BDP Manchester wins £2m Kuwaiti commission

Francis Glare in KuwaitArchitectural practice BDP has been selected by the Kuwaiti government to produce a transport and planning framework for the Salmiya district of Kuwait City.

The formal signing of the 14-month contract, with a value in excess of £2m, took place in January.

BDP has been challenged to create a sustainable masterplan for Salmiya district to keep it car-friendly, but also flexible for future growth. This will include more strategic siting of any new public works such as schools, universities and hospitals in relation to residential zones, plans for improved public transport provision, and better all-round pedestrian access to Salmiya's shops and civic amenities.

Salmiya district is an existing urbanised area on the Gulf Coast of approximately 20 sq km. Growing congestion, pressures for redevelopment and a recognition of the existing poor quality of place have led the Kuwait Municipality to commission this work which will set in place the infrastructure, planning and design guidelines to enable the transformation of the district over the next 15 years.

In addition the BDP-led Salmiya masterplan will fit with the third Kuwait masterplan known as 3KMP. The 3KMP is an umbrella development strategy for the whole of Kuwait which is designed to help cope with the intensive economic and population growth anticipated in the region over the next 20 years.

Francis Glare, head of urbanism at BDP's Manchester studio, said: "We would like to acknowledge the importance of the collaboration with our local consultants OBD and their contribution to the winning of this project. We believe this will be a growing area of work for us, as a new place-making approach starts to be applied to first generation Middle Eastern cities.

"BDP's Manchester studio already has extensive experience working in the Middle East and North Africa region, including projects in Syria, Libya and Egypt."

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