Learning to plan: Jeddah (1959-1987)

Abdulaziz Mahdi Ahmed Abu-Sulaiman, University of Pennsylvania


This study attempts to explore the cultural as well as the technical processes by which city planners built their competence in Saudi Arabia. The study traces back the government efforts in establishing the first planning office in Jeddah (1959) until 1987, when the Mayor of Jeddah (appointed in 1972) left office. The process involve explorations in two dimensions the plans and the planners. The city of Jeddah is taken as a center stage to ground the investigations. Jeddah was a school for a number of Saudi as well as foreign planners, for many it was the first planning experience. The study deals with four master plans: (a) Dr. Makhlouf's 1962 Master Plan, (b) Willson Murrow's 1966 Comprehensive Study, (c) the Robert Matthew & Johnson Marshal's 1973 Master Plan, and (d) the Sert Jackson's 1980 Directive Plan. A multiple method of inquiry is used; interviewing planners and government's officials, investigating Jeddah municipal archives, city planning reports, official memorandums, and newspapers reports. The findings of the study indicates that the central government was instrumental in helping planners build their technical abilities, assume responsibilities, and practice more control on development. In addition, the study points out to a group contextual factors, might be peculiar to the Saudi context, which helped to make learning on the job possible.

Subject Area

Urban planning|Area planning & development|Architecture|Social structure|Middle Eastern history|Public administration

Recommended Citation

Abu-Sulaiman, Abdulaziz Mahdi Ahmed, "Learning to plan: Jeddah (1959-1987)" (1996). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9712880.