أرشيف الوسم: العمارة

Kuwait 2018 … The human year

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رابط دائم لـ Kuwait 2018 … The human year

Let the year 2018 be the open human year toward the context, the environment and toward other fellow human beings. We have an extraordinary chance, so let’s utilize it wisely.

Kuwait has a relatively small population. This limited population and thereby permitting a good government to rule and manage it efficiently and solves most of its problems. At the same time, Kuwait enjoys high revenues, and per capita. The Kuwait GDP is among the top ten in the world. The Kuwaitis are known to be highly educated, open and exposed to international trends and practices.   Kuwaitis possess high creative spirits and ability to innovates and create commercial ventures and markets; once the suitable environment is in place.

In 2018 we look to have an open, business-friendly environment.  We don’t need new cities or mega projects. What we need first is to improve the business climate that is easier and more flexible. We need to simplify the bureaucrat procedures and make it easy for small and large enterprises to practice. The government has to empower small businesses to start and grow, which include Start-ups needs, financial loans, land, and lower rents. The government has to work to ensure that public tenders are distributed equitably to all scales.

In 2018, we hope to see a humanistic urban milieu.  Instead of focusing on large projects, let’s think of smaller solutions where the individual can directly benefit. Let us take care of the pedestrians and crossing points and bus stops. Let’s aim to have cleaner air, beaches, and deserts. Let us have practical plans for more vegetation and shading. We need more public benches, drinking fountains and public plazas. We should care more about urban design and beautification. The city is our home, and if its clean, it will make us happier and motivate us to work and be more productive.

One of the essential factors of prosperous cities is their ease of circulation, in 2018, let us work to improve traffic and public transport. We can achieve excellent results by the implementation of modern scientific methods. We should aim to lower the time spent in congestions, searching for parking spots. Why don’t we strive to bring closer places of living and work; or why don’t we have more mixed uses. In 2018 we would like to see plans to create high-quality public transport systems that the public can depend on. Time is the most valuable resource and the efficacy of using time will determine our future.

In 2018, we would like to see more openness and social diversification in Kuwait. We would like to preserve one of the traits of Kuwait that we know that is free Kuwait. Undoubtedly political and individual liberties lead to many successes in all aspects of life, cultural, political and commercial. We need to remind ourselves that the secret of Kuwait’s success in the past was its openness and that we cannot regain that status in the region without re-establishing tolerance and acceptance.  Kuwait was known to be hospitable where all expatriates felt at home. We would like to resist all sorts of discriminatory practices and to establish a friendly environment that encourages all residents to prosper and contribute to society.

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المساحات الخضراء … من الروضة إلى أبو حليفة

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رابط دائم لـ المساحات الخضراء … من الروضة إلى أبو حليفة

يُشكل التخطيطُ العمراني والحضري المدينة والحياة فيها. ويهدفُ التخطيطُ إلى بناء بيئةٍ صحيةٍ، وحياةٍ اجتماعيةٍ حيّةٍ، وأنشطةٍ اقتصاديةٍ ناجحة. ويُعتبر تخطيط استعمالات الأراضي أحد أهم أدوات مخططي المدن، والذي من خلاله يتم وضع التوجهات المنطقية والقانونية لتخصيص المُتاح من موارد الأراضي للاستعمالات، والوظائف المختلفة، وبما يتوافق مع الأهداف التنموية للمدينة أو الدولة.

لا شك أن تحقيق هذه الرؤى يتطلبُ ثقة بالمخطط، وثقة بالإجراءات التي من خلالها يتم اتخاذ القرارات التي تُحدد وتغير استعمالات الأراضي. وعلاوة على ذلك، يتطلبُ نجاح الخطط الحضرية قبول ودعم الشعب لها، وينبعُ هذا الدعمُ من مدى ثقافة ووعي عامة السكّان.

إن التخطيط مهمةٌ مهنيةٌ وعلميةٌ، وهي مهمةٌ رسميةٌ تقوم بها الدولة، كما توافقت على ذلك كافة المدن المتقدمة والناجحة، ويجب أن ندرك أن قوى السوق غير قادرة على إنتاج بيئةٍ حضريةٍ ناجحة، كما أن الأنشطة السياسية الصِرفة والفجّة عادة ما تكون غير قادرة على تدبير التنمية الحضرية.

وفي الفترة القريبة الماضية، حدث حدثان لفتا الانتباه، ووجدت أنهما يستحقا الوقوف عندهما. يتمثلُ الحدثُ الأولُ بقرار بلدية الكويت على تحويل منتزه أبو حليفة القومي إلى منطقة سكن خاص، تحت ضغط اهتمام السكّان بالقضية الإسكانية، وسعياً نحو توفير أكبر عددٍ من الوحدات. ويتمثلُ الحدثُ الآخر بسعي إحدى الجهات إلى إنشاء مبنى ضمن حديقة جمال عبد الناصر في منطقة الروضة، ولكن تم إيقاف إقامة المشروع، والفضل في ذلك يعودُ إلى التحركات الشعبية النشطة. وتُعد هذه القرارات أمثلة على السعي الدائم إلى تغيير استعمالات الأراضي، والتعدي على المساحات الخضراء المخصصةِ ضمن المنطقة الحضرية.

إن المساحات المفتوحة والخضراء في المدن والأحياء السكنية هي من أكثر الاستعمالات أهمية، وقد اشتهرت العديدُ من المُدن بحدائقها المهمة مثل حديقة الهايد بارك في لندن، والحديقة المركزية في نيو يورك، وحديقة بوكيت تيما في سنغافورة، وحديقة فينكس في دبلن، وغيرهما الكثير. وتميزت دولةُ الكويتِ بوجود مُخططاتٍ هيكليةٍ رائدةٍ عملت على تخصيص العديد من المساحات الخضراء، كما اهتم مخططو الضواحي السكنية الأوائل بتزويد الأحياء بمجموعة من الحدائق والمساحات الخضراء، كما اعتنت الهيئة العامة للزراعة والثرة والسمكية بتصميم وصيانة الحدائق العامة ـ إلا أنه لُوحظ في الآونة الأخيرة انحدار مستوى الاهتمام بالحدائق العامة رغم الحاجة إليها.

وهنا تجدر الإشارة إلى التأكيد على أهمية الحدائق والمساحات الخضراء في المدينة، والتي لها العديد من الفوائد، نذكر منها ما يلي:

– توفر الحدائقُ والمساحاتُ الخضراء فوائدا صحية عدة للسكّان، فهي تنقي الهواء، وتخفض من الضغوطات، وتشجع على ممارسة المشي، وشتى الأنشطة الرياضية.

– تعتبر الحدائقُ متنفساً للسكّان، وبالتالي تشجع على بناء مساكن أصغر حجماً، وبالتالي سيتقبلها السكان في حال كانت ذات إطلالات جميلة، وقريبة من الساحات، والحدائق، وملاعب الأطفال.

– توفر الحدائقُ والمساحات الخضراء فوائد بيئية أيضا، فزيادة أعداد الأشجار والنباتات يساعد على مقاومة ظاهرة الاحتباس الحراري، ويحسن جودة الهواء، ويخفض من درجات الحرارة.

وختاماً، آمل أن نرى اهتماماً وحرصاً بالغين بالمساحات الخضراء، ووعياً أوسع بدورها في تحسين البيئة العمرانية، ورفع جودة الحياة.

 

 

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?Neom … the question

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رابط دائم لـ ?Neom … the question

The Neom Project was announced by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, H.H Mohammad Bin Salman, during a big event last week that was attended by some of the world’s biggest names in finance and business. The prince declared that the Kingdom has assigned more than 500 million dollars for the project. An economic zone of 26,000 square kilometers on the north western border of Saudi Arabia has been allocated for this purpose.

The project will create a modern, smart, unconventional city that houses the latest urban technologies and become a hub for the development of nine investment sectors such as energy, transportation, bioengineering, robotics, water, food, digital technology, science and media.

The government of Saudi Arabia marketed the project through a huge media campaign that attracted a lot of attention. Despite the preliminary information that was released about it, there are other major and obvious advantages. Yet, like any other venture, it entails risks and has some concerns that should be taken into consideration.

Here is a list of a few advantages of the project:

– The project presents creative and unconventional thinking.

– It calls for partnership with neighboring countries, which strengthen capabilities and benefit from economic integration with Egypt and Jordan.

– The project is located on the north western border of Saudi Arabia, an area that did not get its equal share of development.

– The project was presented, along with a team of major international financial and business leaders, which reinforces the project and enhances investors’ confidence.

– The announcement that 500 million dollars will be invested by the government will be the basis to attract further international investments.

– The head of the project is the prince himself; he marketed it directly and exhibited good knowledge about the details thereof. His enthusiasm will increase public confidence in the project.

– It is one of the products of Saudi vision 2030, which illustrate commitment to the plan and dedication to pursue its outlined goals.

– While the project is mainly economic, it is also coupled with social and cultural transformations that are necessary to achieve the goals of the project.

– The project seeks to utilize the geographic location of Saudi Arabia and illustrates its ability to become a global commercial hub.

However, there are also some disadvantages. They include:

  • – Most major decisions in the Arab world are taken by individuals and steam from the vision of leadership. This is definitely a negative aspect. Such major economic decisions should be based on wide public participation. Utilizing point of views and local expertise as well as gaining the necessary public support is needed to ensure the success of the project. Money alone cannot guarantee the establishment of great cities; a great city needs social and cultural structures that are based on justice, equality, political participation and freedom of expression.

 

  • – One of the negative aspects of the project is that it will be built on virgin land. This is not a sustainable approach. Many political leaders wrongfully think that the solution is to escape from existing urban centres and their problems.

 

  • – Prince Mohamad Bin Salman announced that this is a capitalistic project and that it will become the first city where its regulations are written by businessmen – despite the advantages that this approach may bring. We need to understand that urban planning is a critical activity and the state must play a major role to oversee it in order to protect the interests of the general public as well as protecting land and the environment. Leaving this task to major cross-continents corporations could jeopardize the city and its inhabitants.

 

  • – Reading the project brief, one can see that it is a “Globalized” project and it lacks the Saudi spirit, which possesses many rich characteristics that could have a positive influence on the project.

 

  • – Finally, although the Saudi society is rich with creative individuals and outstanding businessmen, the initial presentation of the project did not present Saudi faces. Including national individuals could strengthen the project and give the Arab Saudi citizens a chance to proof themselves.

 

Today we look forward to follow the progress of this huge dream project. We hope that it will be successful and that it will be beneficial to the entire region. However, we find ourselves somewhat sceptical with a project of such a scale, where huge investment is allocated at difficult times, such as when oil prices are low, many countries are facing financial deficits, and we are surrounded by political challenges. We hope that it will not be a repeat of other urban schemes where new cities were going to be established, which are yet to  see the light, like Silk City in Kuwait, The New Capital in Egypt and King Abdullah City in Jeddah.

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مشروع نيوم في المملكة العربية السعودية – The Neum project in Saudi Arabia

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حديث ولي العهد السعودي حول مشروع نيوم
Saudi Crown Prince Mohamad Bin Salman talks about Neum Project

 

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