Planning in a Dynamic Society: A Case of Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Abdurahman Majrashi Abdulaziz

The dynamic nature of society, human needs and growing population necessitate the need for planning. Holy Makkah is a well know religious place that attracts millions of pilgrims annually. Tremendous efforts have been made by the government to plan the Holy City as a sustainable one through provision of road networks to ease circulation, housing and hotel to accommodate the increasing demand of pilgrims and to make them feel at home during their period of stay in the Holy City. The paper aims to assess the challenges of developments designed and implemented in a short period of time to meet the ever-growing needs of the populace. The research adopts the mixed method approach in investigation of the planning and development challenges in the study area. Quantitative and qualitative instruments were used to collect relevant data related to the study. A two-stage sampling technique involving stratified and simple random sampling were used in drawing 390 samples for administration of questionnaire; at the same time, interviews were conducted with selected stakeholders on the challenges of the completed and the on-going developments in Makkah. Analysis of the data collected revealed that, the completed developments particularly around the Haram area lack facility such as parking. 76% of the respondents indicated lack of parking as a great challenge for the visors and their guides, which is a setback to the functionality of the development in that area. Further analysis using regression indicated R2 value of 0.47, thereby implying that, the indicators used in the study were able to estimate/influence general satisfaction by 47%. For the newly developed areas, the results revealed that, challenges ranges from parking spaces, to open space/recreational areas, waste disposal sites and facilities. Similarly, interview results revealed that, the environmental challenges are mostly those relating to the relief of the area. The topography of the area is a hilly one, and development in such area involves cut and fill and also the use of heavy machines and explosives to cut the hills to a required level. Majority of the interview respondents agree that, this has a serious implication on the health and well-being of the residents in those areas because, the heavy machines and explosives used in grinding the hills can affect the long-standing capacity of the existing structures and as well cause air and noise pollution. And the process of demolishing the hill is taking longer time than expected. This can subsequently affect the duration of completion. The stakeholders reveal that, some of the already completed projects are only functional for a certain period of the year. This makes them abandoned for a period of time in a year. They expressed fear that, some of the projects have become abandoned before completion, while some of the on-going are long-term and at the point of completion, they may not be able to meet the intended need due to dynamic nature of human society and needs. The paper further recommends the modification of the already completed projects and incorporate missing facilities; and avoid such in the on-going projects as these can defeat the aim of the overall development.

Volume 12 | 01-Special Issue

Pages: 105-110

DOI: 10.5373/JARDCS/V12SP1/20201052