Project Description

Jubail Industrial City

Master Plan Update – Saudi Arabia

The development of the industrial city of Jubail, which was at one time ranked as the largest civil construction project in the world, was based on capturing vast quantities of natural gas which were being unproductively “flared” as part of the recovery of oil from fields along the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia and utilizing the energy to power a variety of primary industries. These industries, including oil refining, petrochemicals and iron and steels, were, in turn, to generate raw materials for a number of secondary industries and related support services. The $40 billion undertaking also included the construction of a community to house workers and their families. The overall management of this vision was entrusted to Bechtel who, beginning in 1976, fielded a large team of experts and technicians to oversee the planning, design, construction and operation of the project.

The initial vision for the development of the community projected a population in excess of 300,000 persons and included a range of housing and community facilities. Due to the changing marketplace for the output of the primary and secondary industries as welas the growth of population in nearby “Old Jubail”, the Master Plan for the project had to be updated to address the discrepancies between plan and “reality”. The periodic Master Plan updates provided the basis for developing annual capital improvements plans and budgets.

A range of services was provided in the updating of the plan including:

Population Analysis Analysis of workforce statistics and projections as a basis for revising housing and community services demands.

Urban Development and Urban Form Analyses Review of the original Master Plan vision in light of significant investments in “temporary” housing (i.e. camps). Analyses of the changes from the original Master Plan vision of land uses for industrial and related support services vs. current and forecast demands.

Preparation of and evaluation of alternative land use and transportation schemes Development of alternative visions for the future growth of the community which included “minimum” to “maximum” changes in the physical distribution of housing and community facilities.


Principal Planner