Managing Polycentric Cities: Towards an Integrated Platform for the Delivery of the Jeddah Plans

Zainab Alireza
Senior Urban Designer
AECOM, Jeddah

Jeddah’s population has grown from 3.9 Million in 2013 and is expected to exceed 6 million people in 2033. Simultaneously, Jeddah’s urbanization has been growing sporadically, resulting in urban sprawl, traffic congestion, unplanned settlements, and breakdown in urban services and infrastructure.
In an attempt to position Jeddah for the future, Jeddah City Plans- has been prepared to envision and guide the city into a World City ranking by 2033. This desirable urban future has been organized on a long term framework, based on a polycentric spatial structure to manage Jeddah’s future development. The City Plan proposed a hierarchy of activity centers integrated with the transport network, each accommodating an appropriate mix of commercial uses, community facilities and integrated open spaces, along a green infrastructure network. The implementation and activation of the “Jeddah City Plan” was integrated during the plan preparation process. The management of the city’s growth had challenges with the accelerated rate of change, resulting in compound urbanization issues. This calls for an integrated platform for managing the polycentric city efficiently, to rationalize the investment in plan formulation, infrastructure and services.
This presentation will debate the merits and challenges of implementing the polycentric approach to urbanism. It will analyze the propositions for Jeddah’s new city structure and the implementation framework. It attempts to widen the delivery platform of integration of the multi-modal transport system, activity centers, green infrastructure network and the framework for implementation to enable transformation, management and resilience.