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Revisiting the urban design guidelines of Saudi industrial cities: a trendsetting project



One of the main issues that face industrial cities today is congested labor accommodation with lower safety measures that adversely affects productivity and morale.

Khatib & Alami (K&A) was appointed by the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON), to conduct a trendsetting study that aimed to update existing design guidelines and develop new design manuals to improve the quality of the built environment and enhance quality of life in industrial cities. The study aimed to develop optimized design standards to attract investors and maintain high standards of living. K&A endeavored to produce a tailor-specific methodology for each city sector: labor accommodation, factories, social services and warehouses.


 Particular attention was devoted to respecting the human dimension of the city. We sought a comfortable and safe environment for labor accommodation; we enhanced this through securing additional net sleeping area as per International Labor Organization (ILO) standards.

The accommodation facilities benefited from having social services and leisure facilities that enhanced city livability. Social services within the city catered for inhabitants' needs by providing public open spaces, recreational areas, health facilities, commercial and retail spaces.


 Further, we revisited the developability of plots and designed new warehouse guidelines to relieve congestion and improve circulation, since truck circulation and traffic congestion are main concerns in industrial cities.

After completing the guidelines, it was important to secure stakeholder buy-in to ensure the successful implementation of the project. Several strategic stakeholder engagement workshops were conducted with the support of our client, MODON, to actively communicate and perpetuate the new guidelines which were met with support and enthusiasm by consultants and developers. These standards have now been adopted and are being applied today by consultants and developers.