Award-winning architecture firm Foster + Partners just unveiled plans for a new city-wide public transportation plan for Jeddah—one of the most vibrant city centres in Saudi Arabia. Foster + Partners came out first in an international design competition for the city’s transport network, and a contract-signing ceremony was held today to celebrate the project’s launch. The firm will be designing everything from the train stations and branding to metro, bus, ferry, and cycling spaces. This new system is being approached with a long-term, sustainable view; one that takes into account how the city will evolve over the next few centuries, rather than just a couple of decades from now.
The central focus point of the master plan will be the ancient Al Balad quarter, which was founded in the 7th century, as it has pedestrian-friendly shaded streets. This area is very highly populated, but there are so few public transport nodes at the moment that only 12 percent of residents live within walking distance of bus or subway points.
Foster + Partners aim to raise that number to 50 percent or more, with strategic planning that takes advantage of the area’s density. Each public transport station is being designed to be a central hub in a new neighborhood, each of which will have unique character. Together, those neighborhoods will help to create a multifaceted city that has something fascinating to appreciate at every turn.