Zoning (almost) completed

16 Apr, '08

The National Plan going ahead to 2030 looks rather promising. We finally have the island zoned after an 18 month study by Messrs. Skidmore, Owing and Merryll, Esq. in which a complete infrastructural revamp is to take place to accommodate the country’s sustained development. I’ve not seen the actual study yet, but from what I read in the newspapers it’s a job well done:

The newly-completed National Plan includes developing ultra-modern transport systems and highway networks, linking self-contained regions with their own health, education, commercial and leisure services.

[…]

The zoning will define reclamation lines and identify specific areas for commercial, residential, industrial and tourism development, he told the GDN.

[…]

“The plan will shape growth to prevent traffic congestion caused by increased traffic volumes and strengthen linkages throughout the Gulf region, incorporating causeway access from Saudi Arabia to Qatar.”

[…]

“All developments will be undertaken in partnership with the private sector and the government will create an atmosphere whereby the private sector will be able to invest safely and comfortably,” he noted.

[…]

“The message of the plan is simple: Bahrain has reached a critical juncture and co-ordinated national planning must guide the way to the prosperous, creative and sustainable future Bahrainis expect and deserve.”

[…]

According to a decree issued by the Crown Prince last week, any change to the plan will be carried out with the full co-ordination of the EDB, the National Planning Committee and the municipal council.

Excellent and about time too. Maybe now we can actually have residential areas without bloody sheesha shops polluting the area, haphazard commercial schools and kindergartens within clearly designated housing neighbourhoods which happens because some “entrepreneur” builds a house and then rents it – with apparent full municipal approval – for use as a school, and maybe a real entrepreneurial person or developer can buy land without the threat of that development being surrounded by garages or factories in a very short space of time, etc.

But a the question that remains in my mind is that considering that 97% of the land (and sea?) is in private hands, where will the government find those necessary stretches of lands to develop these promised projects on?

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  1. Random Person says:

    The actual picture posted in the GDN in available on http://www.mun.gov.bh – Along with zoning maps of four governorates. The fifth governorate was signed today, and will be posted next week in both the official gazette and the website (So I hear)…

    I think the positive thing here is that we have a national physical plan that reflects a economic vision set forth by the EDB. We finally have a reclamation line, and more than anything else an idea of what Bahrain will look like in the future. With areas reserved for future power stations, ports, and the airport. The interesting thing I picked up on in several papers, and from talking to people is that the Juffair coastline is now going to be public, with a ring road around Juffair connecting Al Fateh to the Sh. Khalifa Bridge….and that the new northern coastal road will stretch for almost 5KM to North Town instead of cutting through Saar as was once planned a few years ago by a bunch of french consultants! It is also nice to see the south west tourism area near the BIC will develop with a touristic feel.

    Hopefully this is a step forward from a project lead to a planning lead way of thinking, away from the constant upgrading of roads, and zoning… and to something more stable yet still flexible enough to cater for niche investments.

  2. mahmood says:

    Thank you very much for the input indeed, these are very good observations.

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