Oman is taking a leap forward into addressing their future growth in a sustainable manner with the innovative work of LEA’s transportation and planning engineers.
In 2017, LEA was retained by the Sultanate of Oman Supreme Council for Planning for the Regional Spatial Strategy for parts of Oman to develop a framework to guide sustainable urban development in the Sultanate for the coming decades. LEA’s regional focus areas are in the Capital City of Muscat and the Governorates of Muscat and Al-Batinah. Team members from LEA’s Transportation Planning and Engineering practice visited Muscat to provide their expertise and aid to this international project.
The project involved direct collaboration with the Oman National Spatial Strategy team in the Supreme Council of Planning. LEA was responsible for undertaking a comprehensive review of the land use, socio-demographics, economic and employment industries, and transportation infrastructure of the south governorates to understand existing conditions, identify challenges and opportunities, and recommend strategies for land use management and transportation planning.
In addition, LEA completed a review of urban design, active transportation, and public transit systems of various global cities with geographies and climates similar to Muscat to help develop appropriate and feasible RSS recommendations. LEA then completed a comprehensive best practice review of exemplary global cities around the world to help envision an evolution in the way transportation is strategized in Muscat. As a critical component of the project, LEA performed a street audit in Muscat Governorate to identify transportation-related issues with a focus on walkability (“first and last mile”) and parking. The audit was undertaken over a three-day period and encompassed 11 key areas representative of various land uses. Technical support was also provided for a meeting with the Governor and elected council members to present initial findings and obtain feedback on the spatial and economic development of Muscat.
The country of Oman holds an estimated population of over 4 million people, with about 800,000 in the capital of Muscat alone. Rapid population and tourism growth mean that improving transportation networks in the country is a top priority. Our work to date will set the groundwork for better transportation service and options throughout the regions.
Kenneth Chan, P.Eng.
Oman Transportation Lead – Canada