Quantitative Evaluation of Public Open Space per Inhabitant in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: a Case Study of the City of Jeddah
Public open spaces are essential for residents’ social interactions and recreational activities, improving wellbeing as well as offering economic and environmental benefits. Saudi Arabia is aiming to enhance the quality of life in all its cities through different national programs and projects. One of the key performance indicators is increasing public open space per capita from 3.47 m2 to 3.9 m2 by 2020. This study measured the current public open space per inhabitant in Jeddah by using a geographic information system to identify the types of public open spaces that make up the per capita value in the city. Jeddah is located in a rapidly developing country, and it is a re-planned city where the current status of public open spaces falls short of users’ expectations and does not meet international standards. This study suggests that the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and municipalities should adopt a systematic approach to tackling the spatial distribution of open spaces in Saudi cities. In addition, there is a need for the proactive involvement of planners, landscape architects and designers in the planning process.