Riyadh wants more private sector involvement in infrastructure: Aecom
Citizens in Riyadh want better engagement and more private sector involvement in the development of their infrastructure, according to AECOM’s 2019 Future of Infrastructure report.
Almost 80 percent of Riyadh’s respondents agree that the private sector should be more involved, whilst only 14 percent agree that, when they are asked to feedback, it’s at an appropriate point in the process for their voice to be heard.
The global research surveyed more than 10,000 people across ten major international cities for their views on city infrastructure, priorities for improvement and ambitions for future infrastructure.
Riyadh stood out in four areas, including eagerness for private sector involvement in infrastructure development, the unaffordability of electricity, reliance on personal cars and taxis, and confidence in the city’s resilience.
Aligning to the Vision 2030, 78 percent of the Saudi capital’s citizens responded in favour of more private sector involvement in the development of infrastructure.
Residents are frustrated by the cost of utility bills, with 75 percent stating electricity bills are unaffordable, they want to see more environmentally sustainable solutions to the city’s infrastructure challenges.
When it came to public transport, Riyadh citizens reported the lowest use of all cities surveyed — just 5 percent use buses as their primary mode of transport. Instead, the car is the clear transport mode of choice with 70 percent dependent on their own car and 17 percent on taxis to move around the city.
“It’s clear that the people of Riyadh care about their infrastructure. Open to investment and innovation, with a young and engaged expanding population, people want to be consulted. Not only do people want their opinions heard, they want them to matter and they want a say in the future of their city,” Ian Laski, president, AECOM Arabia said.
“Authorities should be pleased that citizens recognize the steps that are being made to improve the city’s transportation. 72percent of citizens are happier than 12 months ago with the service provided by airports, while 60 percent note an improvement in roads and bridges. The next challenge will be to ensure systems like the Riyadh Metro are fully adopted. With the highest dependency on cars of any city surveyed, all eyes are now on Riyadh to see how the population’s behavior will change as new infrastructure opens to the public,” Laski added.