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Urban Development

KFAS has funded several research projects on urban development in Kuwait.  Areas of research include; housing, urban governance, urban public transport, and urban planning and management.

Resource Urbanisms: Natural Resources, Urban Form and Infrastructure in the Case of Asia’s Diverging City Models’

Principal Investigator: Philipp Rode from the London School of Economics

This two-year LSE Cities research project examines multiple aspects of how natural resources, urban form and infrastructure affect each other and potentially lead to the establishment of divergent forms of urbanism.

The project’s point of departure is the common assumption that cities and urban development are directly affected by the availability and costs of natural resources, and that in turn, different forms of urban development result in substantial differences in resource use. The project primarily focuses on the specific case of two natural resources, land and energy, and explore their relationships with city form, urban dwelling and mobility. It analyses these relationships through a comparative case study approach which considers extreme and divergent city models in Asia.

The research includes the multi-scale temporal analysis of different types and changes of urban development in Kuwait and Abu Dhabi (a second Middle East comparator case) and two contrasting city types in East Asia, Hong Kong and Singapore.



Public Space in Kuwait: From User Behavior to Policy-making
Developing a Method for the Analysis of Public Space in Kuwait’s Residential Neighborhoods

Principal Investigators: Alexandra Gomes from the London School of Economics and Dr. Asseel Al-Ragam from Kuwait University.

Kuwait’s urbanisation patterns are leading to higher levels of motorisation with negative impacts on individual health and the environment. As a consequence, re-evaluating urban development mechanisms becomes extremely vital. This project addresses the need for significant change in planning urban public space that would influence healthier individual behavior and environmentally-friendly mobility patterns.

Building upon the Resource Urbanisms project, this exploration is the result of early investigations on the relationship between the built environment and the use of public space. With the World Health Organization appealing for an increase in physical activity of individuals, this project will explore the impact neighborhood layout and urban design elements have on outdoor activities and individual behavior. It aims to examine the variables that generate live able and successful public space and propose methods to integrate these results into evidence-based policymaking, for more sustainable urban development in Kuwait. Two neighborhoods in Kuwait will be explored to define the tools that would promote the necessary change.

The end goal is to encourage sociability and walkability that would improve the experiential quality of public space in existing neighborhoods, and to recommend evidence-based policies for new neighborhoods being designed and developed for the future. A new approach to urban design policies will help diversify a post–oil economy, create healthier opportunities for urban living and encourage environmentally sustainable public space.



Towards an Equitable Transport System in Kuwait
Understanding Transport Equity Related Issues and their Role in Shaping Urban Mobility in Kuwait's Metropolitan Area

Principal Investigator: Dr. Muhammad Adeel from the London School of Economics

The project aims to investigate the issues of transport equity in Kuwait from a social justice perspective through both quantitative and qualitative aspects. Building on LSE Cities’ recently completed research project ‘Resource Urbanisms’ (2015-2017), the study will conduct a comprehensive GIS analysis of Kuwait’s built environment to highlight the cross sectional inequalities in access to the transport system in Kuwait's metropolitan area. In addition, the study will undertake focus group discussions with car and public transport users in Kuwait to understand mobility needs and how they shape travel behaviour in the country’s particular social and cultural context. The qualitative component will follow theoretical approaches of grounded theory analysis. The results of the study will assist in the understanding of the characteristics of a more equitable transport system in Kuwait.