Case Studies

Jeddah, Unplanned Settlements

Project Director
Kayvan Karimi

Project team
Ed Parham

Client
Jeddah Development & Urban Regeneration Company

Unplanned area analysis

"It's totally clear to me when I see Space Syntax’s work that l believe in it."

Paul Murrain
Urbanist

The opportunity

One of the main objectives of the the Strategic Planning Framework (SPF) for Jeddah, completed in April 2006 by Space Syntax, was to develop a strategic approach to the improvement of the numerous unplanned areas in Jeddah.

These areas underwent a massive period of growth in the 1950s and 1960s, but then became overpopulated and stagnated. Their current condition is a mixture of physical and social problems that are getting worse as the city continues to grow.

The central unplanned areas in particular lack connections between their interior layouts and the surrounding urban route structure. This pattern inhibits reinvestment in these areas and exacerbates the cycle of overcrowding, capital flight, and social segregation.

Problems include:

– deteriorated socio economic, physical, health and environmental conditions

– lack of proper maintenance

– illegal occupation of private and government land

– insecurity of land ownership

– concentration of non-Saudi population

– internal infrastructure is poorly connected with the surrounding areas.

Our contribution

In order to address the issue of the Central Unplanned Areas, an advanced spatial diagnostic methodology was developed to show which were the most important routes in each of the settlements.

First, the intensified and isolated core of the settlement was detected by local accessibility analysis. Based on this analysis, a strategy was decided upon to realign and link the smaller fragments to the larger structure of city-wide routes.

The outcome

The redevelopment strategy creates smooth transitions from city-wide access to local routes within the unplanned settlements; thus reconnecting the settlements to the larger city while preserving their unique character and sense of place.

This both integrates the unplanned areas with their surroundings and encourages socio-economic improvement.
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Brochure  Space Syntax’s approach to the upgrading of informal settlements

Conference paper  “Regenerating informal settlements”.
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