One of BFTPI’s assignment is to update the country’s territorial planning strategy by drafting a national scale reference document that provides a comprehensive and stable vision of Bahrain’s long-term territorial development: the National Land Policy – Strategic Plan.
Bahrain territorial planning strategy is drawn up using an institutional consultation approach. The Strategic Plan is the outcome of a 7-month period of consultations with institutional stakeholders (from April to October 2017). All public stakeholders who contribute to territorial planning and development were consulted through four thematic working groups known as the Task Teams. Each of these teams met three times to establish a shared vision of Bahrain’s future aims and priorities. This approach enables the stakeholders to contribute to the drafting and to link the vision of the territory’s future with ongoing projects or strategic thinking.
The four thematic Task Teams were:
1- “Accommodating needs” Task Team:
Its aim was to define and express the territorial equation: what land should be developed according to the demographic forecast, where and at which rhythm in order to meet development needs sustainably?
This Task Team brought together territorial planning and development stakeholders: land administrators, housing managers, economic development bodies, financial players, industrialists and retailers.
2- “Mobility” Task Team:
This Task Team covered mobility policies and ongoing projects.
It brought together stakeholders involved in public transport policies, territorial planning and protection of the environment.
3- “Enhancing assets” Task team:
This Task Team addressed the preservation of Bahrain’s landscape as well as its natural and cultural heritage.
It comprised stakeholders involved in environment protection, planning, agriculture, culture and tourism.
4- “Urban services” Task Team:
This Task Team focused on the infrastructures required to support urban development programming (electricity, water, waste).
It included stakeholders involved in urban infrastructures (concession-holders) and in territorial planning and development.
It resultes from these Task teams the Strategic Plan, a holistic framework document for the country’s development, providing guidance to the public authorities, the private sector, the professionals and the public at large on how the country has decided to use and develop its territory.
Designed in an integrated approach, this strategic document is meant to head planning documents and to be an umbrella document for all planning sector documents binding on third parties, prevailing on land uses maps and zoning. It gives directions for long-term developments so that all stakeholders share the same vision of what should be achieved.
As good practice commands, the analysis carried out for the Strategic Plan includes assets, resources, needs, pressures and trends together with an analysis of urban and real estate development and planning for capital investment, of ways and means, and of key players.
The Strategic Plan spatial development proposals do not merely focus on territorial organisation and land use distribution, but also provide specific instruments for key targets that contribute to its overarching objectives: assets protection and enhancement, optimisation of land use and anticipation of changes.