Spotlight: The urban challenge budget homes

The rapid pace of economic and social development, the increase in population growth and the increasing demand for land have led to many urban challenges in the Sultanate. One of the major issues that the country faces today is housing although the government has achieved a new stage in housing services with several new projects. In every budget, a significant part of the public expenditure is allocated to the development of facilities all over the country and to enable citizens to build their homes.
Oman’s law also guarantees every citizen the right to own a piece of residential land. Of late, the government has started building housing units for low income residents, apart from providing housing assistance and loans.
The ‘Integrated Residential Neighbourhoods’ Project, which is first of its kind being implemented under private public partnership, is aimed at providing adequate housing for citizens eligible for residential land allocations.
The project aims at promoting the ownership of homes by developing quality housing in integrated neighbourhoods at reasonable prices, providing new alternatives to reduce the volume of applications of citizens entitled to residential lands under the Land Law and its annexes, and stimulating the economy through the involvement of the private sector.
Another challenge as a result of urbanisation is the rare use of high occupancy vehicles resulting in traffic jams and related issues. A report prepared under the supervision of the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning stresses on the increased need for more road networks.
“This is a key tool for achieving many of the sustainable development goals”, suggests the report.
The report moots a general framework for guiding the long-term urban development in various governorates of the Sultanate, and preparation of integrated areas of land use at national and governorates to meet the requirements of comprehensive and sustainable development in accordance with Oman’s Future Vision 2040.
The vision of Oman 2040 has given special priority to ensuring sustainable production and consumption patterns through the sustainable use and investment of natural resources and wealth.
“This is to ensure high added value, providing infrastructure and advanced technology that is possible for all sectors and able to absorb new developments,” the report points out.
The vision also targets achieving food and water security based on renewable resources and developing technologies, optimizing the utilization of the strategic location and biodiversity of the Sultanate, as well as providing an environmental awareness of the effective application of sustainable consumption and production rules.
Sustainable consumption and production patterns relate to the promotion of resource and energy efficiency, sustainability of infrastructure, access to basic services, decent and environmentally friendly jobs and improved quality of life for all. Sustainable production means value-added production with fewer resources, while sustainable consumption means greater efficiency and less waste of resources.
“This objective includes achieving sustainable management, efficient use of natural resources and reducing waste per capita”, adds the report.