Towards An Effective Urban Growth Management Strategy In Qatar (1)
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Control and management of urban growth is currently a subject of intense debate in both professional and academic planning circles, as suburban sprawl, pollution, and the decline of the urban environment particularly in city centres have become more sensitive public issues. The desire to control growth versus an increasing public need for housing and other related facilities has created a serious dilemma for planning agencies in their efforts to facilitate for better living environment. Growth management can be defined as the mitigation of the impacts of growth in order to improve or maintain the quality of life in a community. By clearly articulating the values of the community and identifying those items that contribute to the quality of life through the creation of a growth management strategy and implementation plan, it is possible to establish an effective approach to manage future growth. Increasing demands for urban growth with decreasing satisfaction in the resulting quality of life is the dilemma of most countries including the State of Qatar. The inefficient use of economic and physical resources results in development that generates new problems, such as sprawl, traffic congestion and rising demands for increased government spending on new infrastructure and services. The lack of comprehensive planning and development control may also results in infrastructure installation costs that are much higher than what they would be with a growth management strategy in place. The land allocation policies that are uncoordinated with physical development plans in Qatar exacerbate the problem by directing development to areas without appropriate infrastructure and services. This paper aim at reviews the current problems associated with the lack of an urban growth management strategy in the State of Qatar and outlines the process of creating a comprehensive system to effectively handle urban growth. The paper will also attempt to formulate an outline for an effective strategy to mitigate the impacts of growth in order to maintain and improve the quality of life in the State of Qatar.