From the 21st to  the 23rd of October 2021, the Sustainable Housing Concept Plan (SHCP) workshop was conducted at Alfaisal University with the participation of 24 architectural engineering students from Alfaisal university and Dar Al- Uloom University. This workshop was organized by UN-Habitat in partnership with the Ministry of Municipal Rural Affairs and Housing (MoMRAH), and Alfaisal University. The workshop introduced students to Saudi’s Developmental Housing Program and affordable housing principles, UN-Habitat’s guidelines as well as sustainable and resilient housing principles and typologies through a series of talks and discussions. Speakers included Architecture parctitioners (Arch. Azza Aldgheither, Housing and urban design international experts, NGOs such as Mawa and Fatat Alhasa, Professors from Alfaisal and King Saud Universities. Students, with the help of UN-Habitat team, brainstormed and proposed various design ideas for the two sites under investigation in Alkhobar and Jeddah.

The SHCP workshop is part of  a semester-long student design challenge where students from Alfaisal University and Dar Al-Uloom University compete to develop a masterplan and a housing plan for two sites in Alkhobar and Jeddah. The purpose of this challenge is to survey the youth’s perspective on possible changes to the the Saudi built environment and housing typologies through a sustainable design that is achieving Quality of Life parameters and matching with the 2030 Vision.  The focus is also on incorporating international best practices of street and open space design (parking, pedestrian, bike lanes, open space, etc.), land-use, and facilities distribution.

The closing ceremony was attended by prestigious list of guests including Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, Ms. Nathalie Fustier, UN resident coordinator for Saudi Arabia, Dr. Erfan Ali, UN-Habitat Regional Office of Arab States, Dr. Adam Bouloukous, Resident Representative, UNDP,  Mr. Neil Khor, Chief of Staff, Office of the Executive Director, UN-Habitat, and Dr. Ayman Al-Hefnawi, Team Lead, UN-Habitat Saudi Arabia.