ROAS – Urban Planning and Design
Urban planning strategies and frameworks frequently fail to keep up with the rapid rate of urbanisation. This results in spontaneous forms of urbanisation, characterised by less dense and inefficient land use patterns. Among these is the lack of urban public space, which traditionally provides relief in urban environments and has an important social function in Arab societies. Planned urbanization in the Arab region is constrained by the lack of coherent urban policies at national, subnational and city levels, lack of coherence amongst sectoral strategies, and lack of linkage of spatial development strategies with sectoral development strategies. Local governments and municipalities therefore lack a framework to adequately guide, plan and regulate urban development and expansion, as well as the capacity and resources to do so. A lack of coordination between departments also leads to contradicting policies in some countries. As a result, the potential for urbanization to drive growth and development is constrained. In order to change this, more holistic approaches to urban development are needed, guided by National Urban Policies. With its long-time experience in the field and a number of tools at its disposal UN-Habitat is well prepared to support the Arab governments plan and design sustainable urban growth. Tools deployed in the Arab Region include urban and metropolitan planning, neighbourhood planning, planned city extensions, and urban infill design.