The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (MOMRA) organizes the “First Saudi Arabia Urban Forum” in Riyadh, from 20 to 22/6/1437H, corresponding to March 29-31, 2016AD, in collaboration with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), within the framework of the technical cooperation of the “Future Saudi Cities Programme”.
This forum is of great importance given that it will be held under the high royal patronage and with a wide national, regional and international participation, with the aim of discussing the role of urban planning and development management in light of the Post-2015 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. In fact, this forum takes place after the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit which was held in New York in September 2015 and had unanimously approved for the first time seventeen sustainable development goals, including the eleventh goal (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable), being closely related to the Conference and also after the Climate Change Summit, held in December 2015 in Paris where States have agreed to take steps toward dealing with the climate change challenges, getting ready to cope with natural disasters and being prepared for the urban planning importance and good urban management.
In this sense, the forum will discuss – on national level and with regional and international participation – one of the most important aspects of sustainable development, being the urban development planning and management in light of the challenges facing the world and including the negative impacts of rapid population growth, economic downturn, resource depletion, climate change and high energy consumption, especially in urban areas, which will significantly affect the shaping of future sustainable cities on all urban, economic, social and environmental levels and will contribute to reduce the negative effects of the urban planning process.
Saudi cities, like any other cities in the world, are not excluded from facing some of the urban development challenges, especially since more than 82% of the Kingdom’s population live in urban areas and look forward to better life and work opportunities, distinctive municipal services and vibrant urban communities willing to face all climate and environmental challenges through modern urban planning and wise urban management. Consequently, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has developed a new strategy for the municipal work, focusing on improving the life quality and Saudi cities prosperity, responding to aspirations and needs of present and future generations and achieving safety, happiness and well-being of inhabitants.
The Ministry’s strategy was centered on a set of priorities (achieving sustainable urban development, controlling and regulating the sustainable urban development, achieving sustainable institutional performance, enhancing effective community involvement, achieving optimum utilization of municipal resources and finally, building and strengthening sustainable partnerships with the private sector). In order to achieve these priorities, the Ministry is working on the improvement of the competitiveness of cities within the framework of the fair distribution of development returns to the thirteen regions of the Kingdom, based on six pillars:
- Developing and updating urban planning on all levels
- Raising the quality and efficiency of municipal facilities
- Raising the level of municipal services quality
- Managing and conserving lands efficiently and providing cadastral information
- Focusing on the beneficiary satisfaction (citizen and resident, business sector and development partners)
- Developing the municipal work foundations.
The forum’s logo was designed to match the forum’s title and objectives. The logo is inspired from urban planning and developing residential areas to be sustainable cities, by considering the main zones: residential, commercial, agricultural, governmental and Industrial. Each color represents one of these zones as per the international classification: residential: Yellow, commercial: Red, agricultural: Green, governmental: Blue and Industrial: Purple