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KFAS-LSE present outcomes of research on different types of urban development in Kuwait

Dec 26, 2017

As a part of its mission and mandate towards building a national innovation ecosystem through the promotion of science, technology and research, the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) has established key international collaborations and partnerships for research, capacity building, and the development of innovative approaches. One of these collaborations, with the London School of Economics (LSE), has led to the establishment of the LSE Kuwait Programme, which serves as the main conduit through which research on Kuwait at LSE is facilitated, expanded and promoted.

In a session earlier this month, LSE Cities Research Team presented the final outcomes of the Resource Urbanisms Project, a two-year research project co-funded by KFAS that aims to gain a better understanding of how natural resources, urban form and infrastructure relate to each other, and how these factors can potentially lead to the establishment of divergent forms of urbanism. The researchers focused on the relationship between land and energy and compared the different types of urban development in Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, along with two other contrasting city types in East Asia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

 The team first presented their findings at a public lecture titled “Efficiency by Design: Urban growth in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong and Singapore” in the new phase of Al Shaheed Park (Phase II) on the evening of November 7th.  Over 90 participants from the public, private and research sector attended, where the team shared their insights and findings.  

The following day, a more focused workshop was held at KFAS, where the final results of the LSE Cities Resource Urbanisms project were presented to 40 institutional representatives, local experts, architects, planners and academics. The workshop was organized into two sessions. The first session witnessed discussions on exploring the availability of resources in the definition of urbanisation patterns, while the second focused more on analyzing the impact of the urbanisation patterns on resource consumption. Dr. Philip Rode, the lead researcher from LSE Cities, noted that, “Urban development in Kuwait features as a central instrument for broader socio-economic development.”  On the cooling energy efficiency, Dr Rode explained that the research “modelling confirmed a negative correlation between compact morphologies and cooling energy demands.”…Based on this finding Dr Rode concluded that, “higher densities and higher buildings resulted in lower energy demand for cooling.” Discussions centered around how the shape of cities has a considerable impact on resource efficiency, making it a critical factor for global sustainability and that natural resources and land availability play a central role in determining urban form on all scales.

Besides highlighting the findings of the research, the two-day event also emphasized the importance and impact of international collaborations in research and development. Through the collective efforts of researchers from academic and research institutions in Kuwait and the United Kingdom, a more in-depth understanding of the challenges in urbanism facing national development were realized, and have also generated a platform for the development of evidence-based policymaking in Kuwait and the wider GCC.  KFAS International Programs Manager, Mr. Yousef Al-Mazeedi, noted that “This research project is a great example of the outcome that can be achieved when local Kuwaiti researchers and international subject matter experts work together to exchange knowledge, experience, and to produce findings that address Kuwait’s national priorities.”

The Kuwait Programme at the London School of Economics (LSE) is a world-leading hub for research and expertise on Kuwait, and is funded by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences.