Post liberation Kuwait is facing many challenges, particularly with 

reduced economic circumstances and a transformed population 

structure and work force.  There is now a more urgent need to 

establish a systematic database using computer technology and to relate 

urban data together, than recognized before the invasion.  The new Third 

Kuwait Master Plan Project will guide the development of Kuwait over the 

next twenty years, using GIS technology as a tool for the preparation of 

development plans and for urban management.  Policies and proposals will 

be presented through GIS in an easy-to-access form which can help guide 

day-to-day decisions.  This paper outlines some of the methodologies and

 experience gained through the 3KMP GIS Project in Kuwait.


The State of Kuwait has a long history of active use of physical 

development planning.  It is now more than forty years since the first 

Kuwait Master Plan, 1952 laid down the essential principles that have been 

followed ever since.  These principles and a succession of master plans 

and reviews have helped guide the development of Kuwait from a small mud 

brick town of 75,000 persons to today's contemporary metropolis of 2 

million persons.

Before the review of the Kuwait Master Plan in 1989 - 90, the need to 

establish a systematic database using computer technology was recognized

 by Kuwait Municipality.  At that time a utility and data management 

project (KUDAMS - Kuwait Utility and data Management System) was nearing 

completion.  This hadbeen conceived as a large-scale utility management 

project derived from field survey and aerial photography, implemented on

 Intergraph equipment basically as a CAD-system for access to public 

utility data.

Disruption caused by the Iraqi occupation and its aftermath has been 

a prime factor in aborting many projects.  Among them the Kuwait Master 

Plan Review and the KUDAMS project.

In post-liberation Kuwait Municipality recognized that it was no longer 

sensible to carry out a further review of the Master Plan, instead a 

new comprehensive development planning project was required in view of 

the transformation in Kuwait.  Principally in terms of demographic 

composition and economic structures.  Following a short initial assessment 

study in 1992, to identify and prepare data needed for the new Master 

Plan, Kuwait Municipality formed a team associated with a local consultants 

(SSH- Salem Al-Marzouk & Sabah Abi-Hanna) to prepare a wholly new Third 

Kuwait Master Plan (3KMP).  This furnished an opportunity to embody GIS

 technology as an integral part of the new master plan.


The new Master Plan will provide a comprehensive frame work for physical

 development planning within Kuwait.  Its policies and proposals will 

help guide day-to-day decisions on short term as well as long term 

development issues.

The term master plan is conveniently used to describe a sequence of plans

at three principal levels, each covering a different area with different 

objectives.  These include : A National Physical Planning Strategy, 

covering the state of Kuwait, A Metropolitan Area Structure Plan, covering

the urban area between Jahra and Mina Abdulla and Kuwait Town local plan

covering the city center within First Ring Road.

The GIS installation reflects the basic three component plans in terms of

how population, employment and building data are held and can be 

displayed or interrogated.  At national level, data are held at 

governorate (Muhafadah) level.  At Metropolitan level area and data are 

held at neighborhood (Mantiqa)_ and block (Qita’a) level.  Full detail 

will only be in Kuwait Town at plot or parcel Qaseemah) level.  Ultimately,

the Kuwait GIS will be extended to plot level for the entire country but

for short term the 3KMP GIS is seen as a pilot project.  Therefore, the 

GIS installation for 3KMP GIS was seen as a modest starting point for a 

national GIS that Kuwait needs.  It is being deliberately limited within 

the duration of 3KMP but on the other hand it is being designed for 

flexible operation and incremental expansion as needed.


Following an initial study a system design study was adopted where a Sun 

Sparc Station Model 61 desk-top server (8GB data storage) and three Sun 

Sparc station, 5 work stations (1GB data storage) were allocated for the

project team operating with three ArcInfo version 7.0 licenses 

(including Arc Grid  and Arc Scan).  While this is basically a stand-alone

operation, it also benefits from the consultant's office network linking

CAD computers and peripherals.  This means the project director and 

manager and other senior project staff use Arc View version 2.1 and are

able to access the main GIS data base from their desktops.


The Satellite imagery provides a detailed pictorial backdrop as the base

layer in the GIS.  The converted and simplified KUDAMS data set then 

provides the second layer superimposed over it, utilizing the 

topographical and utility survey mapping.  An acceptable level of 

registration has been achieved between the two datasets, thanks to their

common KTM (Kuwait Transverse Mercator) coordination system.  The third

fundamental layer is that of current land use.  This is derived from 

planning data.  The layer is being created in-house through modification

of the ArcTools graphic user interface and head up digitization over the

satellite imagery which is proving very successful.

A fourth layer showing defacto zoning information will be added by urban 

planners working directly from existing parcel plans, which will provide 

a further layer to facilitate planning analysis down to the block level.

The GIS will be utilized in its initial phases as a means of analyzing 

and reaching decisions on urban planning issues.  It will then also be 

used to communicate the resulting policies and the proposals by the 

master plan.  Therefore, in addition to the purely descriptive and 

existing factual layers incorporated in the GIS, new predictive layers 

will be added dealing with each of the planning levels referred to earlier.

There will be two such layers initially that illustrate the desired future 

conditions throughout Kuwait.  The first predictive layer will incorporate

the policies and proposals related to particular localities.  In part,

this layer will identify the pattern of future land use and show the 

measures to be undertaken to achieve it.  The second layer will be a 

comprehensive zoning information covering all parcels of land in Kuwait.


Data acquisition is widely recognized to be the most significant aspect 

of creating a GIS application interms of time, money and effort. The 

approach which was followed  in this project  was no different to any 

other GIS project in Europe or US. Data conversion took place to 

transfer KUDAMS data from the Intergraph platform to ArcInfo. The final 

result of the conversion was the creation of a large scale database 

consisting of twenty six thematic layers. Each of these contains a set 

of coverage’s, storing information for every governorate covering the 

metropolitan area .


One of the important objectives of 3KMP is the adoption of GIS technology 

as a tool for the preparation of plans as well as for urban management. 

Therefore, the final phase of the Master Plan will focus on the 

presentation of operational plans electronically for wide-spread access

and use through PCs. it is intended that each of the component plans 

listed earlier, as well as the zoning plans, will be available for direct

map production from the GIS.


The objective of GIS implementation is not simply to create a digital 

copy of the existing manual systems. The 3KMP GIS project aims to develop

a new more efficient and more functional automated system for mapping, 

records management, planning and other functions. This will help improve 

Kuwait Municipality's ability to accomplish the goals of the new Third 

Kuwait Master Plan. GIS will give the technical department's a complete 

set  of  land  use  and  zoning maps,  together with  development plan 

information, either electronically or as hard copy print. A special 

user interface will facilitate the selection of relevant mapping or 

information needed. The Kuwait Municipality will have a powerful tool 

for wide-ranging analysis of planning and urban development. GIS will 

lie at the heart of the monitoring and review process of the Master Plan.

The 3KMP GIS project is the first stage of the creation of a 

comprehensive GIS System, for which all Kuwait Municipality technical

departments will benefit, and eventually contribute to the development

of a national GIS.

Waleed Khalifa Al-Jassim Kuwait Master Plan Project Manager Kuwait Municipality P.O. Box 10 Safat 13001 Kuwait. Tel No. 4816133 / 4816004 Fax No. 4810715