Draft national spatial strategy by year-end

MUSCAT, Jan 28 – The draft national and regional strategies will be submitted for government approval by this year-end, according to Maryam al Shehhi, Stakeholder Coordinator at Oman National Spatial Strategy (ONSS), Supreme Council for Planning.
ONSS, a project that will have a huge impact on the Sultanate’s future development, has identified four key alternatives. It will be engaging with the community members in this regard.
The project, initiated by the Supreme Council for Planning (SCP), began in 2017. It contains a national strategy on the desired key spatial developments till 2040 with strategies for all governorates.
“We collected relevant data and held workshops in which government agencies and private entities, besides governors from various regions, took part,” said Maryam.
Speaking to Observer on the sidelines of Oman Vision 2040 Conference, she said the most pressing questions before the national development plans was finding the most suitable space for the growing population and integration of basic infrastructure such as roads, public transport, electricity, water and sewage for the advancement of economic progress and new urban developments.
ONSS aims to address on what is needed to deal with the post-oil era.
“To address these questions, each governorate will have its own independent system, its own spatial development strategy and its own implementation programme/ investment plan. We will talk to people in each wilayat on the alternatives they would look for and work accordingly,” she said.
Oman National Spatial Strategy has a number of challenges to overcome in the course of implementing the strategy.
They include uncontrolled spatial growth, absence of an enforced settlement hierarchy and inadequate procedures protecting sensitive environmental areas.
Overconsumption of water resources, unsustainable cultivated land and lack of sufficient awareness on food scarcity could also pose a challenge.
“The next six months will see further stakeholder consultation at each governorate, where the spatial options will be discussed. The preferred strategy is selected based on inputs from public participation.”
Noor al Raisiya, Shaima al Rasbi, and Amro Salim al Siyabi were at the Vision 2040 educating visitors on Oman National Spatial Strategy.