Project: Kut City Master Plan, Wasit, Iraq
Client: Wasit Provincial Council
Collaborators: Iraqi Planners Group, Project undertaken by Howgill Planning Ltd, a GDL company for Iraqi projects
Kut is a city in south eastern Iraq, on the left bank of the Tigris River, about 100 kilometres south east of Baghdad and is the capital of Wasit province. In 2003 the estimated population was about 400,000 people projected to increase to over 750,000 by 2035. The heart of the city is located within a tight bend of the Tigris River which constrained its development.
Kut’s main role is as the regional, commercial and service centre for Wasit and the new plan was to accommodate its expected growth in the best way possible. The vision for Kut City provides a longer-term framework as well as a focus for immediate development.
We used new UN demographic data and the results of the recent Census of Buildings for the analysis and forecasting of population and employment growth. Such analysis revealed substantial changes over the last five years, showing the need for a flexible and sustainable approach to development prospects.
A review was undertaken of the prevailing urban planning hierarchy based on a community structure that was rarely realised. Instead we advocated a return to the importance of the Neighbourhood, blending traditional Arab and contemporary urban models. Planning alternatives were prepared using constraints and opportunities mapping. This was based on field surveys and identification of the various factors. A detailed assessment framework was compiled as a means of engaging with local interest groups and stakeholders. It was used to help select a preferred growth option for elaboration into the final master plan.
We prepared three substantial volumes for the Master Plan: Policies and Proposals; Detailed Studies; and Zoning Regulations. In addition, we submitted a full set of display sheets consisting of thematic maps and detailed proposals and a comprehensive GIS database to aid implementation.