be too expensive. The Strategy takes into account recycling wastewater, which would increase as a result of the new sewerage projects in the Region’s cities. An advanced water treatment system would be used to allow utilization of up to 80% the treated waters in urban uses such as gardening and irrigation.

Electricity: The strategy stresses the need for a long-term plan for electricity in the region and improved power generation capacity to meet the growing demand in the Central Cluster and rest of the Region, in addition to linking the Region with the western and southern regions as well as the GCC and other countries. Moreover, the strategy called for promotion of rational power consumption.

Telecommunications: The strategy emphasized the need for enhanced telecommunication network and information services to serve the population and economic sectors.

Six: Environmental Strategy

The environmental strategy paid special attention to the natural resources protection in the light of the urban expansion and the accompanying activities. Riyadh Regional Plan identified 25 protected areas and 14 natural areas with ecological significance across the Region as areas requiring special care and protection. Additionally, the Regional Plan approved regulations for the protection and development of water resources and combating desertification.

Environmental Strategy also addressed waste management in the region through reliance on the best environmental and engineering standards.

Environmental areas in Riyadh region

Environmental areas in Riyadh region

In response to the policies for reducing groundwater depletion and abandonment of many agricultural lands, the Regional Plan recommended adoption of a strategy for sustainable management of water resources, combating desertification, wider dependence on organic crops, and transforming the invaluable irrigated areas into sustainably-managed pastoral areas.

Execution Program

The Regional Plan and its execution program represent a joint framework for all bodies working in the region, and a strategic reference for their own execution programs. The following is an exploration of the Execution Program of Riyadh Regional Plan:

  • The Execution Program includes 38 execution projects and programs covering various development sectors across the region to serve all the five development clusters.
  • The Execution Program is a comprehensiveness output of case studies, development policies, new plans, and execution projects handling various aspects of development process.
  • The Regional Plan includes many projects proposed by government agencies within the Ninth Development Plan 1430-1435H.

An exploration of the future execution programs and projects included in the Regional Plan:

First: Population

The Execution Program for population sector in Riyadh Regional Plan includes the following 5 programs and projects:

Population
# Program Authority
1 Demographic Mobilization Among Provinces of the Region The Royal Commission for Riyadh City
2 Demographic Pattern Distribution in the Region
3 Migration
4 Population’s Social and Economic Characteristics The Royal Commission for Riyadh City
5 Updating the Demographic Model

Second: Urban Development Sector

The Execution Program for urban development sector in Riyadh Regional Plan includes the following 13 programs and projects:

Urban Development Sector

#

Program

Authority

1

Prepare Structural Plans for Clusters of Development Centers

The Royal Commission for Riyadh City

2

The Program for Development of Downtowns and Centers

Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage

3

Geographical Survey Program and Planning Studies for the Region’s Villages

Alriyadh Municipality – Agency Secretariat for the Region’s Municipalities Affairs

4

إعداد Develop Guidelines for Urban Development of the Development Centers

The Royal Commission for Riyadh City

5

Riyadh Region’s Provinces Development Program

The Royal Commission for Riyadh City

6

Riyadh Region Urban Observatory

The Royal Commission for Riyadh City

7

Heritage Sites and Villages Development Project

Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage

8

The Region’s Housing Project Program:

Designed to meet the housing needs of the Region’s cities and provinces:

A‌) 31,000 housing units within the Northern Cluster of Development Centers.

B‌) 219,000 housing units within the Central Cluster of Development Centers.

C‌) 73,000 housing units within the Southeast Cluster of Development Centers.

D‌) 25,000 housing units within the Southern Cluster of Development Centers.

E‌) 54,000 housing units within the Western Cluster of Development Centers.

Ministry of Housing

9

Development of Tourist Accommodation Facilities

Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage

10

Development of Regulations and Standards for Public Services’ Distribution

The Royal Commission for Riyadh City

11

Region’s University Dormitories Establishment Program

Ministry of Education

12

Program for establishment of a number of hospitals in the Region

Ministry of Health

13

Program for establishment and equipment of a number of primary care centers

Ministry of Health

Three: Economic Development Sector

The Execution Program for economic development sector in Riyadh Regional Plan includes the following 3 programs and projects:

Economic Development Sector

#

Program

Authority

1

Planning and Development of a group of Industrial Cities:

This includes choosing industrial cities locations, developing the necessary plans, and assessing the current and future activities to promote the region’s industrial and economic value:

‌A) The Northern Cluster of Development Centers (two industrial cities).

‌B) The Central Cluster of Development Centers (two industrial cities).

‌C) The Southeast Cluster of Development Centers (two industrial cities).

‌D) The Southern Cluster of Development Centers (two industrial cities).

‌E) The Western Cluster of Development Centers (four industrial cities).

Saudi Industrial Property Authority

2

The Execution Plan for Regional Action Programs

The Royal Commission for Riyadh City

3

Development of mining activities in the region

Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources

Fourth: Transport Sector

The Execution Program for transport sector in Riyadh Regional Plan includes the following 8 programs and projects:

Transport Sector

#

Program

Authority

1

Future plan for road network development in the Region:

A) The main regional road network

B) The regional arterial road network

C) The secondary local road network

Ministry of Transport – The member bodies of the Supreme Committee for Transport

2

The comprehensive plan for public transport by buses:

It includes preparing a plan for public transport by buses between the clusters of development centers with more than 50,000 people.

Ministry of Transport

3

Establishment of stations for passengers and cargos

Saudi Railway Company (SAR)

4

Airport Development Program in Riyadh Region

General Authority of Civil Aviation

5

Road Services Development Program in Riyadh Region

Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs

6

Public Transport Information Program:

.

Ministry of Transport

7

Roads’ implementation priorities in Riyadh Region

The Royal Commission for Riyadh City

Fifth: Infrastructure Sector

The Execution Program for infrastructure sector in Riyadh Regional Plan includes the following 6 programs and projects:

Infrastructure sector

#

Program

Authority

1

Water Recycling Plan

Ministry of Water and Electricity – The Royal Commission for Riyadh City

2

Rainwater and flood drainage plan

Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs

3

Water resources development

Ministry of Water and Electricity

4

The future plan for power grids and generation stations

Saudi Electricity Company

5

Electricity consumption rationalization plan

Ministry of Water and Electricity

6

Postal facilities development program

Saudi Post

Six: Environment Sector

The Execution Program for environmental sector in Riyadh Regional Plan includes the following 3 programs and projects:

Environment sector

#

Program

Authority

1

Revegetation Program in Riyadh Region

.

Alriyadh Municipality – The Royal Commission for Riyadh City

2

Prepare a plan to protect natural areas in the Region

.

The Royal Commission for Riyadh City

3

Solid waste program within clusters of development centers

.

Alriyadh Municipality

Riyadh Regional Plan

Riyadh Regional Plan